BJJ on a budget

Want to live the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle but find it too expensive?

When you first get into BJJ, for a lot of people the whole sport engulfs you. Providing you with an outlet which is good for both your physical and mental health, as well as learning self defence. You feel a sense of self power, and not only that you become part of a team, and immerse yourself with a group of inspiring people all working towards their BJJ goals.

When you get a taste of competition, it soon becomes addictive. It’s very easy to get stars in your eyes and want to drop everything so you can train full time, and compete most weekends. The question is how are you going to afford to do this to reach the highest level of the sport?

Cut out the junk

When your looking to train more, work less and be able to save a few pounds along the way, you need to look at two things: Your income and your outgoings. If your income is high and you can work remotely, you don’t really need this blog. But if your working a average 9-5 trying to train as much as possible along side it and still don’t feel like you can afford it then read on.

Lower your Bills

What I would say is haggle, haggle, haggle. Even if you are already set up in a contract for household bills, companies are pretty flexible, and if you start threatening to them that you are going to leave for a better deal somewhere else. They will soon try to negotiate a better deal so that they can keep you with there service. Also, with your phone contract, when you are looking to get a new phone, make sure you don’t just stay with your same provider you’ve been with for 10 years because you feel some sort of loyalty. Go and shop around, visit the other phone providers and chances are you will find a better deal. You may also get some freebies in with your phone deal. Or better yet try keeping the phone you have if it’s not completely broken, and then go down to sim only contract for super cheap! Saving money every month.

Cut out Unnecessary Bills

Cut out your paid music station whether it’s Spotify, ITunes or Google Music. You can deal with the ads every now and again. Or if you a student, make sure your on the student membership, which pretty much cuts the price in half. Also, cut out paying for expensive TV broadband, switch to Netflix or Now TV for a lower monthly bill. Or if you want to go fully free everything you really need, you can get on free TV streaming or YouTube. But you still need to pay for a TV license, if you are streaming anything live. So the ultimate would be to cut out TV all together, and use this time to be productive, but it’s your choice.

Cut out credit cards

Don’t fool yourself by thinking you can pay for that competition now on your credit card. Then pay yourself back later, unless your good with money, you probably won’t do it, and this is a fast track way to get yourself into debt. Next thing you know you’ve got a huge credit card bill to pay off monthly for the next 5 years. The best thing to do is make a budget. Work out how much spare money you have each month after all your bills, and food are paid for, then save 10% of this each month to go towards competitions or a emergency fund.

Stop buying

Stop buying coffee out in coffee shops, at £3 a time, when coffee is easy enough to make your own, just buy good grounded beans, a cafetière, and a reusable coffee cup and your good to go. Also in the hot weather you can easily make cold brew yourself. All you need is a big glass jar to put the cold coffee in your fridge in. Also quit buying bottled water, if your fortunate to live in a country where you can drink from the tap, then you have a endless water supply. Buying bottled water not only adds £2 onto your daily budget, with the coffee out works out to be almost £2000 a year! You could be using this on BJJ. Also you are adding to the plastic crisis in our world, when tap water is perfectly fine to drink. If your worried about the purity not being enough for you, you can even buy a reusable bottle which has a filter in it. And finally, keep eating out to a minimum, not only is food out usually unhealthy, it costs way too much to factor into a normal lifestyle to do it too often. Of course if it’s your siblings or best friends birthday then you can have a treat but when the treats become weekly then it may start to effect your bank balance. I try to keep eating out to a once a month treat so I know I’m not spending too much.

VonShef French Press Cafetière Copper Stainless Steel Glass – 8 Cup/1 Litre Coffee Maker
Bobble 100BOEUBL BPA-Free 1 Litre Water Bottle, Blue

Cut out alcohol

In the same respect frequent drinking is not only going to hit your bank balance hard, you also cannot train effectively if you go out on a drinking session too often! There are athletes at all levels who are weekday warriors, eating super clean and training hard. Then it gets to Friday and they blow it all away with a weekend going out, every week. This is not going to help you if you want to live the BJJ lifestyle. If this is you then cutting out alcohol alone could be enough to save yourself money to go to that next big competition abroad.

Everyday living

So once you think you have your finances a little under control, and you’ve cut out any extra spending. It’s time to think about your day to day life.

Eating healthily

All athletes should strive to eat healthily, on which ever diets they choose to follow. And ensure to get enough calorific intake to have energy for hard training. When doing this you could also be saving money. Meal prepping is a life saver. On a Sunday before the week starts you can meal prep breakfast, lunch and dinner for 3 or 5 days and then repeat. I prefer to cook my meals for 3 days and then redo this cycle on a Wednesday. By doing this you have all your meals ready to go whenever you want to eat them. This will help you stop snacking and stop you popping to the shop for instant food. When your hungry after training and really cannot be bothered to cook anything. Which ultimately will save you money, because you don’t have to buy lunch out today because you were too tired to make a packed lunch. There are plenty of recipes online which keep well and can be reheated or eaten cold. I will be sharing with you soon in a future blog my daily meal recipes.

Fit Men Cook: 100 Meal Prep Recipes for Men and Women
[10 Pack] 3 Compartment BPA-Free Reusable Meal Prep Containers| Bonus eBook

Training options

Academy membership alone can be quite expensive, depending on where you live and which academy you choose. But you have to factor this into your monthly budget, otherwise you can’t do BJJ. However I would say if you are moving somewhere new, or just starting, to have a look at all academies in the area, and find the best one for you. Also in the academy your in there might be something you can do to get a cheaper membership or extra training. You could if your a student check if your academy does a discount. If your a higher belt you could volunteer to help out in classes which could eventually lead to paid teaching. You could also do a swap with someone to get extra training, if you could offer a service to someone you could try swap it for a private lesson.


This is a big one, competitions can be a huge expense, and for a lot of people you want to do it as much as possible. My advice would be, at the beginning of the year check the calendars and work out which competitions you would like to prioritise as you cannot do them all. Then work out a cost for each one including entry, transport and accommodation. If the competition is a drivable distance, try to just go for the day, and car share with team mates going to split the fuel costs. If the competition is abroad try to book a mid week flight if you can get the time off work, as they tend to be much cheaper than weekend flights. Once you are at the competition abroad, you have a choice to either stay in a hostel, share a hotel with team mates, book a Airbnb, use a couch surfing website, or contact members of BJJ Globetrotters to try stay with the BJJ community. Competition entry is still a big expense if you want to do bigger international competitions, in order to pay for these as well as saving, you could try to ask family members to gift competition entries to you for your birthday or Christmas. Or try to gain a sponsor who may offer to pay for you to compete.

BJJ Gear

There’s no doubt about it, buying Gis, and No-Gi wear can get pricey. However, if you are looking around, most brands now offer a cheaper Gi for around £65, I know Kingz, Scramble, Progress and Tatami do. If your quick and the right size you may even find something super cheap in the Tatami sale.

Tatami Nova Absolute BJJ Gi – Black – A2
Kingz The One BJJ Gi White
Scramble Athlete 4: 375 (Blue) (A3)
Progress Foundation BJJ Gi Black Kimono Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Uniform Gi Kimono (A1)

Other places to buy reasonable priced No-Gi wear with discounts would be SNSJJ, Fighters Market and Amazon! If you are on a super tight budget you could ask around at your gym, chances are someone will have a Gi in the back of their cupboard they never use any more in your size. Then you will be able to buy it off them for a fraction of the retail price. I will go into more detail about the best quality brands for your money my blog in the near future.

SNS Jiu-Jitsu

Amazon – No Gi Range

What about you?

What have you found the hardest financial difficulty to be when living the BJJ lifestyle? Leave your answer below…I’m happy to answer any of your questions to help you out.