Opening your own academy (the dream of any hardcore jiu-jitsu practitioner) cannot be a reality for many, as most have chosen to be professionals in other areas. If you are unhappy with your current work place situation or if you ever wanted to run your own business, opening a gym can be worth some serious consideration.
The beautiful thing about an academy is that there is actually a lot more room for creativity in starting one than people expect. You can really make the gym your own interpretation of what you think is necessary. For example, the academy doesn’t have to be just jiu-jitsu; you can attach whatever other activities that you think help accommodate jiu-jitsu and the healthy lifestyle that is associated with it. Activities like Crossfit, yoga, general weight training, Muay Thai, and other fitness activities are all suitable and will also help draw more people into your business.
There are also great personal benefits when owning your own gym. You get to work in a field you love and contribute to spreading jiu-jitsu around the world. In addition to making a living from jiu-jitsu, you could also potentially have more time to train. For a lot of people that are not BJJ professionals, finding time to train can be very difficult because of all the other facets of life that need to be juggled; family, work, chores, and other hobbies. However, by combining jiu-jitsu and work in the form of an academy, you can possibly find more time to pop onto the mats. On the other hand, some professionals may actually find it more difficult to properly train, depending on how they choose to run their academy. Their attention is usually divided amongst teaching and managing the business. Hopefully, you will eventually have a team of students ready to help you train more often and assist in running the business. Whether you’re the instructor, manager, or investor, this will all help you with your personal jiu-jitsu game.
Another beautiful thing about opening a jiu-jitsu gym is the fact that the sport is still growing around the world. There are many cities that have an interested crowd but no qualified instructors to open a school. If you ever wanted to move abroad, with the proper research and networking you could make your dream a reality through opening a gym. Countries like Korea, Thailand, China, and parts of Europe have plenty of space for jiu-jitsu to grow and develop. There are only a handful of schools in their major cities.
If you’re unhappy with your current job status or work-life balance, making the switch to a gym owner is an amazing idea. You will be able to build something meaningful and if it’s successful, you can pass down your knowledge and love of BJJ throughout your area.