How Much Does a BJJ Teacher Make?

How much does a BJJ teacher get paid? It depends. In this post I break down how much a BJJ instructor makes depending on his situation.

Contents of this article

The Average BJJ Teacher Salary

Ziprecruiter reports the following average salaries for BJJ teachers in the United States:

Annual SalaryHourly Wage
Top Earners$55,500$27
75th Percentile$48,500$23
25th Percentile$41,500$20

But in reality, the salary of a BJJ teacher depends on more factors that you can see in just this simple table. Let’s dive into different kinds of BJJ teachers and how much they make.

How much do BJJ teachers make?

A teacher that owns his jiu jitsu school

If a teacher owns his own Brazilian jiu-jitsu School it’s impossible to say how much he makes. It all depends on how many students he has. 

If it is just a small local gym he might be making less than minimum wage.

If it’s a huge and successful gym he might have a six-figure income.

Teaching one or two classes per week

It’s also possible that the teacher teaches Just One or two classes per week and does not get paid for this at all. But in this case, the teacher maybe doesn’t have to pay for a subscription to the gym and is helping out just because he likes to.

Personally I taught one class per week for a while and I got paid about $15 per hour. I got paid for the length of the class plus 25% preparation time. I also didn’t need to pay a subscription for the gym while I was teaching there.

How much does a part-time BJJ teacher make?

A teacher that will teach a class every day of the week will likely be hired for a part-time position.  This immediately makes it very hard to be a BJJ teacher as your only job because you just won’t be able to make enough hours.

A teacher that teaches a few classes per week is like getting paid by the hour.  The hourly wage is probably between $10 to $20 per hour.  If the teacher is lucky he also gets paid a little bit for preparation time.

Almost all part time BJJ teachers will therefore have a day job. 

How much does a full-time BJJ teacher make?

A full-time Jiu-Jitsu teacher almost doesn’t exist. Only at extremely large gyms such as Atos or Marcelo Garcia they might have enough classes to fill 40 hours of work per week for the teacher.

At almost all other gyms you might have classes one or two times per day which isn’t enough to fill a work week. 

If teachers do get hired for a full-time position, they likely help out in other ways such as cleaning, administration, calling leads and students and other activities.

A famous teacher that teaches seminars

Famous Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes that might have won for example  adcc,  or the Jiu-Jitsu world championships,  can give seminars all around the world. 

But even of these athletes only the top 1% is able to get rich from teaching Brazilian jiu-jitsu.  Gordon Ryan, lachlan Giles and Andre Galvao do very well for themselves.  But the number four at the world championships will find it hard to get invited to give a seminar and will not be able to charge a very high entrance fee.

Positive influences on BJJ teacher salary

Bjj is exploding in popularity. It is not yet at Judo or Karate levels, but it is definitely on the upswing.

The more popular a martial art becomes, the more money you can make as an instructor.

Also, in a lot of cases, you can make more money if you move to a big city from a small town. If you are in a small town, you might need to open your own school or find a way to leverage your bjj skills to make more money.

If you are in a big city, like Los Angeles or New York, there are plenty of schools to work at. In big cities, there is a lot more competition, but also a lot more opportunity.

Negative influences on BJJ teacher salary

The biggest negative influence on BJJ teacher salaries is that a lot of teachers are willing to work for very little money.  

They do it because of dedication to the sport and because they love to teach. 

This is admirable but it also creates a big downward pressure on BJJ teacher salaries.

Another factor that keeps BJJ instructor’s salaries low is that people are just used to paying very little for sports subscriptions.  This is partly because a lot of sports are accessible cheaply through school or other kinds of subsidized programs. 

Conclusion: How much do BJJ instructors get paid?

The majority of BJJ instructors get paid little or nothing at all.

BJJ school owners get paid based on how succesful their gym is; so just like any other entrepreneurs, this ranges between losing money and becoming very rich.

Famous BJJ teachers get paid a lot – if they’re really famous. If you’re just in the top 100 best BJJ athletes of all time, don’t count yourself rich yet!