Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on a Limited Budget

Jiu-Jitsu is many things. Cheap, however, is not one of those things. A membership to a Jiu-Jitsu training gym can run from around $50 per month to well over $200. This cost is compounded by the repeating need for training gear and equipment, transportation, as well as supporting the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle. These expenses can be minimized to enable practitioners with a limited budget or low income to continue practicing and developing their skills.

Open Mats

Often held by academies weekly, open mats allow fighters who are otherwise unassociated with a particular gym to join in on the fun and train with others. Open mats are often provided at a minimal fee or completely free of cost. Attending open mats is a terrific way to network with other fighters as well as spar and train at a minimum cost.

The gym on these days let fighters do whatever they like, be it rolls, grapples, drills, or a combination of all three. Virtually all a fighter needs to do to take full advantage is to show up ready to train.

When a full-time gym membership is out of the option, checking with any local schools or martial arts gyms for a schedule of their open mat days is an excellent start. This information can often be found online or over the phone. Do not worry; you will not be intruding. The experience of training with fighters otherwise unknown is a hallmark of martial arts and allows for development in different and unique ways. 

Work and Train Programs

It is not uncommon nowadays to secure a position that offers a free gym membership. Though these memberships are often to company-owned gyms and focus on the typical team member for a healthy lifestyle, it is well worth it to inquire with your employer about alternative memberships. These can be to a gym of your choosing, and preferably one with at least a mat for training.

Check out the gym at your work; it may have a mat. If so, willing and able practitioners are sure to be nearby. Asking around and finding training partners will offer considerable benefits to your training as well as your finances. Have you considered No-Gi training? While a topic of debate among leaders in the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it is a flexible approach to getting practical fighting knowledge and saves you the expense of buying a new Gi and equipment, at an absurd cost.


Making a livable budget and sticking to it cannot be of greater importance. Not only does a reliable and manageable budget help in your personal and professional life but pinpointing your expenses and minimizing them as much as possible is a solid step in the right direction for anyone struggling to afford their Jiu-Jitsu addiction.

You do not have to be a financial expert or accountant to create an awesome budget. There are many programs available for quickly accessing your financial data, analyzing it, and forming a budget to suit your needs. Cutting down on expenses like eating out, alcohol, and night out in the town will go a long way towards making ends meet simultaneously to advancing your skills in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

My favorite budgeting program is free and extremely easy to use. offers a plethora of budgeting options and styles at the same time as supplying suggestions for ways to cut down on expenses and grow your assets. If you are not already using it, check it out. You will not regret it. 

At Home Mats


Another possibility for training BJJ on a limited budget is investing in a mat for home. Though this might sound counterintuitive, a one-time investment of about $100 to $200 will go a long way towards advancing up the BJJ ladder. If space allows, dedicating a room for training and conditioning with a mat open many doors for a practitioner of the martial arts.

With a mat at home, you will save on transportation and gym memberships. If you have friends nearby who also practice in the martial arts, set up a time to train and spar together. Even better, set up a group gathering for practice and development. If you succeed at this, you can generate additional revenue by creating a club with a fee to join or attend. A nominal rate will have most practitioners in compliance and can offset any other expenses you have accrued along the way

This at-home gym is an excellent way to open doors to new techniques and approaches to the martial arts. You are not the only fighter struggling to afford the art. You would be an immense help for not only your development and expertise but that of your peers as well. At home training mats come in all shapes and sizes – a quick google search will have you on your way to escaping the financial clutches of the martial arts.

Thomas Grylka

Thomas is a recent college graduate and a content writer for the Jiu-Jitsu Times. He earned his brown belt in Wa Shin Ryu Jujutsu under Gregory M. Kane during his time as a student at UConn.

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