How To Train an An Otherwise Expensive Grappling Habit on the Cheap

I once polled a bunch of my friends within a few cross-sections of my social media demographics about why more of them didn’t try training BJJ.  The answers varied, and many would be the excellent cause for another post or ten, but I can address at least one simple answer here: the cost factor.  More than one of my friends from very different walks of life immediately identified the prohibitive membership fees and gear prices, and I couldn’t argue with them.  In fact, one friend in particular called it a “luxury hobby”.  I think he was right.

Now, many of you will immediately rattle off your “someone motivated enough will find ways to make it happen” line.  And its not that you’re wrong, it’s just that we’re forgetting about a window of time where people are even figuring out whether its a hobby they’d be interested in doing several times a week.  Just as many of you will maintain the previous line, and insist that it’s a sort of in-built filter to weed everyone out but those with disposable income or else those who already know they really want to do it.

Sorry, but that’s really pretty silly in my opinion.  Not everyone has to be immediately rabid about doing BJJ for it to have value in their lives.  In fact, the vast majority of casuals and family-oriented students make up the actual segment of customers keeping most dojos open.  Those students probably should not come with the same obsessive mat-rat attitude as the obsessed students; it will not, on average, be sustainable with everything else they have going on in their lives.  Or, worse: that level of zeal will end up injuring them out of practice prematurely anyway.

With that in mind, let’s consider a few ways to make it that much more affordable for newbies, who might otherwise represent a group of students adding unique value, viewpoints, talents, and so on… when they might be getting priced out unnecessarily in many cases.  Let’s at least review cost-saving things to make it easier on these potential students!

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