How expensive is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
I remember some time ago when I was discussing with a parent how expensive BJJ is and to gain some perspective I asked them to compare the sport with another that their child was training in. The comparison was against AFL.
I asked how they perceived BJJ to be 'expensive' and they began to tell me that the mat fees each week was a deterrent and the uniform, that was 'expensive'.
Now this family had only been participating in the sport for approximately two months and had not yet grasped the competition side of the sport.
To make the comparison clearer against AFL I started with the uniform.
Now I just want to make it clear that there is a big difference in value between a child's uniform and an adult's one and dependent on the size of the athlete, well that will determine price difference.
So I asked about the boots, the socks, the shorts the t-shirt, the jumper. In most cases the child 'rents' the jersey so it can be recycled for the following year. Not only this, the athlete will more than likely go to footy training in clothing that is not conducive to the sport and will see jumpers, t-shirts and shorts get torn and stained.
In comparison, the BJJ uniform Vs the footy uniform one.
Fees for the year. This was considerably cheaper for AFL than BJJ as it covered registration and insurance (insurance for the footy club not the athlete as most people don't realise this).
The score between BJJ and AFL is 1 each.
Comfort for the athlete. We are very lucky as we have air conditioning and heating (not that we need the heater when we are training). Leading up to summer we have the AC on as it can get pretty hot and stuffy. The spectator that comes with the athlete can sit in comfort in all types of weather, not get wet when it rains, not freeze in the winter, and find it comfortable in the air-conditioning.
Looking at this I'd say BJJ wins making the score 2-1.
Competitions. If the athlete is competitive there are registration fees (AFBJJ and IBJJF), and as the IBJJF only has one tournament in Melbourne a year (PanPacs) for most athletes it's just not worth it. The AFBJJ registration can be purchased for a single or multiple years and is quite cheap. Unfortunately competitions can become a little costly as we are not in the city the purchase of fuel, food and accommodation needs to be factored in.
Footy on the other hand is competed for almost six months of the year. Depending on the league that the athlete plays, travel maybe two hours away every second weekend. So obviously fuel is required more, after the game there's always the hot dog or meat pie (don't forget the drink and maybe a lollie). Then the rest of the family that has gone along to watch are also looking for a bite to eat and drink. So the cost now has gone up.
You could now say that they are even on that one and we'll make the score 3-2. But, what if your child isn't competitive, then the score is 3-1.
Training availability. BJJ is all year round (except school holidays), AFL only for a portion of the year.
So, I'll be bias and say the BJJ is the winner and give it a score of 4-1.
But parents forget what BJJ does for the athlete that AFL won't is that BJJ teaches the child athlete so much more. Resilience, confidence, decision making under pressure and stress inoculation. These are just some of the things your child will learn irrespective of what BJJ Academy or club they participate in. Not only this they learn self control, self discipline and self defence.
Anyone that knows how to fight very rarely gets into a fight as they know how some fights can end up.
In conclusion, the parent is the one that ultimately makes the decision but the next time you think that BJJ is expensive you have to ask yourself, is it really?
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