Table of Contents
- 1. Hire Influential and Well-Known BJJ Instructors
- 2. Hold Seminars and Competitions in Your Academy
- 3. Actively Participate in Community Outreach
- 4. Provide a Safe Environment for Your Students
- 5. Create Reasonable Class Schedules
- 6. Using Social Media
- 7. Digital Marketing
- 8. Online Training Programs
- 9. Create a Strong Community within Your BJJ Academy
- 10. Sponsor Local Students
- 11. Using Guerilla Marketing
- 12. BJJ Legend Keenan Cornelius’s Advice for Attracting Students
- 13. Final Words
Just like other martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu was originally a form of self-defense. Over time, as martial arts became accepted as professional sports, BJJ was among them. Now, BJJ is one of the most popular martial arts in the USA.
Around the world, various BJJ academies have been established, with many aspiring BJJ practitioners joining to train, develop skills, find a hobby, improve their health problems, or work towards professional BJJ careers.
Professional BJJ athletes who enter their 40s or 50s usually become BJJ coaches and open their own academies. Running a BJJ academy is business since you have to try to grow your BJJ brand and compete with other academies in the area. In this article, you will learn advice on how to grow a BJJ academy in 2023.
1. Hire Influential and Well-Known BJJ Instructors
No matter how skilled senior BJJ athletes are, they cannot handle every responsibility or train all the classes by themselves. Every BJJ academy needs to hire instructors to ensure each student is given attention.
A passionate and sincere instructor can help improve your academy’s credibility and attract more new students. Many BJJ world champions cannot afford to open their own academies, so they join other academies to continue their BJJ training. Try to hire influential BJJ personalities as instructors.
Well-known BJJ fighters may have large fan followings due to their performances in official competitions. Many BJJ fans would love the opportunity to meet and train with their heroes. Try to hire BJJ fighters with high notoriety and who are passionate to teach others as students will find such individuals more trustworthy.
2. Hold Seminars and Competitions in Your Academy
To spread the word about your academy, you have to get the attention of people and convince them to come to see what is inside your gym. Holding seminars is the best way to invite potential BJJ practitioners into your gym.
If possible, invite a famous BJJ fighter to lead the seminar. A famous athlete will attract a bigger audience, especially if they are passionate about BJJ. When they visit your academy, this is the best time to convince them why it is the best place to learn BJJ. Make sure to point out the facilities, training rooms, and your best students.
Another way to advertise your academy is by holding a competition rather than waiting for a local tournament to show off the capabilities of your students. You can also invite members of other academies for such events.
3. Actively Participate in Community Outreach
One of the best ways to market your academy is by actively taking part in volunteer work in your local community. Almost every community holds conferences, fundraisers, or charity events. Donating to good causes as a representative of your gym could help improve its standing with your community.
4. Provide a Safe Environment for Your Students
When people come to your academy for the first time, their first impression will often be based on the training environment. It is important to invest in an academy with clean facilities for the students. People will not want to keep coming back to your BJJ gym if there are no clean bathrooms, showers, water fountains, or comfortable mats.
5. Create Reasonable Class Schedules
Making sure there is enough time for various programs and flexible class schedules will appeal to more students will appeal to and attract a lot of students. Offering a flexible schedule will tell potential students that your academy is willing to accommodate.
For example, some students are full-time athletes who can only attend morning classes while other students have jobs in the day and are only available for evening classes.
Having organized and well-structured schedules also gives your gym more professionalism. Many BJJ students feel more comfortable training at a gym with a well-organized policy.
6. Using Social Media
Using social media platforms will help build your gym’s online presence. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc. help advertise your academy to a broader audience beyond your local area.
You can use social media platforms to communicate with students by posting pictures of the gym, the training rooms, and other facilities. You can also upload schedules and fee details on your gym’s social media accounts.
Various legendary BJJ athletes use social media to promote their gyms. For example, Andre Galvao, owner of Atos Jiu-Jitsu, usually posts pictures of his students or news post about events. The Mendes brothers, owners of Art of Jiu-Jitsu, have a strong social media fan following and use their Instagram accounts to post their students’ achievements.
Instructors, coaches, and leadership are the main factors that can build a sense of camaraderie among students. Competitions, seminars, and social events conducted in the academy also prove as a response-orienting tool to create a strong community.
Various academies also use video content to attract students. They upload videos of various techniques by their famous instructor which attracts various BJJ students who find those videos really helpful to perform a technique.
Click this link for an article containing a list of BJJ athletes with active Instagram accounts.
7. Digital Marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another way to market and grow the academy. SEO is the optimization of a website so that it ranks high in the search engine results when someone searches for a specific keyword. This helps to keep the website of BJJ Academy among obvious websites.
8. Online Training Programs
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many academies started creating online training programs. Even after BJJ gyms began reopening, they still kept using online classes to accommodate students who have become used to exercising from home or lived too far away from the gym.
9. Create a Strong Community within Your BJJ Academy
Encouraging a strong community within your gym will help make it easier for students to create connections with each other. Strong friendships between students make them feel more comfortable and at home. Practitioners who feel encouraged by their fellow students often feel motivated and help push each other to improve their skills.
10. Sponsor Local Students
Many athletes and sports leagues often sponsor promising fighters, giving them opportunities to try and compete in professional competitions. BJJ academies can also sponsor their students and allow them to register in tournaments. Your students represent your BJJ gym on the mat, spreading its name to a new audience and ensuring the brand gets plenty of exposure.
11. Using Guerilla Marketing
Guerilla marketing is one of the most advanced and attractive methods to draw the attention of BJJ practitioners which involves using creative art, stickers, or stunts to attract attention. Guerilla marketing is an unconventional marketing method that definitely attracts the attention of the customers and plays a crucial role in the advertisement of the academy.
12. BJJ Legend Keenan Cornelius’s Advice for Attracting Students
In a video, Keenan Cornelius explained an effective way to attract students to the gym.
According to him, when you are running an academy in an area where already other BJJ academies are working, the best method to attract new students to your academy is to add value.
He further added that various people try to compete by reducing prices. This is one of the ineffective methods. If an academy that is taking more fees gives good results, no doubt people will be attracted to them. No matter how much they have to pay for that. Keeping your rates high and equal to other academies and giving better results will help you to compete and attract more students to your academy.
Always invest in your academy for the facilities of the students like the best instructors, big classrooms, new and comfortable mats, washrooms, and others. This will also help you to grow your academy.
Here is the link to the complete video below:
13. Final Words
BJJ is a martial art that has been growing in popularity throughout the world. Over the years, many BJJ academies have been opened around the world. Due to the increasing number of BJJ academies being established, there has been growing competition between them. To ensure they stay in business, every academy relies on different methods to attract new students.
Good instructors are passionate about teaching and raising the standards and values of training. Seminars, social events, and competitions can also help improve your academy’s publicity.
Social media and guerilla marketing are two forms of advertisement that can help attract students and post their achievements.