The title of this post is a bit misleading. Obviously Jiu-Jitsu Times will never recommend that someone quit jiu-jitsu, and no one in their right mind would ask Jiu-Jitsu Times if they should quit jiu-jitsu. That’s just dumb. But here, check out this actual question asked by one of our readers:
“I started Jiu-Jitsu eight months ago and I love it more than anything. I originally started Jiu Jitsu as a way to lose weight, but it quickly became something that I loved, so much that I leave for the academy fifty minutes before my class so that I can help with the kids classes. I constantly think about the academy and everyone that trains there, and think of them as my family. My parents don’t like how serious I am about Jiu Jitsu and think that I should quit soon. What should I do?”
When answering this question, one must look at the full scope of the individual as well as their actual situation in life. If you’re 14 years old, your outlook will be different than if you are 41. If you are a phenom who doesn’t care about making money, you may have less to lose than an investment banker. It really all depends on the person.
If you’re over a certain age, chances are you will never be able to make your millions as a jiu-jitsu competitor. In fact, I’d venture as far as to say that you will never be able to make your millions as a jiu-jitsu competitor, period. This is not a sport for the money hungry. The top prizes in the sport generally do not exceed $50,000.
As far as being an instructor, that tends to be a labor of love. I know instructors and gym owners who are literally losing money doing jiu-jitsu. It takes a shrewd and savvy mind to be able to monetize jiu-jitsu, the kind of mind that most people don’t have. So, I can totally understand if you are in a point in your life where, practically speaking, your time would be better spent on studies.
There are visionaries. There are phenoms. There are people who have what it takes to make a decent living doing what they love. Don’t let anyone tell you not to follow your dreams. I look at owners of high-level gyms. They all had to start somewhere. These are people who are able to make their dream come true. The way they did it was they started something and they continued following through, never quitting.
But those people faced adversity, those people did not always have it easy, and they are diamonds in the rough.
If you are looking to make a career out of jiu-jitsu, the only way to really achieve that goal is to dive in head first and not stop until the dream is realized. You might wind up drowning in the process. If you just want it to be a part of your life, but it’s not going to be your main source of income and lifeblood, then your parents are right and you need to be effective with how you spend your time.
Should you quit jiu-jitsu? No. Never. But determine what exactly it is that you want to do with it. Figure out exactly what it’s going to take to accomplish that, and go for it.
I hope this answer helps.