The #1 Reason BJJ Academy Owners Lose Potential Students and How Elephants Can Help

Gym Marketing Itamar

Let me ask you a question. When you promise a kid to take him to the zoo, what is he more interested in, the vehicle you’re going to use to get to the zoo or actually getting to the zoo and seeing the elephants?

It’s the elephants, right? That’s what he wants. He could care less about the vehicle.

Now, how is this relevant to your business and to your Jiu-Jitsu academy getting more students?

First, we have to differentiate between people like you and I, brown and black belts, from the majority of students. We have a unique and obsessive love for the art that made us stick through all the injuries, endless laundry and so on. For us, Jiu Jitsu is the elephant. We’re obsessed with it. We think about it all the time, we plan vacations around it and we basically ruin our girlfriends’ lives because of it…

However, the vast majority of your students, aka the white and blue belts who pay your bills, are very different. They simply use Jiu-Jitsu as a vehicle to get to their elephants. Jiu-Jitsu is nothing more than a way for them to get what they truly want. Their actual elephants might be self-defense, getting back in shape or joining a fun community. Again, they’re only using BJJ as a vehicle to get to their elephants.

If this bums you out a bit, it shouldn’t. You should be viewing this as an amazing opportunity for your business because you now understand something very powerful. You now have a new superpower. You now know exactly what to say whenever you’re talking to a potential new student. Just focus on their elephants.

When you’re talking to a potential student for the first time trying to figure out what they’re really hoping to get out of training with you. Ask them what their elephants are. If their elephant is self-defense then you can talk about how effective BJJ is and how it will enable them to protect whoever they need to. If it’s getting back in shape, explain to them how fun and effective of a workout Jiu Jitsu is and show them some transformation pictures from your students. If they just want to get out of the house and find a nice social activity then show them photos from the last team BBQ you had.

If you really want someone to join your academy instead of blurting out what YOU think is the best part about it, aim to understand what they’re looking for. Once you understand what they’re really looking for, you can easily explain to them why your Jiu Jitsu academy is the vehicle that will get them to their elephant.

So again, whenever you’re talking to potential new students remember to ALWAYS focus on asking them about their elephants. Then simply proceed to tell them “If you’re looking for elephants, we have awesome, awesome elephants in our community.”  It’s just a super easy and fun way to remember what to focus when dealing with potential students.

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Your Jiu Jitsu Marketing guy,


Gym Marketing Itamar

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