As the sport of Braziian Jiu Jitsu continues to grow, there is more money being made off the sport. In the last decade it would’ve seemed almost impossible to make a living from practicing BJJ.
Today, top BJJ athletes now have more opportunities than ever to make a living off doing what they love. They can compete in various professional grappling events throughout the world and make money that once seemed like a dream.
Not only the athletes, but various BJJ organizations and academy owners have also become wealthy off of the BJJ boom. But who are they?
In this guide we list 10 of the most successful and wealthiest people in BJJ. These are the most notable BJJ athletes, instructors, and BJJ organization owners.
Most successful and wealthiest people in BJJ
Sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan(Founder of ADCC) - Estimated net Worth of $1 Billion
The first sheik BJJ blackbelt, Sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed is one of the unsung heroes of submission grappling. He’s a member of the UAE royal family and most notably the founder of the Abu Dhabi Combat Club(ADCC).
Nahyan first encountered MMA and grappling, while studying in the US in the early 90’s. He fell in love with and began training BJJ with Gracie Barra in ‘95. He spent everyday training until he returned home to the UAE.
When he got home, he started creating his idea that would become the ADCC. Nahyan held the first ADCC submission grappling event in ‘98 and from there the rest is history.
The ADCC championship has been going strong for over 20 years with the best in the world competing there. It is regarded as the top No Gi grappling championship in the world and is held every 2 years.
While Sheik Nahyan didn’t make his money in BJJ, he used his family's wealth to further expand Jiu Jitsu. He is responsible for bringing BJJ to the Middle East and offering a platform to the world’s best grapplers.
Carlos Gracie Jr(Founder of Gracie Barra and the IBJJF)
By one of the most successful and wealthiest people in BJJ is none other than Carlos Gracie Jr. Not only is he the head of the biggest chain of BJJ academies, but also the top BJJ federation. This makes Carlos the wealthiest person in BJJ that has made all of his money within BJJ.
Carlos Gracie Jr is an 8th degree blackbelt with over 50 years of experience and one of the most influential Gracies out there. After the tragic death of his brother Rolles in 1982, Carlos became head of the families academy. As leader of the academy, he started to build the Gracie Barra name.
In nearly 40 years, Carlos has made Gracie Barra into the biggest chain of BJJ gyms in the world. There are currently over 800 GB academies worldwide and growing every year.
If that wasn’t enough, he also founded the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation(IBJJF). – which is without a doubt the premiere Jiu Jitsu federation in the world.
While his exact net worth isn’t known, Carlos Jr isn’t hurting for money. He is easily the wealthiest person in BJJ that made all of his money within the martial art. As BJJ continues to grow, Carlos Jr will definitely continue to see his wealth grow exponentially.
Ryron and Rener Gracie (Head of Gracie Jiu Jitsu)
The young heirs to the Gracie empire have grown Gracie Jiu Jitsu 10x fold since becoming the heads of operations. Under their leadership, not only is Gracie Jiu Jitsu in every continent in the world, but they have taken Gracie Jiu Jitsu to other realms.
They created Gracie Online – an interactive online Jiu Jitsu program that allows students to learn Jiu Jitsu from their homes. Their courses are taught by certified Gracie Jiu Jitsu instructors and allows students the opportunity to move up belt ranks.
But what Ryron and Rener are probably most known for is their Youtube channel: Gracie Breakdown. On their channel, they break down MMA fights, streetfights, and show Gracie Jiu Jitsu techniques. Both’s net-worth is around $5 million dollars and will continue to grow as they keep growing the Gracie brand.
Sheikh Tarik Bin Faisal(BJJ Competitor/Member of UAE Royal Family)
Sheikh Tarik Bin Faisal is a member of the UAE royal family that is worth around $2 billion. Making him probably the wealthiest person in BJJ. He also happens to be a highly competitive BJJ athlete winning gold in big tournaments like the European Open.
After his relative Sheik Nahyan introduced BJJ to the UAE, Faisal began practicing and developed a passion for grappling. When he isn’t working in the UAE government or running billion dollar companies, Faisal trains BJJ at an elite level. He is the second Sheik to ever earn a BJJ black belt and helps run Team Nogueira Dubai.
Gordon Ryan(BJJ Competitor)
Arguably the hardest working man in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is none other than the reigning ADCC champ Gordon Ryan. Since exploding onto the Jiu Jitsu scene a few years ago, he has become the best competitor in the sport today.
At 25 years old, he has done more than most elite grapplers have done in 20 years. Nearly every month, Ryan is somewhere in the world headlining a professional grappling show. Through his hard work, he has made well over a $1 million dollars from competitions.
Ryan is by far the most successful and wealthiest person competing in BJJ today. Being only 25, he can continue to stay on top of the sport for a very long time.
Joe Rogan(BJJ Practitioner/UFC Commentator)
Joe Rogan is probably the biggest spokesman for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the world. On top of being a successful comedian and UFC commentator, Rogan has been training Jiu Jitsu for over 20 years. He is a black belt under Jean Jaques Machado, as well as a 10th Planet black belt under Eddie Bravo.
He runs a very successful podcast – The Joe Rogan Experience. To top it all off, Rogan just inked an exclusive deal with Spotify for $100 million to air his podcast!
He was already one of the most successful and wealthiest people in BJJ and now even more so. Thanks to Rogan and his podcast, he has introduced BJJ to millions of people.
Eddie Bravo(Academy Owner)
The mastermind behind 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, Eddie Bravo is definitely one of the more successful people in BJJ. Since creating 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu it has exploded and now there are 10th Planet gyms all over the world.
Creating a highly successful BJJ academy isn’t the only thing Bravo has done in Jiu Jitsu. He was also the mind behind one of the best No GI tournaments in the world, the Eddie Bravo Invitational(EBI).
Also when he isn’t on the mats, he is the co-host of his own podcast The Skeptic Tank. Today is estimated net worth is between $1-$2 million dollars.
Andre Galvao(BJJ Competitor/Academy Owner)
Andre Galvao is one of the most decorated BJJ competitors in history of the sport and arguably one of the greatest of all time BJJ practitioners. He is a multi time world champion that has made around a million off of competing.
Galvao then used that money to open one of the most successful BJJ academies in the world with Atos BJJ. There have been multiple world champions that have come out of his academy like Josh Hinger and Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa.
There have been very few that have been more successful and wealthiest person in BJJ than Galvao . With his academy continuing to grow with multiple locations around the world, Andre is only going to become even more successful.
Marcelo Garcia(Ex Competitor/Academy Owner)
Considered by many as the GOAT of BJJ, Marcelo Garcia has created quite an empire since retiring from competition. Garcia created one of the best BJJ academies located in the heart of NYC.
After being considered the best grappler in the world, he is now among the best coaches in the world. He has thousands of students at his academy and thousands more travel to train with him. With an estimated net worth of around $1-$3 million, Garcia is among one of the most successful people in BJJ.
As BJJ continues to grow, so will the money in the sport. What was once a dream has now become a reality for many Jiu Jitsu athletes. With the popularity growing rapidly, there will only be more opportunities for BJJ practitioners to be successful and wealthiest people in the BJJ.