100 Youth Students in Your Program

Section #1Why should you listen to me?


I remember staying up with my mother-in law in 1996 writing my business plan till the wee hours of morning, a memory I greatly cherish as she was a valuable mentor to me. I remember distinctly having conversations with her about things like creating a business that helps me to feel fulfilled and still helped me to create enough resources to care for myself and my family.


I wish I could go back in time and give myself more advice, advice that I have gleaned from lots of trial and error. With this in mind, I want to help you to create a business plan that can help you to create the school of your dreams.


The number 100 is what I will use to guide our thinking of developing your youth program simply because adding 100 students to your program could be life-changing for most school owners.


I believe that the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community is a growth market in the martial arts world.  Looking at around in the community,  the occurrence of BJJ tournaments, both locally and in the mainstream, is skyrocketing and at a rate far outpacing karate tournaments. At my school, we even have more youth competitors than we have adult competitors. Families are also far more active in searching out realistic self-defense choices for their kids. BJJ is a great fit for families looking to bully-proof their children, while giving them the skills to defend themselves effectively.

Section #2 Words of warning


Caution: If you are going to pursue the goal of adding youth students in your schedule, be ready to work hard, smart and consistently for five years. Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in five years.  This is a marathon not a sprint! If someone is selling you the “hustle, grind “ and in one year POOF you will have 100 new students.  While it could happen, for 99% of the people, a five year goal of adding 100 students is much more realistic.


Section #3 What does it look like


What would/could a schedule look like with 100 youth students?


We need to make a couple assumptions about your program.  

  1. You have the ability to teach full time.
  2. Most of your schedule for BJJ athletes occurs after 6:15 pm, when most adults could get to your program.
  3. You do half hour long Little Grappler (4 to 7 year old classes)  and 45min Junior BJJ (8 to 12 year old classes.
  4. First find out when the first elementary school lets out in your neighborhood.  Schedule one Lil Grappler Class right before that time where the school lets out.  You are hitting preschool age and kids who go to part time school with that first class.  Here is a sample schedule that may work for your school:3:45pm to 4:15pm  Little Grapplers(10 students max)4:15pm Class #2 Junior BJJ (20 students max)5pm to 530 Class #3 Little Grapplers (10 students max)

    530pm to 615 Class #4 Junior BJJ (20 students max)

    If you simply had this schedule and slot kids to either a Monday/Wednesday cycle and a Tuesday/Thursday Cycle you could easily have 100 to 120 students.

  5. Section #3 Speaking Parent

    This is not going to happen over night.  You need to create the processes where you go by developing students from people who inquire about your school.  One of the ideas that we highly recommend is that you do introductory lessons with potential new students (as opposed to just having them blend into your program).  When people blend in it’s hard to explain to families what exactly BJJ is and how it’s going to benefit their program.  As an aside, talking about the UFC and Jiu Jitsu role in its development is not going to excite a mother who is looking for an activity for their 8 year old daughter.  You must learn to speak “parent” and articulate the real value of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training for children.

    A critical link that many people miss is that no matter how many students you have you will always need new students coming in the door to maintain or grow your program.  You must become smart about marketing your program. A simple idea is to approach all your adult student’s and let them know about your youth program.  Be open to give away a cheap gi….not your best Shoyoroll, as a way of letting the students try out your program.  Let’s reverse that, if your have a good youth enrollment then strike up a conversation with moms and dads about how BJJ can help them lose weight manage stress etc.

    Regardless of how you do it, you must resign yourself to the fact that marketing your program will be necessary to grow it to the level you want.  Think monthly growth, if you grow your program by just 4 new students a month in a little more than two years you could be at youth students.  4 new students a month does not seem like a lot, however remember that you will be having students quit as well so you should always understand the power of Net New.  # of students who join in a month subtracted from the # of students who leave.

Section #3 Begin with the end in mind.


What do you want?  I am going to give you some clarifying questions for you to start.   Use this part of this report to make notes for yourself.  This will help you to get absolutely clear about what you need in your program.


How much do I want to make from my school, personally?


How many students do I want to have?


What are my strengths?


What are my weaknesses?


Section #4


Do you understand the processes of developing your youth enrollment?  Give yourself a grade from 1 to 10 on the following.  1 meaning you have not clue…..10 you are an expert.


Lead Generation


Introductory Lessons


Enrollment conferences


Mat Management


Teaching strategies for 4 to 7 year olds


Teaching strategies for 8 to 12 year olds

If you need some help please contact me at  I would love to chat with you about your program and some simple things you can do to increase your students count and the ease of instruction for all ages in your youth program.