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I was reading an articles on kids doing mma in america and it stated an estimated 3 million kids participate in mma in America. I also notice how many American guys study and know bjj and to a lesser extent do mma.

How many people in America actually train bjj and also mma? What is the chance that I might encounter a bjj practitioner? What percentage of americans do bjj e.g. how does 1 in every 100 sound?


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2 Answers 2

The statistic I heard years ago was that 2 to 4 percent of the general population does some form of martial arts. I don't think that includes wrestling. This number was gleaned from marketing research aimed to help martial arts school owners.

Of that number, only a small fraction are doing BJJ or MMA. Though popular, they are dwarfed by arts like karate and TKD. I'd estimate that far fewer than 1 in a 100 people are familiar with BJJ at a blue belt level, and far fewer than even that have had an MMA fight.

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I would agree. Our federation is one of the larger TKD organizations in the US, and we have 300,000 students, of which I would guess 2/3 are actually actively training. – JohnP Nov 8 '13 at 21:28
While I am a long way from the American market, I would agree and speculate that the popularity of those arts will be directly linked to the various TV and sports shows featuring them at the moment. – slugster Nov 9 '13 at 1:33

About 2-3 % of the population here does Martial Arts according to statistics I have seen.

Most of them however, don't train often enough to be proficient. Many of the frat bro's that tell you that they do BJJ have come in for 2-3 classes one or two months and then tell everyone that they do BJJ or MMA. Or they train in their garage with their walmart ufc gloves and no actual instruction.

So perhaps 1-100 can do bjj/mma, but are they any good at it? A far smaller percentage than that. If you're no good at BJJ (or MMA) you will likely hinder yourself more than a person with no knowledge. Pulling guard in a streetfight is no good unless you know very quickly what you're doing.

source: teach MMA/BJJ

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