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?



3 Answers 3


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.

  • 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, 2013 at 21:28
  • 1
    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, 2013 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


First of all, what is considered in America to be "Brazilian jiujitsu" is a false claim. Gracies, have started the "Gracie jiujitsu" are actually formally trained in judo kodokan only. Helio Gracie was a 6th dan in judo, at his peek. I forget what rank his older brother was, but he also was trained in judo only. In Brazil there is no BJJ or Brazilian jiujitsu, and that is an American invention. If Brazilians would claim jiujitsu as brazilian it would be "jiujjitsu Braziliero" or "jjb".

Second MMA is not a sport but a term used to describe athletes that compete and train in multiple sorts, but are not restricted to any specific combination. A karateka-judoka, boxer-wrestler or boxer-karateka, and judoka-wrestler are qualified to be described as MMA fighters, and does not have to be only striking and grappling combinations. There is no MMA manual, or single technique that can be claimed as MMA technique. Any gym that claims to teach MMA is actually teaching some striking sport and some grappling sport. If we exclude false claims, people that quit before they reach any rankings, people that never compete, people that spar with friends in the back yard or fight on the street once every 6 months, and people that cant grasp the concepts at all, we are left with a small number of actual people that do train in Gracie jiujitsu long enough to reach even blue belt rank, and even less actual MMA athletes. However there is a large number of real practitioners, that do not claim to be MMA fighters but according to definition they practice mostly one martial art and reach expert level then cross train in another just for good measure, and qualify to be labeled as MMA fighters.

  • 3
    This reads like a rant and doesn't answer the question.
    – Mike P
    Jan 19, 2016 at 12:25
  • Brazilian jujitsu is considered sufficiently different from Kodokan Judo for the International Judo Federation to forbid elite judo athletes from competing in BJJ.
    – mattm
    Jan 19, 2016 at 18:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.