How many people train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) in the UK? Final Part

This question was posted by my good friend (and partner in crime!) Seymour Yang of the Meerkatsu fame. He tells me he has a guess but wanted me to devise a mathematical model to calculate a better guestimate. Not because I'm smart, but because I study statistics.

It took me a while to come up with the model but I like what it has come to:

"There is a ratio between how many purple belts and blue belts train at a BJJ club and how many white belts train at least once a week and I believe that, within a certain margin of error, that ratio is true for the majority of clubs"

I asked and the UK BJJ community replied (well, 30 clubs did which is a sample more than big enough).

I took the values and created a ratio that helped me workout the spread of BJJ players in different BJJ academies in the UK. Of course there are academies that have much bigger numbers, and there are ones with smaller, but it all kind of evens out to a ratio (or two) that lead to a total figure (or two)

The figures that came out of this are.....drum roll.....are you ready?

The range of values I arrived at was from a minimum of 2,048 to a maximum of 3,206 practitioners.

The average was 2,571 and the median value (one closest to the middle of the range) was 2,627.

A bit of nerdy info:

Max % of UK population who train BJJ at least once per week: 0.005343333
Min % of UK population who train BJJ at least once per week:: 0.003413333

Spot the odd one out :)

So, so small. To put it differently, out of every 100,000 people randomly selected in the UK you should meet no more than 3-5 people who do BJJ once per week.

Count yourself lucky that you have stumbled upon this wonderful art.
As promised, here is my heart-felt thank you to the academies that took the time and effort to reply to my query:

The Tokon Academy (Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire)

Team Fulinkazan/ Combat base Bradford

Alliance Derby

Poole BJJ

Sheffield Martial Arts Centre

Roger Gracie Academy Bucks

Aspinall BJJ


Alliance BJJ Brighton

Blue Wave Martial Arts

The MMA Clinic

Mill Hill BJJ

Musubi Martial Arts

Combat Base Bolton

Ng Gar Tien Combat Base

KP Martial Arts

Gracie Barra Bristol

Rickson UK

Factory BJJ

BJJ Labs - Fighting Fit

Combat Base HeadQ

Stealth BJJ Manchester

BJJ School

Gracie Barra Birmingham

London Fight Factory

Arlans Siqueira BJJ

Novagen BJJ


Dartford BJJ 

Basingstoke SMA

Thank you all for helping my humble research.

I would also like to thank Seymour for the idea, EFN Forum for providing the list of BJJ colour belts and of course Can "Slideyfoot" Sönmez for going through the effort of creating his famous BJJ UK Map.


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Meerkatsu said...

And the award for most educated blogger post goes to..Liam Wandi... yeeeeah!

Thanks for your expertise bro. Your final figure, which may be quite a conservative estimate, is pretty close to my best guess, so the real figure must lie there or thereabouts.

Liam H Wandi said...

Yeay!! Thanks Seymour.

What was a revelation was how hard it is to get information from jiu jitsu academies! Obviously, several jumped at the opportunity to help and I'm sure not all the emails are correct and active but maaaan!

Can't wait for our next challenge amigo dorito! :)

Omar said...

Thanks Liam, Goes to show how much work you put in to your blog. Thanks

Liam H Wandi said...

Many thank Omar for the kind words!

Anonymous said...

Don't you mean "out of every 100000 people you should meet 3-5 who do BJJ", not out of every 1000 people? UK population is about 60 million, and you have 2000 people doing BJJ, so about 1/30000 do it. So, it's really rare.

A.D. McClish said...

I wonder how UK gym numbers compare to US numbers. I think you should come here to investigate, starting in Florida. ;)

Liam H Wandi said...

Can't wait!! :)

Liam H Wandi said...

Well spotted Anonymous! thanks.

danielazevedojiujitsu said...

Do you guys know if there any similar study for the US? I'd really love to see some numbers on how many bjj practitioners are there in the US.

And, excelent job.

Liam H Wandi said...

Thank you very much for the kind words. I would be very happy to assist in a study but it'd be very difficult.

It'd be much better to d a state-by-state study though :) keep it small and manageable :)

manny_fresh said...

I actually need an idea for the amount of potential grapplers in the state of California for a marketing research paper I am doing! Can you please give me an idea how to calculate this? Please...did I mentions please? Thaks so much.

manny_fresh said...

I actually need a estimate of potential grapplers for the State of California for a marketing paper I am writing! Can you take a second (off the mats...I know its tough!) to show me how to calculate the ratio for my State please? This would help do much!

Liam H Wandi said...

Hi Manny-Fresh. Many thanks for reading and commenting on the blog and, naturally, I would love to give you a helping hand. Use the envelope on the blog to drop me a line and we will take it from there. How exciting!!