BJJ Survey Results (Part 2)
BJJ Survey Results (Part 4)

BJJ Survey Results (Part 3)

So, the BJJ survey is still going strong--with 200 additional people taking the survey since I started taking a look at the incoming data. To date, 720+ people from around the world have now taken the survey. As I have promised, I will release the final data set once I close the study (likely on August 1st). In the meantime, I will keep posting the results from the first 500+ participants (since that is a large enough sample to draw some preliminary conclusions and I don't want to have to keep updating my posts while the survey is still up and running). As of now, I have posted the results from the first section of the study--which focuses on basic demographic information (see here and here). In the next few posts (including this one), I will start posting the results from the second BJJ-specific section of the survey. While the answers to the open response questions will take a while to compile--with 500+ individual responses needing to manually be categorized for each of these questions--in this post, I will be presenting some of the other results from this section. I hope you find the data interesting!

 

How old where you when you started jiu jitsu?

Starting_Age

Answer

%

Count

0-10

0.98%

5

11-15

2.94%

15

16-20

16.67%

85

21-25

26.47%

135

26-30

21.96%

112

31-35

15.69%

80

36-40

9.41%

48

40+

5.88%

30

Total

100%

510

 

What is your current rank in jiu jitsu?

Current_Rank

Answer

%

Count

I do not hold a rank

2.76%

14

White belt

31.69%

161

Blue Belt

31.30%

159

Purple Belt

20.28%

103

Brown Belt

7.68%

39

Black Belt

6.30%

32

Total

100%

508

 

 How long have you been training jiu jitsu?

Time_Training

Answer

%

Count

0-2 years

33.66%

172

2-4 years

20.74%

106

4-6 years

16.05%

82

6-8 years

11.74%

60

8-10 years

7.44%

38

10-12 years

4.11%

21

12+ years

6.26%

32

Total

100%

511


How long did it take you to go from white belt to blue belt?

 

Answer

%

Count

0-2 years

41.07%

207

2-4 years

19.64%

99

4-6 years

3.57%

18

6-8 years

1.19%

6

8-10 years

0.40%

2

10-12 years

0.00%

0

12+ years

0.20%

1

I don't have my blue belt yet

33.93%

171

Total

100%

504


How long did it take you to go from blue belt to purple belt?

 

Answer

%

Count

0-2 years

11.00%

55

2-4 years

19.00%

95

4-6 years

3.80%

19

6-8 years

0.80%

4

8-10 years

0.20%

1

10-12 years

0.00%

0

12+ years

0.00%

0

I don't have my purple belt yet

65.20%

326

Total

100%

500

 

How long did it take you to go from purple belt to brown belt?

 

Answer

%

Count

0-2 years

3.25%

16

2-4 years

7.93%

39

4-6 years

2.03%

10

6-8 years

0.41%

2

8-10 years

0.00%

0

10-12 years

0.20%

1

12+ years

0.00%

0

I don't have my brown belt yet

86.18%

424

Total

100%

492

 

How long did it take you to go from brown belt to black belt?

 

Answer

%

Count

0-2 years

1.01%

5

2-4 years

4.06%

20

4-6 years

1.01%

5

6-8 years

0.20%

1

8-10 years

0.20%

1

10-12 years

0.00%

0

12+ years

0.00%

0

I don't have my black belt yet

93.51%

461

Total

100%

493

 

On average, how many times do you train per week?

Training_Frequency

Answer

%

Count

1-2 times

23.82%

121

3-4 times

53.35%

271

5-6 times

18.31%

93

7+ times

4.53%

23

Total

100%

508

 

Do you train both gi and no-gi?

[*This wasn't the best way to get at what I wanted. I wanted to see how many people train only in the gi, vs. only no-gi vs. both]

Gi_No-Gi

Answer

%

Count

Yes

72.21%

369

No

27.79%

142

Total

100%

511


Do you prefer training gi or no-gi?

[*Yet another bad question since it didn't allow people to say they like them both equally!]

Gi-No-gi_Preference

Answer

%

Count

Gi

72.18%

358

No-gi

27.82%

138

Total

100%

496


Does your academy focus on self-defense?

Self-Defense_Gym

Answer

%

Count

Self-defense is the primary focus

6.29%

32

Self-defense is one of several focuses

54.62%

278

Self-defense is not a focus at my academy

39.10%

199

Total

100%

509


Does your gym have a formal curriculum?

Curriculum

Answer

%

Count

Yes

43.20%

219

No

56.80%

288

Total

100%

507

 

Well, that's plenty of data for now! I am curious what you think. One thing I like about this data set is that is gives us a snapshot concerning how long it usually takes people to make it through the ranks (from white to black). You often hear that it takes 8-10 years, on average, to get your black belt. But this seems to be anecdotal at best. While this study is admittedly skewed towards American practitioners, with 500+ participants and a global participant pool, the responses to the progression questions sheds some light on how long it takes at each step of the way. It would be really nice to run a follow-up study in Brazil--to see whether it takes more or less time, on average, to progress through the ranks in Brazil--but I had to start somewhere! 

I am also especially interested in responses to the self-defense question. One thing you often hear is that modern jiu jitsu has moved too far away from its self-defense roots. A related claim is that this is a bad trend for jiu jitsu because most people come to the gym for the first time to learn how to defend themselves. If both of these claims are true, then the trend indeed bad for jiu jitsu. But are these claims true? Given that 40% of the participants train at gyms which do not focus on self-defense and only 6% train at gyms where self-defense is the main focus, it seems reasonable to think that sport jiu jitsu has overtaken Gracie jiu jitsu (which has self-defense as a major focus). What about the second claim--namely, that learning self-defense is the main reason people initially try jiu jitsu? I collected data on precisely this issue by asking people why they got into jiu jitsu!

Unfortunately, these answers were open response, so it will be a while before I have anything to share. For now, you'll have to stay tuned!

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

James No Gi

I love how you put in all the hard work to gather all this interesting data. I wonder why so many people would prefer training in gi rather than No Gi.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)