Craig Jones has recently given some invaluable advice to the hundreds of young athletes around the world who dream of training and competing as a grappler full-time and earning a living from it. As he explains, simply winning isn’t anywhere near enough even if you do it on the biggest stages available. There are plenty of grapplers out there who’ve managed to win an IBJJF world championship or even an ADCC world championship and still struggle to pay their bills through the sport. That’s not to mention the hundreds of competitors who never quite make it to the top of the mountain, but still have to put in thousands of hours of hard work to get there in the first place.
In fact, Craig Jones is actually a great example of that as a grappler who’s crowning achievement so far has been a silver medal at the ADCC world championships 2019. Regardless of the fact that he’s never won a world championship, it should be pretty clear to all that he makes more than a fair amount of athletes that have. A lot of that is down to the advice that Jones gives here, which is to really learn how to market yourself. Given that Jones recently got the invite to become the grappling coach on a season of The Ultimate Fighter, he clearly makes the absolute most of that advice and uses it to great effect.
At the end of the day, you are your brand. By engaging with your fanbase and creating an image of yourself that people actually want to learn from and buy products from, you can earn a living in the sport almost regardless of competitive success (obviously some success is necessary of course). Not only this, but Jones is a master of creating alternative revenue streams as well, including his recent foray into OnlyFans which is no doubt helping to pay the bills.
The below video is an excerpt from the BJJ Fanatics podcast which was uploaded to the official YouTube channel for BJJ Fanatics:
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