Recently, we caught up with Jiu Jitsu pro, Benji Silva, to talk about the business of Mixed Martial Arts. Besides his many years of experience in the sport himself, he also trains athletes in his own studio, True MVMT, out of Palo Alto, California. Take a look at what he has to say about both the competitive and business sides of MMA.
A: Some advice I would give to anyone looking to open a MMA gym is:
A: The best route for an MMA gym is to focus on the main core elements of the sport which are Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, boxing and wrestling. Any extra classes of other martial arts is ok but I find it not needed & overwhelming if there’s too many options to pick from. Less is definitely more when it comes to this sport, because you need to become well rounded at the core aspects of MMA first.
A: True MVMT offers Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing. The rest of the gym is strength and conditioning for personal training and small group privates. When we move into our new big warehouse we will be offering Jiu Jitsu, kickboxing, wrestling, yoga, and strength & conditioning classes.
A: The biggest challenge for me so far has mostly been the demand for more classes but unfortunately due to the gym size, it’s hard to share the space during another trainers’ personal training session with a full class in a smaller size gym. It will be way easier to do both once we are moved into the new big space.
A: Some of the key points why a gym management software like Wodify would be beneficial in a MMA gym are, having the ability to cap the size of classes so coaches don’t get overwhelmed with a class size of 50+ people. You can track students progress on how many times they have come to class, so when belt promotions come around and a student doesn’t get promoted they can’t be upset if they only come 1-2 times a month. It gives the coaching staff transparency on who really has been putting in the time to learn the curriculum. Having something like this will help keep members from being discouraged and improve retention, and often it will increase their will to come in more often so they can get promoted, etc.
A: Jiu Jitsu and MMA have taught me to be self-sufficient, humble, have perseverance, confidence, and how to actually work hard for something I truly want in life. It has completely changed me into becoming a better coach, public speaker, family member, boyfriend and friend.
I became a personal trainer because I was in the Palo Alto newspaper with a 3 page article for my upcoming MMA fight in San Francisco. That article made a manager of a high end boutique style gym in downtown facebook message me after reading it to come in for an interview for possibly teaching his kickboxing program. Fast forward in time, I ended up working there for 13, almost 14, years and was able to establish myself with becoming a great athletic trainer besides being a pro athlete. None of that would have happened if I never started training MMA in the first place. It helped me find my passion on and off the mat. It helped me wake up everyday happy to be able to do what I love for a living.
Visit our website here to learn more about how Wodify Core can help take your MMA business to the next level.