How Much Does It Cost To Get Started In Judo?

How much does judo cost?

Judo can be a fun and beneficial way to learn self-defense and get some exercise. In addition, judo is also a competitive sport that is recognized across the globe. One thing that might hold you back from joining, however, is the worry of how much judo might cost. You might be wondering how much judo classes cost as well as the cost of the gear you might need as well.

Most privately owned judo dojos charge around 100-200 dollars per month in the United States. The price often depends on where you are in the country and the number of classes taught per week. You will also need to purchase a judogi that might cost an extra 50-200 dollars. 

You might be able to find cheaper classes at a rec center or somewhere else. That said, judo classes taught at rec centers for cheaper prices are usually not as high quality. Though this is not always true, you are probably better off going to a school with a good reputation.

Though I do understand that throwing down 100-200 dollars a month might not be in your budget. If you are simply wanting to get some exercise and practice judo once or twice per week then you might find a place to learn that is cheaper. Judo at rec centers are sometimes taught by great teachers but often only of few times per week at most.

How Much Do Judo Classes Cost?

The highest expense you will need to worry about in judo is how much you are paying for classes. That said, I have seen judo clubs and dojos charge anywhere from 40-200 dollars per month. Of course, there is a big difference between these numbers so it might be hard to know whether it is a rip-off or not.

The biggest reason for the large price differences between judo clubs is location. Someone running a judo club in the middle of New York City is going to have to charge more than someone in the middle of nowhere Idaho. That said, the person operating out of a big city is oftentimes looking for more competitive students to train as well.

Naturally, places like New York and Los Angeles attract high-level judokas looking to train the next generation of Olympians. So not only is rent higher but often the quality of instruction as well. So if you live in a bigger city you should expect to pay around $150 or more per month for judo classes.

This is not to say that there you cannot find a great judo sensei in a small town but it is certainly less likely. To be honest, if you live in a small town in the United States you should consider yourself lucky if there even is a judo club in your area. I live in a relatively big city that only has one real judo club that trains more than a few days per week.

You might be able to find cheaper classes at a YMCA or rec center. The problem is however that it might not be as high quality and they will likely only train once or twice per week. Though this is better than nothing it is not enough if you are looking to be a competitive judoka.

What If You Can’t Afford Judo Classes?

Many people are having enough trouble paying their rent let alone paying an extra $100-200 per month on judo classes. That said, if you really want to make it happen I bet you can find a way. If classes cost $150 per month then that equates to about $5 per day.

If you are currently spending more than $5 per day on say coffee, tobacco, alcohol, or even going out to lunch every day then there are probably some areas you could sacrifice to pay for judo classes. This is really killing two birds with one stone if it helps you kick a bad habit.

Another thing you could do is find a way to make a little extra each month. Maybe you work some extra shifts or get a side hustle. I know this is a lot to do for judo but the people who are serious about it will find a way.

Lastly, you could simply ask your Sensei if there is anything you can do to get a discounted price or free classes. Maybe you could offer to clean the mats each evening after class at a discounted price. Or maybe you have skills to offer that they are lacking. Perhaps you are young and tech-savvy and notice that the dojo is lacking a website or social media presence.

From my experience, this seems to be the case for more judo clubs than not. Perhaps you could offer to run their Instagram and Facebook accounts for free classes every month. The truth is that if you put your mind to it I bet you will find a way to pay for judo classes.

How Much Does A Judogi Cost?

Another cost you will need to consider is the cost of a judogi. Though some judogis might cost a fair bit of money it is a fee that you will only need to worry about once you have worn a gi out. A good gi should last you a few years at the very least. But how much does a judo gi cost?

A good gi like the Fuji Double Weave Judo Gi will cost you around $100. Most judogis will go for anywhere between $50 all the way up to $300. You do need to consider quality however as a low-quality judogi will wear very fast. 

Though you can get started with just one gi, it is probably a good idea to have a few high-quality gis. This way you are always coming into class with a clean gi. This is important, as bad hygiene in gyms can spread skin infections like ringworm and staff. So protect yourself and your team by wearing a clean gi to every class.

Thankfully a good judogi will last you for quite some time. Just make sure to take good care of your gi and it should last a long time. Make sure that you properly wash your judogi and avoid using high heat when washing. For a full guide check out my article: How to wash a judogi?

Other Judo Cost

There can be some additional cost on top of the monthly fees and judogi. That said, these two things will are really what you need to get started. You might however have some additional costs especially if you want to compete. The cost of competition can certainly add up.

Most tournaments are going to have an entry fee that might cost $30 at the very least. But you also have to consider the travel costs as well. This could be flights, gas, eating out, hotel rooms, etc. This is, of course, depending on the level of competition you are competing at.

You might also choose to take up private lessons that typically cost anywhere from $50-200 per lesson as well. Though this of course is not necessary. However, it could help you to develop your skills faster or prepare you for competition. Some people will also choose to spend money on judo digital programs to help them develop their skills at home as well.

That said, all of these costs are optional and not necessary to begin your judo journey. They can, however, help you to advance much faster and help you in testing your skills.

In Summary

So how much does judo cost?  The average monthly cost at a judo club will is about $100-200 depending on a few factors. Where you live and how often you plan on attending class can make a big difference. You will also want to purchase a few judogis that cost anywhere from $50-300 depending on quality.

Personally, I would go for a double weave gi around the $100 price point. These two things are going to be the biggest expenses for many people. If you compete then you need to be prepared to spend some money on tournament fees and travel costs as well. All in all, judo is not cheap but if you really love it then there are ways to make it work.

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