Jiu-Jitsu is growing at a very fast pace all over the world. In almost every country, it is considered a middle to upper middle class sport (because of cat of training, cost of Gis, travelling to compete etc..), but there are also some very rich people that are involved in just training, competing or directly implicated in the growth of the sport.
Here is a list of rich to extremely rich BJJ people that are impacting our sport worldwide:
Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (United Arab Emirates)
Estimated net worth: 23 billion $.
The ruler of United Arabian Emirates owes much of his wealth to Abu Dhabi being the home of over 95% of oil deposits. His continued support and commitment to BJJ is admirable. He’s determined to make UAE a center for Jiu-Jitsu by designating it as the UAE’s national sport.
In this interview he explains the reason for him investing millions in the growth of Jiu-Jitsu worldwide (World Pro national pros in all continents and in his country). He noticed that his son’s attitude improved after training Jiu-Jitsu. That convinced him that if Jiu-Jitsu can change his son then it can change his whole country. He also says that he also trains Jiu-Jitsu.
Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (United Arab Emirates)
Estimated net worth: 998 Million $
One of the most influential non Gracies in Jiu-Jitsu today. He founded the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) and helped start up a multitude of training facilities in the UAE. You can read more about his jiu-jitsu journey here.
Sheikh Tariq Bin Faisal (United Arab Emirates)
Estimated net worth: 233 million $
Sheikh Tariq Bin Faisal has been a black bjj belt since 2014. The founder of Team Nogueira Dubai, Rafael Haubert credits Sheikh Tariq Bin Faisal with support and enough involvement that helped establish the club and shape it into an internationally recognized brand of UAE.
Robert Zeps (UK- USA)
Estimated net worth: Unclear
Robert Zeps is a cofounder of Metamoris that has since severed his ties with the ailing organisation. His ties to the jiu-jitsu community go much deeper than Metamoris. He is the owner of Studio 540 which is a non-affiliated jiu-jitsu school that hosts free seminars to expose students who otherwise couldn’t afford it to truly exceptional seminars. His company, ZEPS LLC has provided electrical engineering services for the last 15 years in many different locations around the world.
Ryron & Rener Gracie (USA)
Estimated net worth: 6 million$ a year
The talking heads behind the Gracie University empire are sure enjoying the fruits of the
lucrative online program. While they receive much flack in the community for some unsavory practices they have enough financial success to soften the blow. Rener just recently instagrammed this:
Yesterday, an article popped up in my newsfeed with my face on it along with a headline which suggested that mine and Ryron’s jiu-jitsu perpetuation efforts were negatively impacting the legacy of my predecessors. I was upset, and my initial reaction was to prepare a lengthy response to refute all of the myths and misconceptions about Gracie University (like the idea that GU students don’t actually get on the mat and train as much as anyone else), but when I logged on to Gracie University this morning, I noticed that new student enrollment was more than double the daily average. Over the last 48 hours, 174 new students, from 28 different countries, have began the jiu-jitsu journey with us (most of whom I tried to squeeze into the attached screenshot). Of the 174 new members, most are white belts located 100 miles or more from the nearest Certified Training Center, or any qualified academy, but have the discipline and motivation to find a group of training partners and learn like my grandfather did, through keen observation and lots of training, while using trial and error to pursue perfection. There are also a handful of blue and purple belts from non-Gracie Academies who will use their access to our linear curriculum to fill in the gaps and make sure they are learning the most important, but most neglected, aspects of jiu-jitsu. And then there are two black belts, whom I can only assume have enjoyed the journey thus far and may be skeptical about Gracie University’s effectiveness, but at least they have the courage and humility to log in and understand it before criticizing it. I was upset at first, but after reflecting on the situation I realize that the right thing to do is to send a small gift to each of our misinformed doubters. Thanks to them, 174 new students from around the world have embarked on the GU journey!
Guy Ritchie (UK)
Estimated Net worth: 100 million $
Guy Ritchie hasn’t been enjoying much of commercial success with his movies but that doesn’t stop him from supporting many BJJ events around UK. The Sherlock Holmes director made much of his money through cult hits such as Lock Stock and Two smoking barrels and Snatch. He is also a Renzo Gracie black belt since August of last year. While BJJ might be his personal obsession many of his characters have had a boxing background.
Mairbek Khasiev (Chechnya, Russia)
Estimated net worth: unclear
Mairbek Khasiev is the founder of Berkut BJJ. Berkut is a Chechen combat organization that promotes both BJJ and MMA. Khasiev is also the owner of ACB MMA league. Mairbek is an avid practitioner of BJJ who also earned a silver medal at the 2015 IBJJF Eropean Open at blue belt level. He has been since promoted to purple belt.
Carlos Gracie Jr (Brazil/USA)
Estimated net worth: unclear
Carlos Gracie Jr is the founder of the Gracie Barra organization (which includes over 500 schools) and the IBJJF. Much like Gracie University, this is a brand as well as a BJJ chain of schools. For acquiring the Gracie Barra marketing, training materials, web site work and monthly brainstorming sessions with strategic thinking you have to shell out more than just a little. While the standardized requirements for a promotion made the term McDojo be thrown around, it’s certain their strategies have endeared bjj to people that otherwise might not have dared to even try. IBJJF runs over 60 major tournaments all over the world every year.
Renzo Gracie (Brazil/USA)
Estimated net worth: unclear
Renzo Gracie is one member of the Gracie family none will ever accuse of being too soft. He is the father of the lineage that rules much of the competitive BJJ scene. It was Renzo that promoted John Danaher to black belt who would in turn further his teachings and make men such as Garry Tonon, Eddie Cummings and others.
He is the head instructor at the Renzo Gracie Academy in midtown Manhattan. Many well known BJJ and MMA fighters have been trained by Renzo, including BJJ black belts Rodrigo Gracie, former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre, former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra, BJJ World Champion Rafael “Gordinho” Correa, Paul Creighton, Alan Teo, former Middleweight King of Pancrase Ricardo Almeida, Sean Alvarez, Chris Weidman.
Renzo Gracie also has affiliate academies in the United States, Brazil, Peru, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and Israel.
Gracie has co-written two instructional books on jiu-jitsu; “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique” with his cousin Royler Gracie, and “Mastering Jujitsu” with training partner John Danaher. He has also been the personal jiu-jitsu teacher of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, since 1993.
Chatri Sityodtong (Thailand/Singapore)
Estimated net worth: 800 million $
Chatri Sityodtong is a self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur. He owns stakes in real estate, sports, retail, technology and media. He is also the owner of Evolve MMA/BJJ academies and is the Founder and Chairman of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest sports media property with a global broadcast to over 1 billion homes in 70+ countries. Chatri Sityodtong is also the Chairman of Indiabulls Properties Investment Trust, a Singapore-listed real estate investment trust company with S$1.5 billion in net assets. Indiabulls Properties Investment Trust is a holding company for Indiabulls Properties and Indiabulls Real Estate. He is the Founder and Chairman of Evolve University, Asia’s largest online university for martial arts. He is the Founder and Chairman of Evolve MMA, a chain of martial arts academies in Asia. Sityodtong also owns stakes in several companies in other industries.
Chatri Sityodtong is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and guest lecturer at INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools. Sityodtong is an advisor and mentor to the National University of Singapore Entrepreneurship Centre. He is also an advisor to the Singapore Management University Entrepreneurship Centre and is a regular guest speaker at SMU.
Ashton Kutcher (USA)
Estimated net worth: 140 million $
Former highest earning actor on television will be earning wealth of his past roles in days to come. TV Syndication rules will make sure that Mr Kutcher keeps growing his wealth. In his free time, Kutcher is an avid bjj practitioner under the guidance of Rigan Machado and his flow jiu jitsu that makes sure Ashton Kutcher’s face remains in its current condition. Kutcher has been a purple belt since 2014 and he made it there in very short time. Undoubtedly having constant privates with a coral belt cannot go unnoticed and his progress probably reflects his accomplishment as well as the financial freedom his lucrative career provided him with.
Anthony Bourdain (RIP- Passed away in 2018)
Estimated net worth: 7 million $
Bourdain has worked hard for his wealth starting with his graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978. He went on to run a number of restourants in NYC. His wide recognition and fame largely stem from his book published in 2000 “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly”. He has since led a number of television programs including Anthony Bourdain: No reservations on the Travel channel. He practices BJJ at the Renzo Gracie academy and recently scored a medal at the NY BJJ Open. You can frequently catch his wife in the company of the Renzo Gracie’s lineage, namely Garry Tonon, Eddie Cummings and John Danaher.
Jason Statham (UK/USA)
Estimated net worth: 30 million $
Jason Statham is known as the ultra manly guy from the Guy Ritchie movies and the Transporter triology. His deep voice and cutting jaw are just the added bonus. While he’s not exactly pretty he is the envy of many. You can read about his 14 year old BJJ journey here. It’s unclear whether he is still a purple belt or has he gone further.
Ed O’Neil (USA)
Estimated net worth: 45 million $
Ed O’Neil owes much of his fame and fortune to the tv syndication rules, much like the above mentioned Ashton Kutcher. The Modern Family actor was introduced to bjj by his friend writer/director John Milius and he has trained for 22 years under Rorion Gracie. He has been a black belt since 2007. HE even provided commentary for the Metamoris II event.
Keanu Reeves (Canada/USA)
Estimated net worth: 350 Million $
The Lebanese born Keanu owes much of his money to his repeated success with Hollywood blockbuster movies. He has been behind the humongous success of movies such as The Matrix, Speed and Point Break. Recently he was impressive on John Wick (you can learn one of the throws from the John Wick movie here). Mr Reeves claimed his white belt sometime in 2015.