I’ve written about sponsorships in Jiu Jitsu before in Modern Sponsorships but I feel that this is a topic that a lot of people in the Jiu Jitsu community are really interested in.
Not only is it a popular topic but as Jiu Jitsu continues to grow there will be a need for more professionalism throughout the entire sport.
When young athletes approach me for tips on how to land a sponsor the first thing I ask them is if they have a Jiu Jitsu resume. Usually they have no clue what I’m talking about, so I have to explain what a Jiu Jitsu resume is and why they need one.
You don’t need a Jiu Jitsu resume to land a sponsor but it will definitely help in the long run.
What’s is a Jiu Jitsu resume?
In its simplest form, it is a recording of your competition success over time and has a number of other uses.
Unlike a traditional resume, where employees create a resume in order to secure employment. Jiu Jitsu resumes work a little bit differently. While they can be used to obtain teaching and other martial art business positions, they are more flexible and useful.
Have you ever seen a flyer or image for a seminar listing the instructor’s main accomplishments?
Yeah, that’s another example of a Jiu Jitsu resume.
In the past, the tournament record keeping was not as cutting edge as the tournaments today where they keep track of your performance and rank you amongst your peers by the use of point systems.
Even now, there really is no way as of yet to aggregate all of the results from every tournament. Although websites like BJJ Heroes does make a good attempt at keeping track of the major tournaments results and the black belt athletes that participate in them. But the performance of lower belt athletes and competitions outside of the major tournaments are not accounted for often.
So that means that it will be up to you to keep track of your own records. Luckily it’s pretty easy.
Who needs a Jiu Jitsu Resume?
You would think that only aspiring and professional Jiu Jitsu athletes would need a Jiu Jitsu resume, but I believe that everyone should have a one.
If you are competing you will need to have a Jiu Jitsu resume.
If you have plans of teaching Jiu Jitsu or applying to positions looking for instructors you will need a Jiu Jitsu resume.
It’s as simple as that.
No only does it serve as a record of your past success. It’s also a valuable tool in showing yourself off as a great candidate for sponsorship, employment, etc. Especially, for younger athletes just entering the scene.
If you haven’t quite had the chance to make your name known. Having a Jiu Jitsu resume will be a great first introduction to showcase your skills and talents.
And as you progress, and get to the point that you are doing seminars. You will need that Jiu Jitsu resume to help promote and market yourself. People might not know who you are at first, but they will know the significance of many of the tournaments that you hopefully won or placed in. Even guys that have won multiple world titles still list their accomplishments. So it’s best to keep an accurate account of everything that you’ve done.
Even if your goals don’t include having a sponsor or doing seminars. Having a Jiu Jitsu resume is a good idea because it not only serves as a measure of the success that you’ve had overtime but also your progress.
I don’t look at my own Jiu Jitsu resume often, but when I do I’m able to look back in time to see my progress from a white belt competing in my local NAGA teen division all the way to my current achievements in the black belt division in many tournaments around the world.
Why do you need one?
I mentioned it before in the above section but a Jiu Jitsu resume is not just a resume. It has many uses:
- Marketing Seminars
- Landing Sponsors
- Applying for Jiu Jitsu Teaching Positions
- Record of your Tournament Success
How to set one up?
There are two main types of Jiu Jitsu resumes. One simple and easy to put together, and the second which is a lot more detailed.
The simple Jiu Jitsu Resume is just that. It chronologically list your tournament wins from least current to current.
The basic layout of the simple Jiu Jitsu resume lists the tournament name, belt division, weight class, and placement of all the tournaments that you have competed in to date.
I’ve seen a few different layouts, but the most common and the one that I use list the name of the tournament or if it’s a part of a larger organization, I will list the name of the organization first and then the specific tournament name.
Ex. IBJJF Pan Championship versus Pan Championship
After you’ve listed the tournament name, next up is listing your belt division. This is an important part that many athletes purposely leave off in order to make themselves look better but can come off as a red flag for anyone with any knowledge of the tournament circuit.
For example listing that you are a Pan champion while if true, is not as prestigious when you did so in the white belt division. I even suggest that black belts should list out their belt divisions so that there are no questions. This also serves to spotlight anyone who just mentions the tournament but not which division that they placed in, and automatically makes me want to look deeper into their background.
The weight class is pretty self explanatory. Most tournaments use predefined names for their weight classes such as feather weight, light weight, ultra heavyweight, etc. While others will just list out the weight in kilograms or less commonly pounds.
Only list tournaments that you’ve placed in. Some athletes will only list whether they were the champion or vice-champion, but I usually stick to the traditional 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place numbering convention.
I would also include any tournaments outside of adult level divisions. So if you’ve placed in a masters or juvenile division it is better to be more detailed in your listing than to leave anything to the imagination. Again, any discrepancies in your Jiu Jitsu resume can come off as a red flag and could potentially keep you from getting sponsored or landing that highly valued teaching position.
I can’t stress enough how important it is that your Jiu Jitsu resume is an accurate representation of yourself and your success. Only include tournaments that you’ve placed in and exactly in which divisions. Anything outside of that can come off as suspicious and is not good if you are going around teaching seminars or applying for instructor positions where you will be responsible for an academy and it’s students.
You see this happen a lot with those fake black belts that pop up ever so often. You might be able to fool a few unsuspecting students and even instructors, but eventually you will get found out. That is one thing that I really like about Jiu Jitsu. If someone comes off as sketchy or can’t support their claims as far as their lineage, who they trained under, the tournaments that they supposedly won. You can be sure that someone will notice and let it be known throughout the Jiu Jitsu community.
Keep it updated
Once you have the base format and all of your updated tournament information listed in a google document or a word doc all the hard work is done. Any new tournaments can be added at your leisure or whenever it pops in your head. In fact, I probably open my Jiu Jitsu resume 2-3 times a year to update it. Which only takes a few minutes.
I think the hardest part will be listing earlier tournaments and making sure that you don’t overlook anything. Especially if you’ve been competing for a long time but haven’t kept any records. That might take some investigating on your part.
A detailed Jiu Jitsu resume will probably only be useful for those looking to apply for Jiu Jitsu instructor positions. In this regard it is very similar to a traditional resume in the U.S.
It’s focus is less about your competition success, although I would include any major titles. It’s more about your teaching experience and other credentials.
I believe everyone should have a Jiu Jitsu resume if you plan on competing, getting sponsored or teaching Jiu Jitsu.
Not only will it serve as a great introduction as to who you are and what you’ve done, but it will also allow you to keep track of your progress and show where you came from. Because no one else will do it for you.
P.S. If you would like to learn more about Jiu Jitsu resumes and other important topics concerning Jiu Jitsu athletes please join my weekly email newsletter for more up to date information.