Fitness studios who want to expand their market base would do well to look hard at the martial arts and I don’t mean just fitness kickboxing. Programs like children’s martial arts, self-defense, and tai chi all attract markets that, for the most part, are not in the fitness studios.
Here is a key point. The more of a structured curriculum the program offers, the more the club can charge. Again, this is not fitness kickboxing. Most martial arts schools charge $149 and up per month.
Here are three martial arts markets for fitness studios.
1. Children’s Martial Arts.
This is 70% of the martial arts school student base so the market and interest are there. Parents appreciate that they can get their workout in while their kids are in martial arts class. Studio owners appreciate the additional traffic and revenue the program creates.
This is typically a progressive learning belt based program with the goal of earning a black belt in 3 - 5 years. Clubs will need a smart curriculum that allows multiple belt ranks in the same class to feel equally challenged as they progress.
Contact MATA for curriculum recommendations.
Charismatic, qualified instructor who loves kids and wants to see the program grow.
This will be your biggest expense. The key is to partner with the instructor for a percentage of the revenue that is created. The details of such an arrangement are beyond the scope of this more general article. But, if the interest is there, we will create that information for you. Just comment or Contact MATA.
a. The club should profit from uniform, belt, and sparring equipment sales.
b. Training pads are inexpensive and use little storage space.
c. Mirrors are usually already in place if a studio has an aerobics room.
This is a HUGE opportunity for studios. Learning to teach good, solid self-defense course doesn’t require a lot of time or money. You do not have to take martial arts classes either.
The club owner can learn to teach this class in a weekend.
While seminars like Bully Response Plan, Active Shooter Response Plan, Children’s Survival Camps, and Adult Self-Defense Boot Camps are easy to sprinkle throughout the year, it’s the 5- or 10-week comprehensive self-defense course that is the core of the program.
If properly promoted, this program will attract new people who are not already members of the club. One way to transition them into the club is to offer free training before and during the course. For instance, Sally enrolls two weeks before the self-defense course begins. Allow her to train at the club for the two weeks prior and during the length of the course. Then, as part of her Self-Defense Graduation, she gets a discounted incentive to join the club as a regular member.
Someone has to learn real self-defense and how to teach it to regular people. We have law enforcement based courses that work great for someone who wants to learn how to teach and market self-defense part time.
Every day in your community, there is media coverage of a violent crime. That means that every day, you have a good reason to contact the media. If there is a car jacking or home invasion, you can learn how to position yourself as an expert that the media will seek out to get a comment, analysis, and tips on how to deal with the crime.
Offering free or paid seminars for teachers, reporters, real-estate agents etc... are all great ways to create media interest. How about the kids that travel to third world countries as part of a church mission? Do you think they could use some self-defense training?
The opportunity is as big as your imagination.
You will want at least one full body set of protective equipment for the instructor. Head gear, forearm, ribs, and shin protector along with MMA style gloves. This is a combination of protection plus shock and awe for your students.
America is aging and tai chi is BOOMING.
Like the martial arts program, you’ll need to find a qualified teacher. The good news is that most part-time tai chi teachers are really into what they do holistically more than financially.
Same room as the martial arts. Mirrors help but are less necessary than in martial arts or self-defense.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment or Contact MATA.