MATA Annual Martial Arts School Business Report: 2015: Where Did 13,014 Martial Arts Schools Go?

martial arts business statistics

Martial Arts Business Statistics: Number of Active Schools in the USA

Martial arts business research is hard to come by. We’re a small field of private, mom and pop businesses. Still, we make an effort to provide consistent information based on the resources available.

In 2013, we reported that according to, there were 20,234 businesses under Karate & Other Martial Arts Instruction (7999-44) and Martial Arts Instruction (7999-45.) Today, that number is down to 15,896 schools.

Where did 13,014 schools go?

In 2013 there were 20,234 schools.

In January 2016 there were 15,896 schools

The difference is 4,338 schools. 

It stands to reason that at least that many new schools open each year. That’s just 87 schools per state. Odds are, more are opened each year, but let’s just use that as a base.

If 4,338 schools opened in 2014 and 2015 that would add 8,676 to the 20,234 in 2013 giving us 28,910 schools to start 2016 with. That is of course if the martial arts business had 100% retention.

20,234 schools in 2013

+ 4,338 in 2014

+ 4,338 in 2015

= 28,910 potential total schools to start 2016.

The actual number for 2016 was 15,896.

The difference is an estimated 13,014 missing schools.

Mind you, since you are still in business, the drop off in competitors is not keeping you up at night. Still, it’s our business to ask why is the number of schools declining so rapidly?

Read what we think on

Based on the numbers, the martial arts school business is declining at a serious rate. 15,896 schools still open out of a potential 28,910, represents 54% of active schools in the past three years.

If we were to go back to the 1990s, we did research reports that showed that, in the hottest markets, there were never much more than 20,000 schools in the USA.

We are doing some investigating and will have more information for you as we uncover it, but in the meantime, please comment below on why you think that the number of martial arts schools has declined so much in just two years.

If you have information or suggested martial arts business research sources, please let us know about them so we can share the information with the martial arts school business community.

Please comment below.