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Young students greeting their instructor outside a martial arts academy

How to Grow the Customer Base at Your Martial Arts Academy

By Lauren McAlister

October 25, 2022

You've successfully built a strong foundation of classes and students at your martial arts academy. 

Not only are you using marketing software to both attract and retain new students, but you're also hosting guest seminars, posting regularly on social media, and rewarding for referrals.  

You've got the basics down.  

But to continue building your business, you'll want to find fresh ways to attract entirely new student demographics.  

Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas:

Create a beginner series

Starting any new practice can be intimidating. So, alleviate hesitation and set beginners up for long-term success by welcoming them with a beginners-only series. 

Whether it’s a few weeks, a few months, or an ongoing offering, develop classes that help new students become familiar with martial arts terminology, proper form, warm-ups and drills, and class etiquette. You'll help those new to martial arts practice the basics, while also connecting with fellow new students. 

Give the rest of your academy the chance to sign up for these classes as well. That way, you can help even your most advanced martial artists (or instructors) refresh their knowledge of the oh-so-important foundations. It'll help build community across all levels, too.  

Offer an after-school program

It’s likely you have quite a few children coming to your academy already, so why not make it easier on busy and/or working parents with an after-school program?  

Whether that includes after-school pickup or not, parents will have confidence you’re taking care of their children in a safe, fun environment and encouraging healthy habits.  

Be sure the instructor(s) leading the program are engaging and good with young students. Depending on the program length, consider providing healthy snacks and an area for students to work on their homework quietly.  

Offer family classes or workshops

Turn family time into workout time, and get parents and kids practicing martial arts together with offerings for the entire family.  

Start with a workshop or a workshop series to gain interest, and progress into a regular class from there. 

To make the experience as fun and inclusive as possible for students, develop classes and/or workshops appropriate for all ages and experience levels.  

Host self-defense workshops

While self-defense workshops can be applicable to all genders, promoting this offering specifically to females encourages attendance of this demographic to your regular classes. Plus, it provides vital training to help prevent acts of violence and keep your community feeling safe.  

These are just a few simple ways to make your academy more welcoming to a broader customer base. Expanding your services to a more diverse audience is not only good for business, but it's also good for your community at large.  

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About the author:

Lauren McAlister

Lauren McAlister

Senior Marketing Content Specialist


Lauren is the co-owner of a fitness studio and a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP). Born and raised in California, Lauren has a heart for fitness, travel, and baking. She's also passionate about crafting meaningful content for others in the wellness space, which makes her role at Mindbody a perfect fit.


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