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Complementary class at a martial arts academy

Why Your Martial Arts Business Should Offer Complementary Classes

By Lauren McAlister

May 22, 2023

Martial arts enthusiasts know what it means to be well-rounded. Training sessions are demanding, and students need strength, stamina, and flexibility to progress. In many ways, running a business is the same. Business owners often need to dig deep and stretch themselves to be successful. In recent years, this is especially true.

Today, your martial arts business is (hopefully) moving from maintenance mode to growth mode. If so, you’re probably asking yourself: How can I continue to attract new students to my school? Differentiate my services? Serve my existing community better?

One possible answer to all the above: Offer complementary fitness classes. Let’s talk through why.

Variety improves performance and retention

Adding variety to your schedule in the form of yoga, Pilates, or functional training (just to name a few) helps your students become more resilient and balanced athletes (remember how important it is to be well-rounded?). Cross training improves performance, reduces injury, and increases motivation. In turn, this improves retention, too.

Looking for even more ideas to keep your students motivated? Check out this list.

A balanced schedule is an attractive one

Offering additional class types not only helps retain existing students but attracts new ones, as well. In fact, recent Mindbody research found that a strong majority of people prefer a fitness business with a variety of workouts available.

For example, let's say a prospective student is looking for karate classes. They search for “karate classes near me,” click to your website, and see that you also offer yoga classes throughout the week. Instead of paying for a yoga membership somewhere else, they can come to your business for both. It’s convenient for them and revenue-generating for you—win-win.

Alternatively, another prospective member is looking for functional fitness. They find your business, try out a class, and become a regular. After a few months, they decide they want to add to their routine. They know you offer martial arts classes, so they decide to give them a try. Boom—you now have a brand devotee.

So you’re ready to add to your schedule?

Your students and bottom line will thank you. Here are a few best practices to get started:

  • Talk to your community. Your current students know your offering best, and they’ll be happy to share feedback on new ideas. Send a survey or connect in-person to gauge interest and ask what additional class types they'd like to see on your schedule.

  • Start with a workshop. Before you fully commit, offer a workshop or two to test out new modalities. Thinking about adding a mobility class to your regular offering? Host a mobility workshop first. If it’s successful, add it to your schedule once a week or a few times a month. If not, try something else.

    • Pro tip: Offer a day-of discount on class packs and memberships for those ready to sign up for your new classes. Use email and text automation to follow up with—and hopefully convert—anyone who might be dragging their feet.

  • Get the word out. Make sure you have the marketing tools you need to promote your additional offerings. With Marketing Suite, it’s easy to reach new customers and keep them coming back with easy-to-use templates, automated email campaigns, last-minute deals, and more.

  • Use ClassPass to fill spots and boost revenue. As you continue to add to your schedule, ClassPass can help. ClassPass helps businesses fill class spots and attract new customers—with no extra effort or additional cost. Here’s how to determine if it's right for your fitness business.

  • Connect with like-minded business owners. Want advice from other martial arts businesses that have had success adding complementary classes? The Mindbody One community is full of business owners with great ideas and tips to share. Start there if you need help diversifying your schedule. 

Adding to your schedule may be just the competitive edge you need to attract and retain more students and grow your bottom line. As with anything new in your business, though, remember: It’s a process. Be thoughtful in your approach and flexible if you need to pivot. You got this.

Ready to level up your martial arts business with Mindbody?

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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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