A quick rant…..
At one point, martial arts schools were the fastest growing business in the United States. People decided to follow their dreams and used their life savings to open their school. Unfortunately, between 2009 and today, the martial arts industry has shrunk an astounding 50%. Half the schools that were open in 2009 have now shut their doors!
WHY? That’s the million dollar (in debt) question, isn’t it? Let’s take a look at an industry survey from one of the major martial arts business consulting organizations. I found the results both interesting and quite revealing.
Questions from the survey
How many active students do you teach?
0–200 students (75%)
The vast majority of respondents still have fewer than 200 students. You can read this a lot of ways. One positive, the industry clearly has room for growth. But watch when I pull up the next question!
What percentage of your students are children and ADULTS?
50% of their total active students are children. (83%)
30% or less of their total active students are adults. (57%)
This survey tells us that 83% of the schools in this study, and many are the “big earners” and the owners on the cutting edge of the industry, have less than 100 adults students. More than half have 60 adults or LESS!
The traditional martial arts industry model, which has been force fed down the throats of everyone who has ever owned a martial arts school and wanted to make it into a real business, has NEVER addressed the needs of an adult market! What is worse, the adult market is becoming even LESS interested in the traditional “add-ons”. That is, they are increasingly rejecting mysticism and elitism.
If you know me, you know that in my school EVERY SINGLE STUDENT IS AN ADULT. I do not teach anyone under the age of 16. My school has no uniforms, no belts, no kata, no one step sparring, no black belt clubs, no “SWAT” teams, NONE of the things the industry has been shoving down your throat for years.
You should also know that I offer one of the hardest workouts there is. People have puked during the warm up, even a few walked out. I don’t “water down” anything I do. And I strongly believe that most of my clients love my school precisely because I challenge them AND because they see RESULTS.
– ” I lost 38lbs in 5 months and it was purely down to this.”
– “Before going to Ny San Da, I was 230 lbs, and now im about 204 and lossing.”
– “Before I started at NY San Da I would get out of breath climbing the stairs from the subway. After just a few months of regular workouts I was able to breathe easily even when doing intense cardio work.”
– ” I have lost 40 pounds in the last year and a half.”
All real students who shared these on my facebook group.