martial arts franchise

Is a Martial Arts Franchise a Good Fit for You?

Fitness franchises have been a hot topic in the franchise industry for several years and numerous reasons, including the lower start-up costs, low overhead, minimal employee requirement, and of course, the semi-absentee business model. 

While much of my focus has been on the increasing popularity of fitness boutiques, one fitness model dedicated to character development and childhood fitness is in the midst of a $4 billion boom.

Martial arts franchises, businesses that teach families self-defense and combat techniques, are popping up in high-traffic strip malls throughout the country, as parents look for ways to keep their kids active and safe while teaching them discipline and character.

With investment ranges in the low six-figures and liquid capital requirements of less than $100,000, aspiring franchise owners are seriously looking at martial arts franchises as a realistic way to build a franchise empire while working only 10–20 hours per week on their business.

If you’re not familiar, martial arts franchises fall into the semi-absentee franchise model, meaning you only need to invest 10–20 hours per week working on your business; not 40 or more hours working in your business. Like most fitness franchises, a martial arts franchise requires only a small number of employees (one or two in most cases) so the owners can handle things at the CEO level.

Here are several more reasons to consider a martial arts franchise, including actual verbiage from one popular franchise system.

Business Features

Martial arts studios have developed a business model that has several competitive advantages:

  • Small footprint of 1,200 – 1,600 square feet.
  • Minimal staff of one or two instructors per location.
  • Low overhead.
  • Primary hours are Monday to Thursday, with minimal weekend hours
  • Documented systems and processes for every aspect of the business.
  • Digital marketing program and lead generation systems.
  • Regular continuing education training events for franchisees at the home office and regionally, that allow franchisees to gain more knowledge on classroom curriculum and building sales.
  • We oversee real estate and construction management.

Function of the owner/daily tasks

If the owner is running the school every day, they will review new leads in the software program, confirm appointments, oversee marketing and results, review owner FB page, oversee general business needs, manage KPI’s.

If they are a semi-absentee owner, they will spend 10+ hours a week reviewing key financial metrics, checking in with the manager, and ensuring there are no customer service issues.

Desired background of prospects and Ideal candidate

  • Business experience, with a passion for character development.
  • People with a passion for health, fitness, self-defense and/or character development.
  • Current franchise owners with other models that are either health and fitness-related or child development related.

Think you would be a good fit or this opportunity or one of the other franchise systems I work with? Give me a call at 919.846.7111, email me at or schedule a quick, 15-minute introductory call with me by clicking the button below.

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