The Cost of Martial Arts Training
Nationwide, the average rate at a professional school is between $150 and $225 monthly. Of course, costs depend upon the cost of living in your area. Expect to pay closer to $300 in areas like Manhattan. Here in Northville, Novi and Plymouth costs typically fall right in the middle.
This may surprise you: one of the biggest warning signs in martial arts is that the tuition is too low.
Running a martial arts school is more expensive than you may think. Leasing enough floor space, paying staff, and covering insurance costs make for a pretty high monthly nut. It is nearly impossible to make it charging less than $150/mo.
So if a school’s tuition is too cheap, lookout. They may be hitting you with hidden costs elsewhere, or they may just be charging too little to run the school well (or for much longer.)
Quality training comes with a price tag. There are no exceptions.
What if they are asking for more than $225 per month? Well, if a school truly provides something special and the market bears the cost, (meaning the school is full of happy customers) don’t rule it out. For example, you may be wise to pay $350/mo to train in taekwondo with former Olympian and Olympic team coach, Juan Moreno.
What if you don’t have that kind of money? Sometimes virtual learning can be a good option, such as streaming classes or DVDs. If you can find a few like-minded friends to practice with, you may be surprised at how much you can learn.
Good martial arts schools rarely turn away people who are dedicated and want to train hard. If the cost of classes is more than you can afford, you can offer to barter services, help out with maintenance or hang fliers on doorknobs. Have a conversation with the school’s owner and see if you can work something out.
Contracts at Martial Arts Schools
First off, every school needs to have you sign a contract that defines terms of payment, indemnifies the school, and sets expectations for the business relationship.
Should you sign a 12+ month agreement? It depends, but usually no. Nowadays many states don’t allow ‘physical fitness centers’ to enforce those contracts. In general, schools should be good enough to keep you interested without the contract.
There are exceptions. Bigger, better schools sometimes have an overabundance of students. Asking for a commitment is a way of weeding out students who wouldn’t stick around anyway. If everything else about the school seems great, a long-term agreement is not a dealbreaker.
If you are going to sign a long-term contract make sure that you get a reasonable trial period (two or three months) before you are committed to the full term. Verify that if you move, are injured, or have a loss of employment you’re able to terminate the agreement.
One final thought on contracts: it’s unfair to your school and its owner to bail out with no warning. Running a martial arts school is a stressful occupation, and most instructors do it because they are passionate teachers – there are easier ways to earn a living.
So, it’s a good practice to always give your school a minimum of 30 days’ notice (make one more payment) before you cancel. It allows the school to adjust its schedule and finances accordingly – and it’s just the right thing to do.
Taekwondo and Karate School Serving the Northville, Novi, and Plymouth area.
At the MAT, we’re all about helping people live their best martial arts life. So even if you’re not in the Northville, Novi, or Plymouth area – we’d be happy to answer any questions you have. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and mention this blog.
And if you are looking for a karate or taekwondo school in Northville, Novi or Plymouth we invite you to check us out! You can register for our free introductory package, or just give us a call at 248-349-6900.