Opening a fight school can be a lucrative business venture for those passionate about martial arts. With the increasing popularity of combat sports, more and more individuals are looking to engage in these activities. The fight school industry is growing rapidly, with an estimated market value of $5 billion in 2020, and it's expected to reach $8 billion by 2026. If you are interested in starting a fight school business, this 10-step checklist will help you get started.

Step 1: Define a Mission & Vision of a Fight School

Your fight school's mission and vision statements are the foundation of your business. It should contain your primary objectives and goals for the school. The statement must also be strong, so it can convey not only what you do, but why you do it. This will help guide your decision-making process and provide your business with direction.

Step 2: Research Local Market & Competition

It is essential to research the local market and your competition before starting a fight school business. This will help you understand the current demand and determine what sets your fight school apart from others. You can also get an idea of the type of martial arts training popular in your area.

Step 3: Create a Business Plan & Financial Model

Creating a detailed business plan and financial model will help you analyze the feasibility of your fight school business. It must include an overview of the business, market analysis, financial projections, and funding requirements.

Step 4: Access Necessary Funding

Once you have a comprehensive business plan and financial model, you can start looking for external funding. You can approach investors, banks, or even crowdfunding platforms to gather funds for your fight school.

Step 5: Acquire Necessary Permits & Licenses

Before the launch of your fight school, there are several permits and licenses you must acquire. This includes zoning permits, safety and fire permits, and building code and occupancy permits, among others.

Step 6: Design a Space for the School & Buy Relevant Equipment

Designing a space for your fight school is another crucial step. This includes selecting the right location, configuring the space to optimize training, and outfitting it with the necessary equipment.

Step 7: Recruit & Train Instructors

Having top-tier instructors will make your fight school stand out. You must create a rigorous recruitment process and invest in the training and development of your instructors.

Step 8: Market the New Business

Effective marketing can make or break a business, and your fight school is no exception. You can employ various marketing strategies to attract potential students and promote your brand.

Step 9: Launch the Business & Ensure Quality Customer Service

Now it's time to open your fight school! Ensure your team is trained to deliver quality customer service and provide a wide variety of training programs.

Step 10: Monitor Progress & Make Necessary Adjustments

As with any business, it's essential to track your progress and assess your level of success. Analyze your KPIs such as student retention, revenue, and enrolment trends. You may need to make necessary adjustments based on what you learned.

In conclusion, opening a fight school business demands dedication, passion, and hard work. By following these ten steps, you can create a successful business that will stand the test of time. Good luck!


1. Define A Mission & Vision Of A Fight School

Before you even think about launching a fight school business, you need to define a mission and vision statement for your school. Your mission statement is a short, clear statement that defines the purpose of your fight school. What is it that you hope to achieve with your school? Who do you hope to serve? Your vision statement, on the other hand, is a more aspirational statement that outlines your long-term goals for your business. Where do you hope to see your fight school in five, ten, or even twenty years?

To help define your mission and vision statement, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you hope to achieve with your fight school?
  • Who do you hope to serve with your school?
  • What are your long-term goals for your business?
  • What are the values and principles that guide your business?

Once you have a clear understanding of your mission and vision, you will be better equipped to make strategic decisions about your fight school business.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Keep your mission statement short and easy to understand.
  • Make sure your vision statement is ambitious but realistic.
  • Use your mission and vision statement to guide all of your business decisions.


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2. Research Local Market & Competition

Before starting a fight school business, it is crucial to research the local market and competition. This will help you to identify potential opportunities and threats in the market, understand your target audience, and determine the best approach to take for your business. Here are some chapters to guide you through this process:

  • Identify Your Target Audience: The first step is to identify your target audience. Who are the potential customers for your fight school business? Are they adults, children, or both? Are they interested in martial arts or self-defense training?
  • Assess the Competition: Research and analyze your competition in the local market. Who are they? What type of services do they offer? How much do they charge? What makes them stand out? This information can help you to differentiate your business, identify any gaps in the market, and provide competitive pricing.
  • Choose the Right Location: Choosing the right location for your fight school is crucial. You need to choose a location that is easily accessible and visible to your target audience. Consider factors such as parking, transportation, surrounding businesses, and foot traffic.
  • Identify Potential Partnerships: Building strong partnerships in the local community can be highly beneficial for your fight school business. Look for businesses or organizations that align with your brand and target audience. Consider partnering with gyms, schools, or community centers to offer classes, workshops, seminars, or events.

Tips & Tricks

  • Visit local community centers and gyms to see what types of classes they are offering and at what prices.
  • Attend local networking events and ask other business owners about their experiences in the market.
  • Create an online survey to gather feedback from potential customers about their interest in fight school classes.

By taking the time to research the local market and competition, you will be taking a strategic and informed approach to opening your fight school business. This will help you to avoid common pitfalls, identify opportunities for growth, and build a solid foundation for your business.



3. Create A Business Plan & Financial Model

Before starting any business, it's important to have a clear plan and a financial model that outlines the costs, profits, and potential risks. Here are the necessary steps to create a solid business plan and financial model for your fight school business:

  • Determine Your Business Structure: Decide whether you want to operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Each has its own legal and tax implications, so it's important to research which one is best for your business.
  • Research Your Market: Analyze the demand for martial arts and fight schools in your area. Look at the competition, target demographics, and overall potential for growth. Use this information to create a marketing plan that targets your ideal customers.
  • Create Your Brand: Decide on a name, logo, and overall brand identity for your fight school business. Make sure it aligns with your target market and stands out from the competition.
  • Define Your Services: Determine what types of classes or services you will offer, such as children's classes, self-defense classes, or MMA training. Make sure it aligns with your target market and any local regulations or laws.
  • Develop a Financial Model: Create a financial model that includes projected revenue, expenses, and profits for the first few years of your business. This may include startup costs such as rent, equipment, marketing, and insurance.
  • Secure Funding: Determine if you need any outside funding to start your business. This may include business loans, grants, or investor funding. Be prepared to present your business plan and financial model to potential investors.
  • Obtain Licenses and Permits: Make sure you have all the necessary licenses and permits to operate a fight school business in your area. This may include business licenses, zoning permits, and liability insurance.
  • Hire Employees: Decide if you will need to hire employees to help you run your business. Make sure you understand the legal and tax requirements of being an employer.
  • Market and Promote Your Business: Develop a marketing plan that includes advertising, social media, and community outreach. Create a website and social media accounts to promote your services and connect with potential customers.
  • Track and Evaluate Your Progress: Monitor your revenue, expenses, and overall progress regularly. Use this information to make adjustments and improvements to your business model.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Find a mentor or consultant who has experience in the martial arts industry to help guide you.
  • Invest in quality equipment and facilities to provide a safe and effective training environment.
  • Offer specials or promotions to attract new customers and retain existing ones.



4. Access Necessary Funding

Starting a Fight School business is an exciting venture, but it can also be challenging. One of the biggest challenges is finding funding to get your business off the ground. Without proper funding, you won't be able to invest in equipment, hire staff, or market your business effectively. Here are some steps to help you access the necessary funding:

  • Create a business plan: This is the first and most important step before seeking funding. A solid business plan outlines your goals, objectives, and strategies for success. It will also include financial projections, which will be key to attracting investors or securing loans.
  • Explore funding options: There are several funding options available for new businesses, such as bank loans, crowdfunding, and grants. Research and choose the best option for your business needs and goals.
  • Apply for funding: Once you've identified funding sources, it's time to apply. Make sure you have all the necessary documents and information ready to make a strong case for your business.
  • Build relationships: Networking is essential for getting funding. Attend industry events, conferences, and seminars to connect with potential investors or partners.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Tap into local resources: Look into local business development centers or economic development agencies that may offer funding or financing opportunities for new businesses. These organizations can also provide advice and support for getting started.
  • Consider bootstrapping: Bootstrapping means starting with minimal capital and relying on cash flow to build the business. This approach requires careful financial management and may be more challenging, but it can also be more rewarding in the long run.
  • Get creative: Think outside the box for funding sources. You could try alternative lending options like peer-to-peer lending, or offer equity or ownership stakes to investors in exchange for funding.

Securing funding is a critical step in launching your Fight School business. By following these steps and tips, you'll be on your way to getting the funding you need to turn your vision into reality.



5. Acquire Necessary Permits & Licenses

Opening a martial arts school involves legal requirements that include acquiring necessary permits and licenses. These requirements vary depending on your location and the type of services you intend to offer. Legal compliance is not only important for the sustainability of your business, but also for the safety of your customers.

Here are some of the permits and licenses you may need to get:

  • Business license: This allows you to operate as a legitimate business entity in your jurisdiction. The process of obtaining a business license varies depending on your location. You can find out the requirements by contacting your local business licensing office.
  • Occupancy permit: This permit allows you to operate in a commercial building and verifies that the building is suitable for your intended use. It also ensures that your facility meets the local building codes and safety standards required
  • Health permits: Often issued by your local department of health, this permit is required if your facility will be serving food or drink. It verifies that your establishment is clean and meets specific health and sanitation regulations.
  • Zoning permit: Many local governments require businesses to operate in specific areas or commercial zones. A zoning permit verifies that you are legally allowed to operate your business from your chosen location.

Note: It is essential to research and understand the specific permit requirements for your location and ensure you comply with them before opening your business. Failure to obtain necessary permits and licenses can lead to fines, legal action, and potential closure of your business.

Tips & Tricks

  • Research the permit and license requirements in your location and make sure to obtain everything required before opening your business.
  • Renew permits and licenses on time and ensure that they remain up-to-date to avoid legal complications.
  • Consider hiring an attorney or consultant to guide you through the legalities of starting your business.



6. Design A Space For The School & Buy Relevant Equipment

Designing a space for your fight school is crucial as it is a place where your students will be spending most of their time. Therefore, it is important to create a welcoming, safe, and functional environment that meets their training needs. Also, the equipment used within the space should be of top-notch quality and necessary to ensure a smooth and effective training experience. Here are some steps that should be taken:

  • Determine the Space Requirements: Determine the amount of space needed depending on the type of martial art you will be practicing. For example, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing require more space compared to Muay Thai.
  • Choose a Location: Choose a location that is easily accessible and located in a commercial area with high foot traffic. Take into consideration factors such as parking space, security, and visibility.
  • Design the Space: Plan the layout of the space, including training areas, locker rooms, and bathroom facilities. Invest in high-quality flooring that is durable and non-slippery.
  • Purchase the Necessary Equipment: Purchase the necessary equipment such as punching bags, mats, gloves, hand wraps, and training gear. Choose equipment that is reliable, durable, and of high-quality to provide a safe and effective training experience for your students.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider purchasing used equipment to save on costs. However, ensure that the equipment is still in good condition and meets safety standards.
  • Provide a separate waiting area for parents or visitors to observe the training session. This will make them feel comfortable and involved in their child's progress.
  • Add mirrors to the training area to help students perfect their technique and form.



7. Recruit & Train Instructors

One of the most crucial aspects of starting a fight school business is recruiting and training instructors. Instructors shape the experience of your students, and their quality can make or break your business. Here are some steps you should follow to make sure you have the best instructors:

  • Write detailed job descriptions: Clearly define the skills and experience you're looking for in your instructors. Include details about the type of classes they'll be teaching, the certifications they need, and their responsibilities outside of class.
  • Post job ads on relevant channels: Reach out to martial arts communities and forums to find instructors. Also, consider posting job ads on relevant job boards, such as Indeed or Glassdoor.
  • Conduct thorough interviews: During the interview process, ask candidates about their experience, qualifications, and teaching style. You may also want to have them lead a short class to assess their teaching abilities.
  • Provide comprehensive training: Even if your instructors are experienced, they may not be familiar with your school's specific approach or curriculum. Provide comprehensive training that covers everything from class structure to equipment usage.

Once you've recruited and trained your instructors, it's important to make sure they're equipped to provide an excellent experience for your students. Here are some tips:

Tips & Tricks:

  • Provide your instructors with continuing education opportunities to keep their skills sharp and up-to-date.
  • Encourage open communication with your instructors to address any issues they may have before they impact the quality of classes.
  • Create a positive and supportive culture within your school to help your instructors feel valued and motivated to do their best.



8. Market The New Business

After opening your fight school business, the next step is to make it known to potential clients. Marketing is essential in creating awareness and generating leads for your business. Here are the eight steps you need to take:

  • Define your target audience: You need to determine who your ideal customer is and focus your marketing efforts on them. Is it kids, teenagers or adults? What about fitness enthusiasts or martial arts practitioners?
  • Create a marketing plan: Develop a structured plan that outlines your marketing goals, strategies and tactics. Think about the message you want to communicate to your target audience and how you will reach them.
  • Create a website: A website is a valuable tool in today's digital world. It's an excellent starting point for online marketing and provides potential clients with all the information they need about your business.
  • Use social media: Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reach out to your target audience. Share your story, post pictures and videos and engage with your followers.
  • Create video content: Videos are a great way to showcase your fight school business. Consider creating promotional videos, training videos or testimonials from satisfied customers.
  • Offer free trials: Provide potential clients with a chance to see what your fight school business is all about by offering free trials. It's a great way to get people interested and generate leads.
  • Partner with other businesses: Partnering with other health and fitness businesses can be a great way to expand your reach. Consider collaborating with gyms, personal trainers or nutritionists to promote each other's services.
  • Track your results: Finally, it's essential to track your marketing efforts and results. Use tools such as Google Analytics to see how your website is performing, track social media engagement and measure the success of your campaigns.

Tips & Trics:

  • Incentivize referrals: Encourage your customers to spread the word about your fight school business by incentivizing referrals. You can offer discounts or free classes to customers who refer new business to you.
  • Join industry groups: Joining industry groups and associations can be a great way to network and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and news in the industry.
  • Provide excellent customer service: Providing excellent customer service is a surefire way to keep customers happy and generate positive reviews and feedback.

Marketing your fight school business is essential to its success. By following the above steps and implementing effective marketing strategies, you can create awareness for your business and generate leads that will help you grow and succeed.



9. Launch The Business & Ensure Quality Customer Service

Launching your fight school business is the final step of your entrepreneurial journey. This is where all your planning and effort culminates in reality. It's important to get this stage right to ensure that your business is successful from the start. In this chapter, we will discuss how to launch your business, and how to ensure quality customer service.

  • Get All Licenses and Permits: Before you open your fight school business, you need to get all the required licenses and permits to operate legally. This varies from state to state, so you need to do your research and make sure you comply with all the regulations. Failing to do so can result in fines and legal issues that can damage your business.
  • Set Up Your Business Entity: You need to decide how to structure your fight school business entity. You can set up as a sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or a corporation. Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so do your research and choose the one that best suits your business needs.
  • Secure Your Location: The location of your fight school business is critical to its success. Make sure you secure a location that is easily accessible, with ample parking space and enough room for your training area. It should also be in a relatively safe area where your students will feel comfortable and secure.
  • Advertise and Market Your Business: You need to create awareness about your fight school business to attract customers. Consider creating a website, social media pages, and connecting with other businesses and influencers in your niche. Use flyers, brochures, podcasts, blogs, and word-of-mouth to spread the message about your business.

Tips & Tricks:

  • TIP #1: Invest in a quality website design and highlight the benefits of training with your fight school.
  • TIP #2: Participate in local events and sponsor local sports teams to get more visibility for your business.
  • TIP #3: Use video marketing to showcase your fight school's facilities, instructors, and events.

  • Create a Welcoming Atmosphere: Your students are the lifeblood of your fight school business, so make sure you create a welcoming atmosphere that encourages them to come back for more. Invest in quality equipment, hire professional trainers, and offer affordable pricing packages.
  • Focus on Quality Customer Service: Quality customer service is key to the long-term success of your business. Treat your students with respect, listen to their needs, and provide personalized training that meets their goals. Encourage feedback and be open to making changes that improve their training experience.
  • Continue to Learn and Improve: The fight school industry is constantly evolving, and it's essential to stay up to date on the latest trends, techniques, and technologies. Attend industry conferences, train with other professionals, and always be willing to learn and improve your skills.

By following these steps and tips, you can launch your fight school business with confidence, and ensure quality customer service that will keep students coming back for more. Remember, success in any business requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn and adapt over time.



10. Monitor Progress & Make Necessary Adjustments

After opening your fight school business, it's important to keep a close eye on your progress and make necessary adjustments. This will allow you to adapt to challenges as they come up and ensure that you are always moving forward towards your goals. Here are some steps you can take to monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments:

  • Set clear goals: Start by setting clear, measurable goals for your fight school business. This will give you a benchmark to work towards and allow you to measure your progress along the way.
  • Track your progress: Use a system to track your progress towards your goals. This could be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or as complex as a software program designed for small businesses.
  • Review your progress regularly: Set aside time each week or month to review your progress and compare it to your goals. This will help you identify areas where you are doing well and areas where you need to make adjustments.
  • Identify challenges: As you review your progress, look for challenges that are holding you back. This could be anything from low enrollment to poor retention rates to negative online reviews.
  • Create a plan to address challenges: Once you have identified the challenges, create a plan to address them. This may involve changes to your marketing strategy, adjustments to your class schedule, or improved customer service.
  • Implement your plan: Finally, put your plan into action and monitor the results. If the plan doesn't work, make necessary adjustments and try again.

Tips & Tricks:

  • As you monitor your progress, be sure to celebrate your accomplishments and milestones along the way. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.
  • Stay up to date with industry trends and best practices by attending conferences, workshops, or industry events.
  • Consider joining a professional association for fight school owners in order to network with others in the same industry. This can help you learn from others and stay on top of industry news and trends.

By monitoring your progress and making necessary adjustments, you can ensure that your fight school business is always moving forward towards success. Whether you are facing challenges or simply trying to improve your business, these steps can help you stay on track and achieve your goals.


In conclusion, with the fight school industry expected to be worth $8 billion by 2026, there has never been a better time to start a martial arts business. By following the ten-step checklist outlined in this post, you can establish a successful fight school that meets the needs of today's combat sports enthusiasts. With dedication, passion, and hard work, you can create a business that provides your community with quality martial arts training. Remember, stay focused on your mission and vision, consistently analyze your progress, and make the necessary adjustments to achieve your goals. Good luck on your journey as a fight school entrepreneur!

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