Women in martial arts

REVISED 3.21.18: Last fall, we released our 2017 Martial Arts Benchmark Survey to school owners around the world. The goal of this survey is to collect key benchmark data to help school owners get insight into the demographics, financials and operations of other schools.

We asked several questions about the demographics of each school’s student base, such as age and gender. One thing we found interesting was the significant difference in the average number of male versus female students. Of the schools surveyed, the average student base is 65% male, 35% female.

Male vs Female Martial Arts Students

It’s 2018. Fact: girls and women are very interested in practicing your art, whether it be traditional, modern or mixed martial arts. If your student base looks similar to this, there’s a huge opportunity for you to grow and diversify by actively marketing to this interested population. If you’re looking to increase the number of female students at your school, consider implementing the following four marketing tactics.

1). Utilize Social Media

No one will know about your business unless you promote it, and the best way to promote your business is through Facebook. Facebook has top-notch targeting capabilities, allowing you to target your ads based on age, marital status, parental status and gender. Utilize these targeting capabilities to create extremely targeted campaigns. With these capabilities, you can target directly to these women, or even the parents of daughters in your area. Also, Facebook owns Instagram, which is another excellent avenue to reach these potential students.

Looking to grow your student base? Get your free copy of our Insider’s Guide to Student Recruitment!
2). Refine Your Messaging

A common mistake we see business owners make is investing in one ad campaign and trying to make it work for multiple audiences. It’s critical that you create personas when marketing your classes and programs to your target audience. Develop specific personas for each target you’re hoping to reach (children, teenagers, millennials, older adults, etc.), and create messaging and imagery that specifically relates to them. If you’re targeting millennials, utilize pictures of female millennials practicing your art and use language that directly speaks to them.

3). Obtain Testimonials from Current Female Students

If you’re looking to grow your female student base, it’s important to reach out to your current student base to determine why they love being part of your school and how training at your school has impacted their lives. Discovering what they love can help you draft your marketing campaigns, as you can promote these specific things in your messaging to help better connect with your target audience. Also, this is the age of online reviews, so featuring happy students on your site, in your messaging and on your local listings can help better sell your training to this new audience. Look for opportunities to get quotes from these students that you can sprinkle throughout your website, video testimonials and reviews from them as well.

4). Hire a Female Instructor

We’ve talked about analyzing student demographics, but what about your staff? Do you have male and female instructors? Female instructors tend to have a different teaching style and class culture, so having a female instructor at your school is a huge advantage for both male and female students.


Reaching new target markets is an excellent way to grow your student base. Looking for additional ways to get more students? Get your free copy of our Insider’s Guide to Student Recruitment!

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