How Functional Fitness Classes Can Benefit Your Martial Arts School

4 min read


martial arts functional fitness
martial arts functional fitness

Photo credit: Practical Martial Arts

Martial arts as a way of fitness is nothing new. Cardio boxing and kickboxing have blown up as a popular way to get in shape and present members with some basics for self defense. For the traditional and mixed martial artist, the primary focus is and always should be on the technique. However, there is huge value in adding a strength and conditioning program to your school because it will make your students better practitioners and can grow your business.

Before starting Jiu-Jitsu I was drawn in to the “gentle art” by stories of the frail, 145 Helio Gracie beating professional fighters twice his weight through proper technique and leverage. Through drilling techniques over and over again, I was amazed at how I could control a ground fight with opponents who were much larger than me. Technique wins over strength. That said, it never hurts to have extra muscle when competing with an equally talented opponent.

Interval-based strength and conditioning classes have become hugely popular around the globe, and for good reason. From High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to CrossFit®, people have been accomplishing strength gains and weight loss that they did not believe were possible. Here are some of the benefits this training will have on your students and your school.

Student Benefits:
  • Increase Mobility: One of my favorite benefits from cross training is the mobility I have gained – especially in my hips and shoulders. This has greatly helped me on the mats with my rolling and with the speed and accuracy of my strikes.
  • Grip Strength: This is most essential to the ground fighter but strong grips also help in self defense scenarios.
  • Explosive Strength: The ability to surprise an opponent with a burst of strength will set them off balance and change the direction of a bout.

Business Benefits
  • Increase Dues: Being able to upsell your students on new offerings relevant to their current training is a great additional source of revenue.
  • Broaden Student Base: A lot of people are turned off by violence and intimidated by martial arts because they don’t understand the art. Reaching people who wouldn’t otherwise join your school is a great way to introduce them to your art.

Strength and conditioning classes don’t require large space or ton of additional equipment. Katharo Training Center (where I train and work out) doesn’t have a massive space for their branded “K-Fit” functional fitness classes but there’s enough room for some lifting racks and free weights.

martial arts functional fitness

A K-Fit functional fitness class in action at Katharo Training Center in Colorado

If you’re considering adding functional fitness classes to your school, be sure to utilize a student management solution that includes vital features like workout tracking, attendance tracking and scheduling. Having these features will make it easier to develop programming for the classes, as well as tracking your students’ progress.

Offering a variety of classes at your school is a great way to keep your student engaged and excited about their training. Interested in seeing which types of classes leading schools around the world offer? Get your free copy of our Martial Arts Benchmark Report today!
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