How To Start a Successful MMA Coaching Gym

Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal

The sport of mixed martial arts has exploded in popularity over the past decade, trailing just soccer and basketball as the world’s most popular sports.  That increase in popularity has increased demand for quality MMA training. If you have a passion for MMA and are hoping to turn your passion into a money-making venture, starting an MMA coaching gym may be a good option for you.

Teach Local MMA Classes

You can begin building a clientele by offering local MMA classes in someone else’s facility. A good place to look for space to conduct your classes is local community buildings, community colleges, gyms and the YMCA. The benefit of running local classes is that you will begin generating interest for your business and making connections with clients without the large upfront investment in equipment and space. You will also have the chance to experiment with your class sizes and teaching style.

Buy or Lease Equipment

Your clients may have some of their own equipment they can bring with them, but eventually, you will want to fully outfit your gym. How much equipment you need will depend on the size of the classes you are running. You will need mats, heavy bags, grappling dummies, boxing gloves, shin guards, target shields and headgear. It is best to invest in the highest quality equipment you can afford. It will last longer and your students will be less likely to leave because they do not like the equipment.

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You are also going to need equipment and supplies for your office. Purchase a desk and a comfortable chair, a multi-line phone system, a computer, printer and software, such as CRM apps, for keeping track of your business.

Build Your Skills

If you plan to teach classes yourself, then you will need to keep your skills sharp. If you are still competing, try to stay active on the competition circuit. If you can show off an impressive record, more clients are likely to be interested in your gym. If you love the sport but are not much of a fighter yourself, you might consider bringing a partner on board who has more MMA experience.

Choose a Location

Once you have a good-sized following from your local classes, you are ready to start looking for a location. Choose a location that is highly visible from the street. This will help you bring in foot traffic. Make sure the building has adequate parking for the number of students you expect to have. Finally, you will need to choose something that fits your budget. You should get the best location you can afford, but you do not want to go out of business because you can not make the rent.

Choose a Business Structure

Businesses can be partnerships, sole proprietorships or corporations. Each structure has its advantages and disadvantages. Many business owners choose to incorporate because doing so provides them with some protection for their personal assets. It can be a good idea to consult with an attorney before deciding on a business structure.

Create a Website

A website creates another avenue for customers to discover your business or to find out more information about your services. Many people look up information on their mobile phones, so make sure your site is mobile friendly. Offering students the opportunity to sign-up and pay for classes online may also attract more clients.

The popularity of MMA as a sport and fitness activity makes opening an MMA coaching gym a great way to make money while doing something that you love. By starting small and working your way up to opening your own gym, you can build a successful business without taking a huge risk.


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