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I've trained in several martial arts over the years. During that time, I've paid less ($60/mo) or more ($150/mo) depending on the area, skill level of the teachers, etc.

However, I'm noticing an odd pattern; it seems that while other styles like Tae Kwon Do or Muay Thai charge by the month, most Krav Maga schools charge by the lesson, and in general, the lessons are quite expensive ($20-$50 for an hour). Why is this?

Is it mostly that Krav Maga is easier to pick up than more traditional sport martial arts, therefore you pay more for a faster paced course? Both my wife and I would love to take Krav Maga at some point in the future, but it's a bit too expensive to go to classes once a week.

Any suggestions?

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I voted to close as it seems to reflect only your local area pricing practices. – Sardathrion Mar 12 '12 at 15:06
Seconding @Sardathrion. Further, what one person finds "expensive", another finds reasonable. Perceived value of money. – stslavik Mar 14 '12 at 17:20
Well I did express costs as relative to what I've paid at other places. So the question does not deal either with location nor with lifestyle. It's a question about the ratio of cost per class of traditional arts vs cost per class of Krav Maga. – Timothy Baldridge Mar 14 '12 at 17:56
Factor in locality, density of instruction, cost relative to style, level of insurance held, number of students, relative training... Ultimately, the cost of doing business for Krav Maga versus Taekwondo is Apples to Oranges, in which case it's economics and perceived value. Your perceived pattern may simply be an aberration or perceptual illusion (When I was in Vegas, for instance, KM was $65 a month; I paid $80 a month for ninpo; a friend of mine paid $120 a month for TKD). – stslavik Mar 14 '12 at 22:03
I think it's a local thing. I train Krav Maga and my school does month to month or yearly contracts in the price range you quoted as reasonable. – Stuart Mar 23 '12 at 19:08
up vote 20 down vote accepted

I honestly think it comes down to old fashioned economics. Simple supply and demand. Krav Maga is a very effective martial art, however the supply of good teachers is rather limited. Contrast that with Tae Kwon Do, and even Muay Thai, and you'll find the schools much more plentiful.

Muay Thai and TKD have to compete with each other due to the fact that every shopping center seems to have a Tae Kwon Day Car program (I'm not making that up BTW). Since supply is so plentiful, and demand is marginal at times, the schools need to maintain competitive rates.

Krav Maga has a much better reputation than the plentiful schools have in regards to its effectiveness. Not to mention, the pricing structure reinforces the notion that "you get what you pay for". If Krav Maga was more in line with TKD/Muay Thai, it would undermine the appeal.

I personally am of the opinion that an art is only as good as its sensei. If a sensei is only interested in competitions, they will only teach competition martial arts. The disciplines required for proper self-defense, or modern warfare (where Krav Maga originated), are quite different than what's necessary for a ring with rules. The same is true for MMA classes. A sensei will--at best--get you to their level of skill. If they aren't that skilled, it will reflect in their students.

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I would add to that that, at least out of the Krav Maga schools that I've looked into, they cover a wide variety of topics that require extra props. If you're teaching a class how to handle a kick from their opponent, you just need a space to teach in. If you're teaching them how to defend themselves while exiting a car, you need a car (and quite possibly, an enclosed space into which you can put such car unless your neighbors are blasé about the weapons props being waved around). – Sean Duggan May 30 '14 at 14:58

Same reason Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is so expensive. It's popular, people actually go out asking for Krav Maga, so they can afford to charge more. If some unknown style charged that much they'd have empty classes and wouldn't be able to afford the rent.

Think about it, if you saw a place teaching Gou Chuan at $25/class, you'd just think "Yeah right," but you wouldn't even bother coming on here to ask why it costs that much. Krav Maga, you're actually interested in doing but are taken aback by the price.

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Krav Maga is a short intense course, where one can receive an instructor certificate in less than a year. They charge more because of the higher turn over rate due to the intensity, physical & mental demand.

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I'd like to see what justification and case examples you have for this sweeping generalization. Are you citing market statistics or "seems logical"? – JohnP Jul 19 '12 at 14:51
That's a very interesting assertion; I don't doubt it, but I echo @JohnP's request for more details, because it would help me to understand something about Krav Maga. Reference/resource would also make it more responsivev to the OP. – Mark C. Wallace Oct 10 '12 at 18:26
Maybe it's like that where you live. I practiced Krav Maga in Brazil, where there's a federation and affiliated instructors are required to have at least a green belt, which means at least 3 years, and they have to attend a dedicated course that lasts for a year. If they don't have formal PE education, they have to go through a certified course on that too. – Pedro Werneck Apr 12 '15 at 18:40

Most schools that teach Krav Maga charge those prices for various reasons. I'm about to get certified to teach at the school I go to. The school I belong to charges $35 per week. But they offer more than just Krav Maga (BJJ, Kali, Kick Boxing, Cage Fitness, and Karate) which you can take all of them for that price. I myself only teach. Krav Maga because that is what is going to benefit me in current job and get me home saf to my family. . One reason schools charge so much is because Krav Maga is so easy to learn and retain, you advance so quick that these schools need to teach other martial arts to stay in business. My suggestion is to look for a Krav Maga school with good instructors. The school should post on their web sites their instructor's background in Krav Maga. For example how long they've trained and what level they are trained at. The reputation of the school is another thing to look at. You can learn Krav Maga from other sources such as books and DvDs. You can pick up techniques off Youtube also. But its best to at least train under a qualified instructor for your first year.

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I think unless you are proficient in another MA or combat sport there is no way you can learn Krav Maga from books and DvDs only. Even if you are a black belt in another system you still need somebody for drill the technics – aberration Jun 24 '13 at 18:42

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