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. Mar 12, 2012 at 15:06
  • Seconding @Sardathrion. Further, what one person finds "expensive", another finds reasonable. Perceived value of money.
    – stslavik
    Mar 14, 2012 at 17:20
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    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. Mar 14, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2012 at 19:08

6 Answers 6


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 Care 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.

  • 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). May 30, 2014 at 14:58
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    Just stumbled across the last sentence. With all due respect, that's nonsense or at least not clear. Good teachers will produce students that are better than they've ever been. Otherwise, all martial art would degenerate eventually and actually, that what makes a good teacher in the first place. Jan 8, 2020 at 20:56

Krav Maga is generally run as a business on a for profit basis. Many martial arts are basically social clubs so far as their legal status is concerned.

It's not about popularity

Tae Kwon Do schools karate schools and so on can all have huge numbers of students. I usually only see a dozen members at the local Krav Maga club when I pass by.

It's not about effectiveness.

I disagree that it indicates a better or more effective method. I have never seen anything ever to indicate Krav Maga is 'better' than say karate. Studies of this kind are hard to find.

The percieved efectiveness is largely based on good marketing that comes from being a business.

It has much more to do with corporate Vs amateur dynamics.

A sports club just has to cover hiring a room and insurance. A business has to pay wages. That is why the cost is higher. Successful business spend on advertising and on their own venues. All this costs money and so they charge the students more.

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    THAT should be an accepted answer. Existence of such clubs and marketing schemes offends the very spirit of martial arts and schools. The martial art school is not about profit and not about advertising and marketing. In fact it is an opposite thing to all that. The spirit of MA school about learning and advanicng. When you enter it, and spell to the sensei "I am John, please, teach me". Not "I am John and I'm here to learn the 'most effective MA' ". NO AT ALL. Even positioning MA as "the most effective" injures the spirit - because it undermines other MAs and work of their students. Jan 24, 2020 at 7:43
  • Do you have evidence for your first claim about "business on a for profit basis" vs "social clubs"? can't other MA be profit-oriented? TKD and Judo are Olympic combat sports, are you that money is never involved? Jan 29, 2020 at 12:32
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    Money can be involved in a great many martial arts. But I have never seen a krav maga school that was a club as opposed to a business.
    – Huw Evans
    Jan 30, 2020 at 14:25
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    There are indeed for profit judo clubs and taekwondo clubs and boxing and kickboxing too. They tend to charge more than the not for profit equivalent. I attend a not for profit. 5 3-6th Dan judo instructors (that's about 30 years practice) most national level in their day. £4 per 2 hours. Central London.
    – Huw Evans
    Jan 30, 2020 at 14:30

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.


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, 2012 at 14:51
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    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.
    – MCW
    Oct 10, 2012 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.
    – user1972
    Apr 12, 2015 at 18:40

Some of it is just good marketing, and strong organization, which helps prevent one school from undercutting the price with the others. The other part is that more might be offered in a manner of speaking. The school that I lived down the road from in New Jersey offered self-defense against a number of weapons, as well as live drills for things like getting attacked when exiting or entering a car. Among other school assets, they boasted having the door, and space, to drive said car into the school to practice. That level of props, both initial purchase and maintenance, could definitely demand a higher price.


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 my current job and get me home safe to my family . One reason schools charge so much is because Krav Maga is so easy to learn and retain, you advance so quickly 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
    – ucsky
    Jun 24, 2013 at 18:42

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