Why Your Self-Defence Business Is Failing (and how to fix it)


One of the questions I get all the time is this;

How much money can you earn teaching self-defence?

The answer is easy;

“As much as you want”.

To some, this answer is vague, false and a waste of their time.

But it is true.

There are people in self-defence that have earned millions and still others that struggle to pay their room hire for a session.

And in this post, we are going to look at the reason why some people make a fortune and others struggle.

Ready, let’s do this.

You Are Not Selling Self Defence

One of the first things I see wrong with people selling self-defence is that they are selling ‘self-defence’.

I know what you are thinking ‘the guy has gone mad, of course, they are selling self-defence’.

But no one ever comes to self-defence lessons to learn how to protect themselves.

They come for feelings.

They want to feel safe, feel fitter, feel empowered, feel protected, feel in charge of their own destiny and much more.

Back in the 1990’s the dark ‘street fighting secrets’ type of approach was popular.

Every estate had numerous pubs, and people did not drink at home to the levels they do today.

The result is that more people were out drinking, and they were doing that at an intensified level from 6 pm to 11 pm. The end result was pub fights aplenty.

People really wanted to be a good fighter in those days,  it was a social status.

Times have changed, and few people care about learning fighting secrets,  hell they want to show the world what they are up to on Instagram.

People care about how something makes them feel.

Don’t believe me?

Head over to Instagram, and you will see millions of people posting things that make them feel proud of themselves.

Instagram is a vehicle for pride, and your self-defence classes are a vehicle for a lot of other things such as confidence etc.

So if you want to grow your self-defence business, you need to think less about fighting moves and more about making people feel better.

Make them sweat, smile and learn. Do this, and all those other powerful feelings will come.

You Have No Brand

I don’t care if you sell ‘Marks Street Fighting System’ or make a name up like  ‘F.R.A.C.T.U.R.E.D’ and make each letter try and fit something such as ‘Fighting Real Attacks, Counter-Terrorism, Using Realistic Educated Defence’.

Phew, that was a long one (but remember when that was all the rage?’.

Anyway, my point is simple, whatever you teach you need a brand.

A brand is the sum total of your marketing, not just a logo and a video from Fiverr.com.

And this is a colossal failure of most Martial Arts, the branding is terrible.

People can smell ‘cheap’ a mile away, and as such, it is difficult to build a martial arts business without a polished product or brand.

This is why Defence Lab have spent such a significant amount of money on marketing and design.

It makes a huge difference.

Your System Does Not Have Depth

There are thousands of people who have martial arts and self-defence systems based on their own background.

And good for them, there is nothing wrong with that. However when you come to ask to be paid for your knowledge people like depth and structure.

Sharing your experience is great, but if it is not contained within a structured syllabus, you will find people are not too happy.

They like progression and the feeling that they are moving through an organised teaching system.

If you wait until the night before class to put a lesson together, they will see through your session and start to have doubts.

Professional self-defence instructors have professional syllabuses and lesson plans.
You Don’t Charge Enough

The last factor which is going to be holding you back is poor pricing.

I went to the petrol station the other night and paid £5 for a pack of crisps, a drink and a bar of chocolate.

Yet, most self-defence instructors still charge less than that for an hours training.

Think about that, are your skills worth less than a bag of crisps, a drink and a bar of chocolate?

No, but why do you want to charge so little then?

Value is something that we base on factors that you cannot grab hold of.

For example, which is the better wine. The cheap or the expensive bottle?

We believe the expensive one.

People will stand in the snow to line up to grab the latest iPhone when they have the previous model in their pockets.

And so if you want to charge £3.50 for a lesson, what does it say about the value?

Defence Lab has a tried and tested pricing structure that has seen our instructors grow thriving businesses.

Not too much and not too little.


So there you have it, the reasons why your self-defence school is failing.

Now you have an obvious choice.

You can invest thousands in developing a brand.

Spend hours on your syllabus and try and figure out your pricing.

Or you could join Defence Lab for a low-cost monthly fee.
From business support to online training and an in-depth syllabus.

Defence Lab makes teaching self-defence at a professional level more accessible than ever before.

Become and instructor and change lives.