Skip to main content

Building a Thriving MMA Gym on a Shoestring Budget

Building a Thriving Martial Arts or MMA Gym on a Shoestring Budget: A Step-by-Step Guide

Embarking on the journey of setting up a Martial Arts or MMA gym may seem like a daunting task, especially if you're working with a limited budget. However, with careful planning, resourcefulness, and a passion for the sport, it's entirely possible to create a thriving training space that caters to enthusiasts on a tight budget. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to set up your MMA gym without breaking the bank.

  1. Define Your Space:

    • Start small and focus on the essentials. You don't need a massive facility to get started.
    • Consider renting a space that can accommodate a mat area, a small weightlifting section, and some basic amenities.
  2. Invest in Quality Mats:

    • Mats are crucial for safety in Martial Arts and MMA training. Look for affordable, durable options.
    • Consider purchasing used mats or exploring discounted options from of Fuji Mats.
    • Be resourceful – connect with other gym owners or local martial arts communities for potential mat-sharing opportunities.
    • Different mats offer a different cushioning, feel and response, be sure to check whats right for your art or ask our friendly staff.

Fuji Mats for Stand-Up Martial Arts

Boxing, Kickboxing, Karate, TKD, Kung-Fu or any sports that don’t involve takedowns.

Fuji Mats for Takedown Martial Arts

BJJ, MMA, Judo, Grappling, Aikido, Hapkido, Krav Maga, Wrestling and other throwing Arts







Fuji 25mm Puzzle Mats

Fuji 40mm Roll Out Mats

Fuji 25mm Tatami Mats

Fuji 40mm Puzzle Mats

Fuji 50mm Roll Out Mats

Fuji 40mm MMA Mats

Fuji 40mm Tatami Mats


  1. BYO Equipment:

    • Utilise recycled materials or repurpose items to create your equipment. Use a rope instead of a speed ladder, use empty water bottle and fill them with food colouring to act as cones, use tennis balls for speed and agility drills, use ice-cream lids as floor markers.
    • Keep an eye out for second-hand gear from closing gyms or online marketplaces.
    • Build your membership and wehn you can afford new equipment invest in quality which will last longer and give you a better return on investment.
  2. Focus on Essential Gear:

    • Prioritise the purchase of essential gear such as gloves, shin guards, and mouthpieces.
    • Negotiate bulk deals with suppliers or look for package deals that offer cost savings.
    • Encourage members to bring their gear initially, if possible or set up a small Pro-shop and built it up from there.
  3. Create a Clean and Inviting Environment:

    • A clean gym is essential for attracting and retaining members.
    • Invest time in maintaining a neat and organised space, even if you have limited resources.
    • Consider bartering services with local cleaning businesses or enthusiasts willing to help in exchange for discounted memberships.
  4. Build a Community:

    • Leverage social media to create awareness and connect with potential members.
    • Offer promotions or discounted rates for early sign-ups to generate initial revenue.
    • Organise free trial classes or open house events to showcase your gym and attract new members.
  5. Collaborate with Local Businesses:

    • Partner with local businesses for mutual promotion or sponsorship.
    • Offer cross-promotional deals to attract customers from nearby establishments.
    • Explore barter opportunities for goods or services that your gym needs.
  6. Utilise Online Resources:

    • Create a professional website and leverage social media platforms to market your gym.
    • Utilise free or low-cost online tools for scheduling, member management, and communication.
    • Consider offering online classes or tutorials to expand your reach beyond the local community.

Setting up an MMA gym on a small budget requires creativity, determination, and a genuine passion for the sport. By focusing on the essentials, being resourceful, and building a strong community, you can create a space where enthusiasts can train, learn, and grow without breaking the bank. Remember, success in the world of MMA is not just about the size of your gym; it's about the quality of the experience you provide to your members. Ideally the aim is to grow your business and expand into providing a complete 360 degree solution where you can go from a small hobby gym to a full time gym with a hundreds of of members. out growing your small space is a sign of success and leads to bigger and better opportunities for both the owner and its members.

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up