Premier Martial Arts

Premier Martial Arts

Martial arts classes
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2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#140 Not ranked last year
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Initial investment
$184K - $422K
Units as of 2022
228 212.3% over 3 years

Premier Martial Arts Franchise

Ready to become your own boss? Franchising is an attractive and stable option for entrepreneurs looking for their next business venture. If you love fitness and business, a Premier Martial Arts franchise location might perfectly combine your passions. 

Martial arts is a sport that brings excellent exercise, discipline and many lessons. Although the industry took a hit in 2020 due to the closing of non-essential businesses during the pandemic, martial arts is back on the rise. 

Before the pandemic, the martial arts industry had hit its revenue peak at $10.63 billion. Now that the world has opened back up, there is much potential to capture. 

Why own a franchise?

Owning a franchise allows you to be your own boss without having to scratch and claw to break even. While it will still take plenty of time and effort, entering the franchise industry is a much different process than building a start-up because you will be under the wing of an established company. 

Related: Basics of Buying a Franchise Business for Entrepreneurs

You will still have to research, but the parent company will give you a roadmap to success. The franchisor already knows what works. They have scaled their business successfully and have plans to keep it that way. 

As a franchisee, you can expect resources, training programs and built-in brand recognition during your franchise development journey. 

Becoming a franchise partner ensures instant visibility along with an audience who will know your name and trust the brand. Premier Martial Arts has been around for years and has a plan for all of its franchisees. 

Related: 7 Things You Need to Know Before Becoming a Franchise Owner

Pros and cons of becoming a franchise owner

Starting a new business is challenging, but entering into a new franchise agreement certainly has some added perks that make everything easier. Take a look at both sides of the coin before entering into a franchise agreement. 

Related: 3 Key Considerations for the Modern Franchisee

Pros of becoming a Premier Martial Arts franchise owner

Some of the advantages that come with owning a Premier Martial Arts franchise include the following: 

  • No experience necessary: Premier Martial Arts is generally opened and managed by an industry expert who does not necessarily possess martial arts experience.
  • Training and support: Established businesses bring trusted systems that are proven to work.
  • Trusted and proven systems: PMA’s business model is designed to place the day-to-day responsibilities of operating the studio on a highly competent instructor who has already undergone intensive training. The instructor is assigned a list of duties to benefit the franchise owner (provided by PMA).
  • Customer loyalty and brand awareness: PMA has a standard curriculum that people know and love, making for an easy-to-operate martial arts school franchise. 

Cons of becoming a Premier Martial Arts franchise owner

When it comes to business decisions, it’s essential to look at factors from all sides, so you are best prepared for any situation that may arise. 

When owning a franchise, you might have “owner” as your title, but “tenant” is a comparative term. While, yes, you will own your business and reap revenue, you must abide by the company’s rules. 

The franchisor — your landlord —is lending you its name, business recognition and business plan. When you break it down, you own the location, but the company is not your business. If, at any time, the franchisor decides you are not abiding by the rules and regulations of your franchise agreement; they have a right to terminate your contract. 

You may find that joining a franchise group results in a lack of freedom category, as you may be limited in creativity and operations. If you love developing new ideas and playing with design, that will generally not be allowed in a franchise contract. 

Instead, you will follow a pre-established system that controls and produces the marketing, aesthetics, products and everything in between. Other downsides to franchising to keep in mind include the following:

  • Initial investment.
  • Franchise fees.
  • Royalty fees.
  • License fees.
  • Marketing and advertising fees.
  • Giving franchisor access to finances.

Related: The 10 Commandments of Franchise Ownership

The history of Premier Martial Arts

Founder, Barry Van Over, grew up in the age of Karate Kid, idolizing how Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris used the art of sport to defeat their opponents with honor. 

At nine years old, Van Over began practicing martial arts, continued his practice through college and eventually decided to teach martial arts professionally. 

After years of consulting for businesses that wanted to run successful martial arts academies, Van Over decided to open his own. Premier Martial Arts opened in 2004 in Knoxville, Tennessee, and experienced immediate success. 

As Van Over and his team realized what they had, they began developing a unique business model, including curriculum, best practices, branding and infrastructure. 

Their curriculum includes four pillars:

  • Self-confidence: Helping students build confidence to help them find success in life.
  • Self-control: Controlling emotions, reactions and responses to others.
  • Self-defense: Having martial arts self-defense skills to help you live safely and without fear.
  • Self-discipline: Finding the discipline to reach life goals beyond the studio.

Today, Premier Martial Arts has over 200 locations and is one of the largest martial arts systems in the world. Through their teachings of martial arts, karate, Krav Maga and kickboxing, they strive to help their students find confidence, strength and focus to understand their true worth and live life to the fullest. 

Related: 5 Encouraging Facts to Know About Multi-Unit Franchising

Premier Martial Arts’ ideal franchise candidate 

If Premier Martial Arts sounds like the right place to pursue your new business opportunity, see if you fit what they’re looking for

Business professionals

Premier Martial Arts wants someone who knows about business and loves PMA’s mission. Top candidate qualities include:

  • Care for helping kids grow.
  • Desire to engage the community.
  • Drive for building wealth as well as a legacy.
  • Ability to build a team.
  • Good with people.
  • High emotional intelligence.
  • Flexibility over schedule.
  • Building a business for themselves.

Corporate leaders and experienced owners

PMA doesn’t necessarily require owners to be experienced martial artists or black belts, but they want someone who can bring business acumen into their new location. 

From existing business owners to upper-level leaders, Premier Martial Arts wants someone who knows the ropes of the business world. 

Desired qualities of those business leaders include:

  • Motivated and driven.
  • Multiple streams of income.
  • Experience in leading teams.
  • Working on the business, not in it.
  • Diversify portfolio.
  • Financial performance and returns.
  • Providing for family.
  • Passion for helping others.

Related: Are You an Ideal Franchisee? Here's How to Find Out.

Premier Martial Arts’ facts and figures 

One of the most important parts of researching a franchise system is understanding the financial commitment to enter it. See below for the key facts and figures of franchising with PMA.

  • Initial franchise fee: $49,500.
  • Initial investment: $183,650 - $421,800.
  • Net worth requirement: $250,000 - $750,000.
  • Cash requirement: $75,000 - $250,000.
  • Veteran incentives: 10% off the franchise fee and development fee.
  • Royalty fee: 7%.
  • Ad royalty fee: 5%.
  • Term of agreement: 10 years.

Related: Franchise Brokers, Referral Consultants and Career Coaches Can Help You Find the Right Business Opportunity

How you can open a Premier Martial Arts franchise

If you like what you’ve read so far and think PMA sounds like the right place for you, then it’s time to begin the franchise ownership process with the company. 

  1. Goals, overview and decision criteria.
  2. Brand review.
  3. Request for consideration.
  4. Introduction to funding partners and territory analysis.
  5. Business review of franchise disclosure document (FDD).
  6. Attend the launch day event.
  7. Final franchisee and financial validation.
  8. Sign franchise agreement.

Related: Ready to Commit? - Franchise License Agreement 

The franchise agreement stage takes between 60 and 90 days, which is relatively short in the franchise industry. However, that does not include opening your business. 

After you sign the franchise agreement, the real work starts, as you will begin construction and other aspects of the process that will make your business vision a reality.

Next steps with PMA

If owning a Premier Martial Arts location sounds like the right franchise opportunity for you, then it's time to reach out to PMA and begin the application process. 

The Premier Martial Arts business has over 200 locations and a solid business model —  you will be in good hands.

Are you looking for more content to learn all about franchising? Explore the Entrepreneur Franchise Center here.
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Company Overview

About Premier Martial Arts

Parent Company
Unleashed Brands LLC
Joe Luongo, CEO
Corporate Address
2350 Airport Fwy., #505
Bedford, TX 76022

Business Overview

Franchising Since
2018 (5 years)
# of employees at HQ
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.

This company is offering new franchisees in the following international regions: Europe (Eastern), Europe (Western), Canada

# of Units
228 (as of 2022)

Information for Franchisees

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Premier Martial Arts franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee
Initial Investment
$183,650 - $421,800
Net Worth Requirement
$250,000 - $750,000
Cash Requirement
$75,000 - $250,000
Veteran Incentives
10% off franchise fee and development fee
Royalty Fee
Ad Royalty Fee
Term of Agreement
10 years
Is franchise term renewable?
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing
Premier Martial Arts has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training
2 hours
Classroom Training
56 hours
Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-ops
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Security & Safety Procedures
Lease Negotiation
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed?
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Can this franchise be run part time?
# of employees required to run
Are exclusive territories available?
Take our quick quiz to find your ideal franchise

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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Premier Martial Arts landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

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The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise or business opportunity by Entrepreneur Media. Our listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare opportunities. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise or business opportunity. That should include reviewing the company’s legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees/licensees/dealers.
Updated: December 12th, 2022