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Once you’ve decided to open up a new dojo, it’s normal to become overwhelmed with all the responsibilities and decisions that come with it.

One of the biggest decisions you can make in those early days is choosing the right premises to house your dojo. After all, if the location isn’t right, you risk being unable to get students through the door.

Since finding the right location is a big decision and a lengthy process, we wanted to share our tips on finding the right premises for your new dojo.

Figure out what you’re looking for.

The perfect facility looks different to everyone, so think about your target audience and what they would want from a dojo. Market research is very helpful here – conduct a survey to see what people really want rather than trying to guess

Do you need to provide parking or drop-off points for parents?

Does it need to be accessible via public transport?

Will they be travelling from a neighbouring town?

Convenience can be a major factor in signing up, so your club needs to be easily accessible and as convenient as possible to get to.

Generally speaking, units in locations with heavy footfall – think high streets, town centres, popular commuting routes – make for great locations, but they also often come at a higher price. You’ll have to decide what’s important and what makes the most business sense: pay more for a prime location and deal with the high overheads, or compromise on location to reduce your costs.

Write a list of everything you need from the premises, everything you want from the premises, and then decide on what’s non-negotiable for you.

How to Find The Right Premises For Your Dojo

Start your search.

The first step is to put as many feelers out into your chosen area as possible. Speak to commercial letting agencies and surveyors to see if they have anything on their books. Keep your eye on local online discussion groups in case anything pops up. We also recommend getting in the car and going for a drive around your desired area to look for any units with a To-Let sign – a simple yet surprisingly effective tactic!

As exciting as it is to go property hunting, keep your list of non-negotiables in mind. It’s easy to get carried away at the prospect of finding a home for your dojo, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle on the first premises you view.

When you’ve found a potential space.

So you’ve found a unit that looks like it could be the one for you. Fantastic!

Now it’s time to ask lots of questions; starting with the basics: Will all of your equipment fit in here? Does it fit your list of non-negotiables? What’s the registered building usage? Are there any extra perks that come with the building?

The Legal Stuff.

We highly recommend getting yourself a solicitor to help you out here, especially if this is new territory for you. Get crystal clear on the lease contract, who’s responsible for building maintenance, repairs, and plumbing, and determine if you want a non-compete clause if the unit could house multiple businesses. These are just some of the things we recommend clarifying at this stage, but your solicitor will be able to provide you with more advice.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Even if you think you’ve found the perfect premises to set up a martial arts club, don’t put all your hopes into one site. Not everything goes to plan, and circumstances can always change on both sides of the agreement. Keep looking for other premises just in case something falls through with your first choice. 


Setting up your dojo in the right place can make or break your future venture, so choose wisely. Whilst you might have a long list of deal-breakers for your ideal unit, be realistic and be prepared to compromise. Most of all, be patient. The right space will come along eventually.

ClubRight is the go-to dojo management software for martial arts clubs, taking care of everything from membership management and billing to class bookings and online joining – plus a whole lot more. Give us a call today on +44 (0)203 884 977 or book a free online demo with one of our product experts to find out why we’re trusted by more than 1000+ fitness businesses across the UK.

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