The first key to generating leads for a martial arts school is to have a great website. (Read this article to learn why.) And when you’re getting ready to build a new website for your dojo or Jiu Jitsu gym, the first step is to choose a template or WordPress theme to use build your site.

But while it’s tempting to choose based on looks alone, the most important factor to consider is whether the design you choose will do a good job of converting leads to paying members, and in that regard, not all martial arts website templates are created equal.

Having a website that represents your brand, makes people want to train at your academy, and incentivizes them to take action can make all the difference in the world between whether people who come across your website look and then click away, or decide to sign up.

Additionally, there are certain website elements that Google is looking for when deciding which websites to prioritize in search results, and having your site come up as one of the first results when people google “[Your Martial Art] Near Me” is probably the most cost-efficient thing you can do to get more martial arts students.

In this article I’m going to share with you seven great martial arts website designs and explain exactly what features make them an effective lead generation tool. (they’re all Jiu Jitsu gyms so sorry in advance to other martial arts!).

As you start building your own website, you’ll want to be sure these elements are incorporated into the design. Or, spoiler alert, you can have us build your website and be assured that it will have everything it needs to look great and help you grow your business!

1. Neutral Ground Academy Website

Neutral Ground Academy Homepage Website Design

Why We Like It

First Impression

This website leaves a great first impression. Great imagery, clean layout, and a nice color scheme. Additionally the navigation is very well organized and uses sub-menus instead of allowing the navigation to overflow into multiple lines.

Call To Actions

The website has two visible calls to action “above the fold” (meaning you don’t have to scroll down the page to see them), the “Contact Us” Button, and the “Click here to sign up for a free trial” at the top of the page.

There is also a clearly visible phone number in the header area.

Mobile Design

This website also looks great on mobile and utilizes a nice mobile menu (the little hamburger icon), which is super important because more than 60% of all website traffic is from our phones!

Neutral Ground Academy Homepage Design on Mobile

Gallery

2. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Houston Website

Why We Like It

Video On Homepage

Having a video showing off your gym on the home page is a huge win.

Students want to see what you’re really about and there’s definitely something to the magic of a high quality video on the homepage.

Even if you haven’t invested in a professional shoot, just putting up a nice video you recorded yourself is a great start!

Video Chat

Video chat is a super effective way to engage visitors.

What you’re seeing in the bottom right corner of the home page is a pre-recorded video chat system called Tolstoy that lets the professor answer common questions in a super personalized way in response to chat prompts.

10 stars.

How We’re Different

This image is killer!
This image is killer!

One thing that’s super important to do in marketing your gym is to differentiate your gym from other gyms.

This type of content helps ensure you attract the right type of students that are going to be a good fit for your gym and who will be around for years to come!

This design does a great job showing how Gracie Houston is different from other competition focused gyms in their area.

Social Proof

Social proof is one of the primary psychological levers people use to make buying decisions.

Having a section like this on your website is a great idea and will definitely generate more leads for your business!

Social Proof

3. Atos Jiu-Jitsu HQ Website

Why We Like It

Alright, granted here these next two probably cost many tens of thousands of dollars to have them built, but websites like these are definitely attainable for us regular schmoes too – that’s why we started Brave for Gyms!

Atos Jiu Jitsu Home Page Screenshot

Home Page Video

We’ve seen this once before, but here again the home page video does wonders for conveying the “vibe” of a gym.

The Space

This is a great section on the home page that shows off the space. If you have a beautiful space, it definitely doesn’t hurt your cause to invest in some nice photography and add a section to your site like this.

Atos Jiu Jitsu The Space

Reviews

Showing off testimonials / reviews is definitely a common theme here with the best gyms…

Atos BJJ Reviews

Call To Action Form

Ok, this is a pretty advanced feature that is really cool.

When you click the Get Started Now button on the top right, you’re prompted with a multi-step popup form.

This is a great strategy for multiple reasons.

The first step collects the basic information and and submits the form, so even though everyone won’t fill out all five steps, they’re still collecting the contact information for interested persons.

The second through fourth steps collect more information about things like which program you’re interested in and what your goals are for learning jiu jitsu, which can be super helpful to understanding your audience and eventually capturing more leads and acquiring new students.

4. Alliance San Diego Website

Why We Like It

A bit of a contrast from the last site with all the bells and whistles, Alliance San Diego is a straight forward, clean website that is likely to speak more to white collar types – moms and dads and business professionals – than to fitness oriented competitive athletes.

To me, their website homepage screams trustworthy.

Alliance San Diego Homepage

White Space

One thing to notice is the generous use of white space throughout the site. White space basically just means information isn’t crammed together on the screen, which makes for great readability and super easy navigation.

Whereas some websites provide a lot more information and options, sometimes “less is more” is a better strategy.

In this case, the white space also helps draw attention to the action we want the visitor to take.

Kids Focused

A lot of the imagery on the homepage is focused on the kids program. As many martial arts gym owners know, if you have a great adult program, growing your kids program can be the perfect lead magnet for parents to join themselves.

If building a kids program is your primary goal, your homepage should be full of images like these.

Kids Images on Alliance Jiu Jitsu Home Page

Program Listings

Every program on this site looks great, provides enough information, and provides visitors with a clear call to action.

5 Stars!

Alliance Jiu Jitsu Toddler Program

Gallery

Overall, this is a great looking website that is likely killing it with lead capture.

Here are some of the best images in my opinion.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the mobile friendly schedule – that’s huge!

5. Legions San Diego Website

Why We Like It

Ok, this is one of my personal favorites.

Legion Martial Arts Home Page Design

 

Before I talk about the good things, I have to point out one not so good thing that changed since I started writing this article… the site currently has multiple widgets on the bottom right of the screen when you visit the home page that are overlapping and fighting for attention – not the best user experience and a bit distracting.

Ok, on to all the good things.

Design

Up til now I haven’t talked about design in and of itself, but man this site is just beautiful.

Great use of color – there are two colors being used here (the red and the blue), and great use of fundamental design principles to keep first things first.

The headline is clear and up front with a primary and secondary call to action available.

Additionally, all of the highlighted red areas on the initial home page load are designed to draw your attention to these actions you can take.

Great design!

Personalized Copy

Keenan website copy

 

The copy throughout this website is written with a very friendly, personable, and down to earth tone and doesn’t have any hint of high pressure sales or anything of the sort.

Technically speaking, anybody can write their own website copy or text, but this website copy was written with voice, and I imagine it was written by the gym owner himself since it sounds a lot like something Keenan Cornelius would say.

This is a “nice to have” that a good copywriter can help you with if writing isn’t something that comes easily to you.

Why Legion

I’m a big fan of comparisons to help differentiate yourself from the competition and Legion does a great job here as well.

Here’s a screenshot of their comparison chart.

Beginner Program

Presumably, the majority of visitors to your website are new to martial arts altogether, so having an explicit beginner on ramp program in place and promoted on the website is a great way to increase your conversion rate for new students.

P.S. It’s also a big key to running successful Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns.

Legion BJJ Beginner Program

 

Prominent Reviews

Student reviews are a good thing, as I’ve already been over, but Legin does a particularly good job at making those reviews big, visible, and prominent.

Legion Website Review Section

 

Program Specific Squeeze Pages

Alright, this is something that all of the next three sites have in common and it’s one of the more important features you should look for in a lead generating martial arts website.

A squeeze page is a page on your site that only has one action available. There’s no navigation. There’s no link back to the home page. There’s no learn more button.

All you see is the button to get started.

“Isn’t that extreme?” you ask.

Not really.

Think of it this way.

A visitor has come to your website, seen what you had to offer, and clicked on a program – let’s say Adult Jiu Jitsu.

In this case, it’s pretty reasonable to assume that the person is an adult who is considering taking jiu jitsu classes…

But we in the marketing profession know that something like 96% percent of website visitors aren’t going to take any action, mostly because they don’t feel like they have enough information to pull the trigger or the timing isn’t just right.

The problem is that once they leave you’re site, you may never see or hear from them again. You’re out of sight out of mind…

A squeeze page allows you a significantly better opportunity to capture that visitors information and either follow up with a phone call or add them to your email list, where you can send out regular updates, special offers, and increase your chances of converting them into a student down the road!

Legion Jiu Jitsu Website Squeeze Page

This squeeze page kills it with a professionally recorded video, tons of testimonials, and clear call to actions.

6. Gracie Torrance Website

Alright, let’s just start by pointing out that there probably are very few martial arts organizations in the history of Earth that have spent as much money on their websites as the Gracie organization, and specifically by the Gracie brothers organization (The Gracie Academy and Gracie Torrance).

Either way, the techniques they’re employing can be used by anyone with a little technical know how and marketing savvy.

Gracie Torrance Website Homepage

Why We Like It

Action Oriented

The big picture here is that the entire site is very action oriented. If you can’t tell, they want you to fill out a form to request information about classes.

The great thing about this approach is that by focusing on growing their email and prospect list they’re going to be in a position to send out email newsletters and automated follow up sequences to drip more information and special offers to these prospects over time.

Another interesting thing about the home page is that they’re very intentional about segmenting their audience. Similar to how Atos asks questions like “What program are you interested in?”, “What is your prior jiu jitsu experience level?”, etc., by listing out all of their programs on the home page and intentionally leaving out any additional links in their navigation, they’re ensuring that website visitors won’t just meander around without finding what they’re looking for.

Additionally, since they don’t list a ton of information about class times, pricing, etc, they’re likely to have a lot of people reach out to get that information.

Program Pages

In a sense, the entire site is built like a funnel, but each individual program page also has a clear purpose and is focused around getting the visitor to fill out a form.

The program pages look great.

They also utilize testimonials, high quality imagery, and a lot of marketing psychology principles like urgency and scarcity (the fake “offer expires in” timer), social proof (a slide in showing who recently purchased), bonuses (Gracie university, etc), and more to really hit on many elements a high converting squeeze page is going to have.

Things To Consider

It’s important to be careful with marketing persuasion tools like a countdown timer, etc. They may be effective, but if it’s not based on anything real (ie, the countdown timer doesn’t do anything, there’s no limit to your slots, etc.) you risk turning your audience off and coming across as sleazy.

Additionally, some people find the tactic of intentionally withholding basic information in order to get someone into a meeting (like not displaying your class times, information about pricing, etc.) to be a turn off.

There are valid reasons for doing this, but it has pros and cons.

7. Kokoro Training Academy

Alright, I’m going to be up front here…

I’m being 100% biased with this last listing.

Not only is Kokoro is my and my wife’s home gym, we also built this website using all of the best practices we’ve learned in our years of marketing as well as the best tactics we’ve seen in reviewing hundreds of martial arts marketing websites.

That said, onto the last and unquestionably the best martial arts website in the history of the world :)

What We Like About It

Home Page Video

A great video can do wonders for selling the vision to potential students and this is a great example.

In this case, Kokoro had been shooting videos for their Instagram and Facebook page for months, so we were able to put together a little reel for them as part of our website design package that highlighted the excitement of training at their gym.

Home Page

As you would expect, all of our websites include every important element for martial arts websites we’ve described above by default.

  1. Great Headline
  2. Clear Calls To Action
  3. Mission Statement
  4. How We’re Different Section
  5. Individual Program Listings
  6. Google Reviews
Screen Grab of Kokoro Training Academy Home Page Web Design

Program Squeeze Pages

In addition, Kokoro utilizes our Program Squeeze Pages and to make individualized offers for each program while capturing visitor intent

Kokoro Adult Jiu Jitsu Squeeze Page

Each program has a unique call to action and offer – some of the programs offer 10 day free trials and others, like the nutrition and fitness programs, offer free consultations.

Either way, having a unique form specific to each program makes everyone’s life easier and allows gym owners to test different offers over time.

Universial Call To Action

Generic Call To Action Form

 

As important as it is to have program specific call to actions, it’s equally important to offer a more generic call to action to someone who isn’t quite ready to sign up for a free trial or come in to class.

By having a more generic “Learn More” form on every page of the website, Kokoro is able to start building a list of prospects who they know are interested in their offers.

This, in combination with some simple automated lead follow up systems (and ideally a regular email newsletter), allows us to slowly share more information about the gym over a longer period of time, leading to a much higher conversion rate.

Mobile First Design

Kokoro Home Page Mobile Design

In the martial arts world, 80% or more of traffic to your website could be coming through mobile devices… so your website needs to kill it on mobile.

Every page on the Kokoro website looks like it was designed to look great on any device.

Google PageSpeed Scores

Alright, I haven’t talked a ton about this yet, but if you want your website to show up in Google, it’s absolutely critical that your site loads super fast on both desktop and especially mobile.

Google has recently started penalizing sites that look bad on mobile or load too slowly.

The Google PageSpeed tool is a website you can go to that analyses your site to make sure it loads right on all devices.

  • If you score high – you’re results will be promoted in the search rankings.
  • If you score low – you’re being penalized.

That’s why we’re super proud of our blazing fast PageSpeed scores we get with our Brave websites!

Google Page Speed Score for one of our martial arts web design clients

Conclusion

Hopefully this breakdown of the best martial arts websites for lead generation has been helpful to you.

If you’re a gym owner yourself and are looking to get more leads from your website, click here to learn more about our web design services or click here to view our martial arts website templates.

Published On: September 25th, 2023 / Categories: Website Design /