How Much are Krav Maga Classes? Complete Guide


Krav Maga has made quite a name for itself for down and dirty self-defense techniques that are easier to learn than traditional martial arts, but deadly and effective. But how much are Krav Maga classes?

Here’s what I discovered looking into it:

The average cost for Krav Maga classes is $136 per month. Most schools do not charge a registration fee or require a uniform. But there will be sparring gear required which can be a 1-time cost of as much as $200.

But that’s just a quick snapshot.

After all, many traditional martial arts schools have belt testing (and sometimes a fee for that), sparring gear to buy, registration fees, and other add-ons. So does any of that apply to Krav Maga?

Let’s check it out!

How much do Krav Maga classes cost?

The average cost for Krav Maga classes is $136, but they can range from as low as $55 to $250 per month. Other factors can include how often students train per week.

We often expect the prices of products and services that we think belong to the same category to be similar. We may assume, for example, that the cost of Taekwondo classes and Krav Maga classes ought to be in the same range. After all, they’re both martial arts.

The reality is that when one really looks at both, the economics of operating a Taekwondo business might differ slightly from that of having a Krav Maga business.

Don’t forget that these are businesses that have to pay for overheads and earn profits if they’re going to be able to sustain the schools they operate and that their cost structure and operating realities often differ.

Some schools are new, while some are old, with seasoned instructors to boot. Some schools are housed in small buildings, while others are in big buildings.

Overall, the average cost for Krav Maga training is highly reasonable, considering the value being offered.

And, when you factor in the shorter duration required to learn it, it’s not really expensive. So, like most things, the price varies from school to school.

The price depends on the location, how old the school is, the quality of the instructors, and how much you get to practice each week. Another factor is the rise in the demand for it, and last but not least, the duration.

And, consider that you could learn it in a year or less (though the ideal is two to three years).

So, it’s quite possible that the trainers consider this in setting their prices. After all, they only get to have students for relatively short periods, compared to other martial arts. There’s a high turnover (some students drop out) because they find Krav Maga too challenging.

What about Aikido classes? Are they expensive?

That’s what I wrote about in a recent article of mine. In it, I looked at the average cost to join an Aikido class, if registration fees are charged, if the registration fees include the uniform if it costs more to train more than once a week, and I wrapped it up by looking at why martial arts schools are expensive.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Why is Krav Maga so expensive?

Krav Maga is expensive because it is currently in demand, can be learned much faster than traditional martial arts, and because of how effective it is.

Krav Maga is one of the most practical and lethal martial arts.

There are no philosophical or spiritual facets to contend with. It’s about how to destroy your opponent and is designed for combat and combat only. Its core philosophy is, “do whatever works.”

Folks know that Krav Maga is highly effective; that’s why they pay top dollar for it.

There’s a huge demand for it. And, as you know, price and demand are almost always positively correlated. One of the reasons for KM’s effectiveness is the context in which it was developed. It was developed by Imi Lichtenfeld, who was into wrestling and boxing.

He originally designed it to help Jews protect themselves against anti-semites if they are physically attacked.

The Israelis, as you know, regularly get embroiled in conflict. So, they had to adopt a super-effective form of defense, or they may not survive. There’s hardly any other form of self-defense that has been, and that is being tested in battles. This is why it’s used in training many military forces.

So, when you’re trained in Krav Maga (you can grasp the fundamentals in 6 to 12 months), you’re doubly sure you’ve got the skills to defend yourself and your loved ones.

And you don’t need 3, 5, or 10 years (as you would if it were some other martial arts). So, considering the value you’ll get, it’s actually debatable whether it’s expensive.

The training period is short (relative to other styles).

When one compares what it’ll take to learn system X, which takes five years, and Krav Maga takes a year or two. You’ll even get an instructor’s certificate. If you’re interested in getting advanced training, on the whole, it shouldn’t take you more than two years. It’s apparent that it only seems more expensive.

Have you ever wondered if a Kung Fu fighter can beat a Krav Maga practitioner?

I have. In fact, that’s what I explored in a recent article of mine. Just click the link to read it on my site.

Before, we move to the next section. I’ll reiterate something that I believe is of vital importance. In evaluating the cost of a martial art system, we ought to take a deep perspective.

What do I mean by that?

The focus shouldn’t merely be on the dollar amount we have to pay. It should be on the value we’ll get in return. After all, it’s possible to pay a small amount for a crappy martial art.

One day, one’s life or the life of a loved one could be at stake, and the last thing you need is a “cheap” martial art! Now, let us find out if you’ll need some equipment to join a Krav Maga school.

What equipment do I need for Krav Maga?

The following equipment is the basic essentials needed to practice Krav Maga:

  1. Mouth Guard
  2. Groin Guard
  3. Boxing gloves or Muay Thai gloves
  4. Shin Guards
  5. MMA gloves

Krav Maga is a combat system and gym session combined.

You’ll be sparring with other folks who are there to train, just as you are. You’ll be using most parts of your body during training. Naturally, there’s the likelihood of getting hurt. So, you’ll need protective gear.

What if you’re already proficient in another martial art, and you’re considering adding Krav Maga to your arsenal? Can you use the gear you’ve been using before? It depends on the art you were into.

There are a few commonalities (Boxing or Muay Thai gloves are a good example), but on the whole, the others are Krav Maga specific gear. It’s advisable to buy new ones for Krav Maga, seeing as, even if there are commonalities, what you’ve been using before may be worn.

Above, I mentioned the basic gear needed for Krav Maga. However, if money is no object, many who practice Krav Maga also use the following:

  • Headgear (not always used in some schools)
  • Sparring Pads or punching mitts (for additional training at home, the school will provide during classes)
  • Training Dummy or Punching Bag (for additional training at home, the school will provide during classes)
  • Fake Weapons (for additional training at home, the school will provide during classes)
  • Gear Bag

That’s quite a list. Now that we’ve got the equipment you’ll need out of the way, would you be required to dress in a particular fashion for training?

Does Krav Maga require uniforms?

Unlike other martial arts, Krav Maga does not require a gi or specific uniform. Generally, practitioners wear comfortable clothes that are easy to move in and won’t restrict movement.

Some members of some gyms like to wear similar clothing, to demonstrate a feeling of oneness. But, there are really no strict expectations when it comes to what you wear. Think cool and comfortable.

That said, you’ll likely find schools that have a preference for some kind of attire that they want everyone to use.

But, this is an exception, not the rule.

The following are some of the clothing items that are commonly worn in Krav Maga training:

  • Athletic (not running type) shoes
  • Athletic attire
  • Gym shorts
  • Breathable socks
  • Yoga pants
  • Sports bra
  • Baggy T-shirt 

Most martial arts seem to be dominated by men and boys; much more than women and girls.

But in all honesty, with 3 daughters, I can tell you that martial arts can be essential for girls and women to learn! But are some martial arts better for females than others? And what about teenage girls who can feel awkward about their body development?

Again with 3 daughters, 2 of which have done martial arts, and seeing hundreds of female students at the dojo I used to run, this is familiar territory for me. I get into all of it in a recent article of mine.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Are Krav Maga classes worth it?

Krav Maga classes are well worth the time and expense if the primary goal is to learn essential self-defense techniques quickly and without having to learn choreographed movements or study Eastern philosophy.

Let’s face it, Krav Maga is not sexy.

There are no grand philosophies or some fancy classical martial arts moves. Its motto is “whatever works.” That’s one of the keys to its effectiveness. You’re not limited to some techniques you’ve learned in a dojo that may not work in real life. In a real fight, “anything goes.”

This is what Krav Maga prepares you for.

If you’re simply looking for a martial art that’ll help you become fit, almost any martial art will do. But, if self-defense is the main reason, then Krav Maga is the way to go.

Why? It’s brutal and deadly. That’s why. In other words, it’s super-effective. It’s totally worth it.

If you are ever in a street fight, the attacker (or attackers) would not be playing fair. They won’t be playing by the rules. They are out to hurt, maim, or even kill you! The last thing you need in that situation is a martial art that’s conditioned (read: restricted) you to some moves or techniques.

This is where Krav Maga is different.

Remember, I wrote earlier that It’s a “whatever works” system. The goal is not to deflect the assailant’s energy and ensure a peaceful outcome! Oh no.

The goal is to destroy your assailant(s), and any of these are fair game:

  • Gouging their eyes
  • Choking them
  • Kicking them in the groin
  • Headbutts
  • Biting 

The aim is to destroy the attacker as fast as possible!

If you’re trained in it, you’ll be able to effectively defend yourself in a street fight. That said, trained Krav Maga specialists don’t look for fights. They know that the smartest self-defense is to flee if you have that option. KM skills are lethal, so you want to use them only when it’s necessary.

Now that you know it’s a wise choice, how long would it take to be really good at Krav Maga?

How long does it take to learn Krav Maga?

Krav Maga basics can be learned in 6 to 12 months, and many students master Krav Maga after 3 years of training. Training 2 to 3 (or more) times per week is essential keeping to those timetables.

Apart from its effectiveness, the time it takes to learn Krav Maga is also one of its good points. It doesn’t take a long time. So, you’re getting a proven self-defense system, and you don’t really have to spend five years to be good at it. That’s awesome.

In 6 months to 12 months, you would have learned enough to defend yourself effectively.

This is because Krav Maga is not really about complicated moves. It’s practical, and you’re learning to use many parts of your body as weapons which makes you fast and deadly. One minute you’re using your head as a weapon, the next, it’s your knee delivering a disorienting blow to someone’s groin!

But what if you want to be a master?

It could take you at least three years to be a master at Krav Maga if you’re physically fit and you’re training about 2 to 3 times each week. Even graduates of the Krav Maga training schools would argue that mastery takes a lifetime, which is understandable.

Since true mastery in anything takes a long time.

This is because there are stages in the art. And, these stages are perfectly mapped to what one’s required to know as one progresses. A true master is expected to have mastered all that they’re necessary to know in all the stages and to be able to teach the experts.

Those who say it takes a lifetime understand that there are always new things to know.

And even after one has done that, one can also refine and improve certain aspects of one’s grasp of the techniques, in the same manner, that a master pianist would probably play the same basic chords day in day out so that they can have an almost intuitive mastery.

That’s also what the Krav Maga black belts strive for.

There are three stages or grading systems:

  • (1) practitioner
  • (2) graduate
  • (3) expert

If you’re just getting started, you’ll be in the first category. The graduate level is for those who are so proficient they can now be instructors, and the third level, the highest, is usually connected with the military. The most basic stage has five levels of training.

Do Krav Maga schools charge a registration fee?

Most Krav Maga schools do not charge a registration fee. For schools that do charge a registration fee, that fee would typically be a 1-time fee of around $100. 

If you’re just about to start training, it’s okay to be a tad confused about some of these simple questions.

Not to worry, I’ll clear them up. As we’ve mentioned Krav Maga schools do not usually require a uniform, so a uniform is rarely a part of the registration fee

The registration fee is an administrative charge you pay once. It’s not often an annual fee.

You’ll notice that I wrote “rarely” above when talking about uniforms.  So, don’t be surprised to find a few schools that bundle the cost of a uniform with the registration fee. Since Krav Maga doesn’t have an official uniform, that might simply be a branded T-shirt and training pants.

But there are schools where a uniform is required (which is very rare). If you opt for such a school, you’ll need to buy uniforms a few times in the course of your Krav Maga career.

So, if a school has a registration fee, there’s nothing shady about it. It’s a common business practice. Here’s the list of the typical items you’ll have to pay for:

  1. Registration fee (one-off, but rare)
  2. Monthly tuition (Recurring)
  3. Uniform or clothing to train in (Each time you buy a new one)
  4. Testing (Recurring, but some schools do not charge extra for testing )
  5. Protective Gear (May need to occasionally replace)

Before you join a school, it’s smart to know if you’ll have to “pay-as-you-go” or if you’ll have to sign a contract for an extended period. That’s the next thing we’ll explore.

Do Krav Maga schools have long-term contracts?

Most Krav Maga schools do not have long-term contracts. Long-term contracts were once common in all martial arts schools. However, most memberships can be canceled with a 30-day or 60-day notice.

Those who have long-term contracts are doing it because it makes business sense, and they want students who are really committed. Of course, they also have an option for the cancellation of the contract. So, it’s not as if you can’t change your mind.

The contracts vary depending on the school.

There are those with 3, 6, or 12 months, but ongoing monthly memberships like a gym are becoming much more common. In fact, most reputable schools give you the option of a trial period before you commit to the training.

During this, you can test the quality of what they’re offering. It’s usually a two-week period.

Some contracts are actually beneficial, in the sense that the monthly due and testing fees could be lower, the opportunity to come for training as much as you like, free seminars, and reduced fees for equipment.

Of course, if you’re not comfortable with the whole idea of a contract, you can simply find other schools that allow you to “pay-as-you-go.”

Conclusion

In the preceding paragraphs, we looked at a couple of important info about Krav Maga.

We explored the average cost, why they are expensive, the equipment you’ll need if you’ll need to buy a uniform. We also looked at if the classes are worth it, how long it takes to learn if registration fees are charged, and finally if you’ll have to sign long-term contracts.

Krav Maga is more than worth it.

It’s designed for combat. And, it’s even used in training military forces! So, it’s super-effective if you have to defend yourself. In fact, you’ll learn some techniques that’ll turn you into a fighting machine.


Photo which requires attribution:

krav maga epo test-92 by leopoldo de castro is licensed under CC2.0

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell was Academy Director for a large martial arts school for over 7 years, and has trained extensively in a variety of martial arts including Brazilian Jiujitsu, different styles of Karate, the Russian Martial Art of Systema, Aikido, and much more.

Recent Posts