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Martial Arts Insurance Coverage

For Studios, Gyms, Schools, Instructors, and Tournaments

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Insurance for Martial Arts Studios, Instructors, and Tournaments

“Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.”

Bruce Lee

Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense; military and law enforcement applications; competition; physical, mental, and spiritual development; entertainment; and the preservation of a nation’s intangible cultural heritage.

Martial arts training is valuable for many purposes, including teaching discipline and self-defense, and improving health and fitness. Owning or operating a martial arts training center or competition is about providing students those benefits.

While instructing martial arts can certainly be conducted in a very safe and low-contact manner, there are always risks to teaching martial arts, operating a martial arts studio or school, or hosting a martial arts tournament.

Even if the martial arts studio has taken all realistic precautions, it can still be held liable for injuries and other issues related to its events and facilities.

Our insurance policies for martial arts programs allow you to focus on providing your services with peace of mind knowing that you are protected against potential risk.

martial arts student on knees against a black backdrop
martial arts students practicing in studio, indoors
martial arts tournament, indoors
“The best fighter is someone who never has to fight because they control the situation.”
Bruce Lee

Types of Martial Arts We Cover

Martial Arts

Studios & Instructors

Martial Arts

Events & Tournaments

We offer both general liability and accident medical insurance to martial arts studios that teach the following disciplines or styles:

A modern Japanese martial art that is split into many different styles, including Iwama Ryu, Iwama Shin Shin Aiki Shuren Kai, Shodokan Aikido, Yoshinkan, Aikikai and Ki Aikido
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)
A martial art and combat sport based on ground fighting and submission holds
Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu
A Japanese martial art that includes techniques from nine traditional Japanese martial arts schools.
A Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music
Goju-Ryu is a traditional Okinawan martial art that emphasizes a combination of hard and soft techniques, incorporating circular and linear movements.
A form of self-defense that employs joint locks, grappling, throwing techniques, kicks, punches, and other striking attacks
Jeet Kune Do
Jeet Kune Do, founded by Bruce Lee, is a martial art philosophy that advocates practicality, efficiency, and directness, encouraging adaptability and individual expression in combat.
Jiu-Jitsu (Traditional Japanese)
Different from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, this includes various traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu styles.
A system of unarmed combat, modern Japanese martial art and Olympic sport Karate: A martial art believed to have begun in the Ryukyu Kingdom, developed from the indigenous Ryukyuan martial arts under the influence of Chinese martial arts, particularly Fujian White Crane
A Southeast Asian martial art that includes stick-fighting and other weapon-based techniques.
A martial art believed to have begun in the Ryukyu Kingdom, developed from the indigenous Ryukyuan martial arts under the influence of Chinese martial arts, particularly Fujian White Crane
Kendo, a Japanese martial art, focuses on swordsmanship using bamboo swords (shinai) and protective armor (bogu), with an emphasis on discipline, respect, and the cultivation of the practitioner’s character.
The name of several arts, its meaning is “fist method”
Kickboxing and Cardio Kickboxing
A group of stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate mixed with boxing, with Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Savate also having some influence
Krav Maga
A military self-defense and fighting system developed for the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli security forces derived from a combination of techniques sourced from Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, Aikido, and Karate
Kuk Sool Won
A comprehensive Korean martial art that incorporates various techniques from traditional Korean martial arts.
Kung Fu
The Chinese martial arts also called wushu and quanfa. In China, it refers to any study, learning, or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete
Law Enforcement Self Defense
The use of force by law enforcement officers necessary and permitted under specific circumstances, such as in self-defense or in defense of another individual or group
MMA / Mixed Martial Arts (without full contact)
Combat sport based on striking, grappling and ground fighting, incorporating techniques from various combat sports including boxing, kickboxing and martial arts from around the world
Muay Thai (without full contact)
A martial art and combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques
A Russian martial art and combat sport that combines elements of judo and wrestling.
Shito-Ryu is a style of karate that blends traditional Okinawan and Japanese martial arts elements, characterized by a diverse range of techniques encompassing both hard and soft movements.
A style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi and his son Gigo Funakoshi
Tae Kwon Do
A Korean form of martial arts characterized by punching and kicking techniques, with emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques
Tai Chi
An ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise
Tang Soo Do
A Korean martial art based on Karate that may include fighting principles from subak, as well as northern Chinese martial arts
Wado-Ryu is a Japanese karate style founded by Hironori Otsuka, integrating traditional karate techniques with elements of jujutsu, emphasizing fluid movement and redirection of an opponent’s force.
Wing Chun
A concept-based traditional Southern Chinese kung fu style and a form of self-defense that requires quick arm movements and strong legs to defeat opponents

Don’t see your martial arts system above? Contact us to find out if we can still insure you, your studio, or your upcoming tournament.

When an injury, such as a sprained wrist or ankle or a broken leg occurs, insurance coverage for your martial arts studio can alleviate worry and financial burden.

martial arts mat, indoors
“Martial arts is a way of life, not just a sport.”
Unknown Author

General Liability Insurance for Martial Arts

Our general liability insurance policy provides coverage for claims and lawsuits that allege bodily injury or property damage. 

General liability covers up to a specific amount to spectators and other non-members of your organization who file a claim or lawsuit against your martial arts business. Fortunately for policyholders, investigation of the claim and adjustment of any potential payout are taken care of by the insurance company.

General liability also covers property damage that may be due to negligence on the part of the named insured.

The Liability Coverage ($1,000,000 Coverage)

Who Is Covered

This program provides protection for your Martial Arts School or Studio owners, instructors, and employees against claims of bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and the litigation costs to defend against such claims. Coverage is provided up to $1,000,000 per occurrence with a general aggregate amount of $1,000,000. There is no deductible amount.

Coverage includes suits arising out of:

  • Injury or death of participants
  • Injury or death of spectators
  • Injury or death of volunteers
  • Property damage liability
  • General negligence claims
  • Cost of investigation and defense of claims, even if groundless

Exclusions & Ineligible Sports/Activities

Abuse/Molestation, Assault & Battery, Employment Related Practices, Total Pollution, Collapse of Temporary Structure, Fireworks/Pyrotechnics, Use of Trampolines, Inflatables, Diving Boards, Swimming Activities, Gymnastics, Cheerleading Pyramids, Skin & Scuba Diving, Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Motor Sports, Rodeo or any Equestrian Related Sports, Polo, Mountain Climbing, Rock Climbing, Climbing Walls, Waterslides, Ballooning, Parachuting, Sale/Manufacture/Distribution of Athletic Equipment, Use of Saunas or Tanning Devices, Full Contact Sparring of Any Kind, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Cage Fighting, Law Enforcement Training, Public Safety Training, Military Personnel Training, Aerial Maneuvers or Silk Rope Activities More than 5 Feet off Ground, Use of Bladed Weapons, Use of Projectile Weapons including, but not limited to Firearms and Tasers and Defense Sprays, and the following Martial Arts Styles – Muay Thai/Thai Boxing, Kali/Escrima, Savate, Sayoc Kali, Dim Mak and Haganah.

Accident Medical Insurance for Martial Arts

Our excess accident medical policy helps pay for out-of-pocket medical costs for an injured martial arts student or instructor. Injuries do happen when participating in youth and adult martial arts classes, and an accident medical policy can keep injured students or instructors from facing a serious financial burden due to medical bills from an injury.

Covered individuals would encompass all registered members of your organization, including participants and volunteers, so long as the injury happened during a covered activity.

The policy pays medical bills for a member who is injured at your school or during activities you sponsor, if, either the member has no health insurance, or the medical bills exceed what the member’s insurance will pay.

Participants Medical Payments

All youth and adult students and staff members of the Policyholder are covered while participating in sponsored activities.

Maximum Excess Medical Expense Benefit

If the Covered Person incurs eligible expenses as the result of a covered injury, the Company will pay the cost of such expenses, which are incurred within a 52-week period following the date of the accident, beginning on the date of the accident. Payment will be made for eligible expenses, not to exceed the Maximum Medical Expense Benefit of $100,000, subject to a deductible amount of $250. The first such expense must be incurred within 90 days of the date of the accident.

This coverage is excess medical, commonly known as secondary coverage. Primary coverage of the injured party will be responsible for initial payment of medical expenses. The coverage we provide pays expenses not paid by the insured’s primary insurance, subject to the plan deductible. This plan does not cover treatment or services payable under any other insurance or medical service plan available to the Covered Person.

Exclusions and Limitations

This Plan does not cover any loss due to or resulting from:

  • Sickness or disease in any form, except pyogenic infections due to an accidental cut or wound.
  • The use of drugs or narcotics, unless administered under the advice of a physician.
  • War or any act of war, whether or not declared.
  • Participation in any riot or civil commotion.
  • Suicide or any attempt thereat or any self-inflicted injury.

How Much is Martial Arts Insurance?

For Martial Arts studios, there is a basic annual premium starting at $8.71 per student. The number of active students is based on the busiest month of the year where enrollment is highest. This calculation is based on the previous year’s enrollment numbers.

If your studio has less than 50 enrolled students, there is a minimum premium of $450 plus fees, which results in around $490 per year.

We also offer insurance coverage for independent martial arts instructors. Contact us or complete the quote form to receive an estimate of insurance premium costs.

The Optional Coverage Add-ons We Provide:

  • Independent Contractors: who receive a 1099, can be added to coverage at your location only.

  • Sexual Abuse and Molestation: $1,000,000 liability coverage is an option that can be added to protect you from claims that may arise out of alleged abuse and/or molestation.

  • Spectator Med Pay Benefit: provides $5,000 in reimbursement medical expense coverage in case a spectator is hurt at your location, whether you are liable or not.
  • Equipment Coverage: covers your contents and equipment up to a specified limit.
  • Day Camp: coverage covers your camp participants. (Requires supplement application and underwriting approval please contact esportsinsurance)

Full-Contact Martial Arts and MMA Insurance

If you require insurance for any martial arts with full contact, including MMA with full contact, competitive training of fighters or boxers, a ring, or a cage, please contact us directly for a quote.

Our Insurance Carrier

The General Liability with participant accident coverage included is provided by an “A-” (Excellent) rated by A.M. Best Company.

Additional Information

The study of Martial Arts allows students, no matter their age, to learn self-defense and discipline. There are always risks in teaching martial arts and operating a school; therefore, participation can result in accidents and injuries. Our specialized insurance can help injured students meet large deductibles and pay remaining balances after their insurance pays benefits.

In addition, our coverage helps studio owners satisfy insurance requirements mandated by lenders or landlords, and gives protection from exposure to lawsuits through claims made by participants or spectators.

Staff members are included for no extra charge. Please note that independent contractors are not considered staff, however, they may be added for an additional premium under optional coverages.

Our specialty insurance for Martial Arts Schools and Studios is designed to help ease the financial and emotional burden one can incur as a result of a lawsuit or participant injury claim. Liability insurance, which includes participant medical coverage, is offered as a standalone product and with options such as equipment, abuse/molestation, spectator medical payment, camps, and tournament coverage available.

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Exploring the Historical Roots of Martial Arts

“Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he deserves it…Don’t allow his anger to become your anger.”
Bohdi Sanders, Warrior Wisdom: Ageless Wisdom for the Modern Warrior

Martial arts have a diverse and extensive history from places and people of all ages all around the globe.

Below is a brief survey of these origins in China, Korea, Japan, and Brazil.

Fearless kung fu

Chinese Martial Arts

Consider by many as the birthplace of martial arts, there is evidence of Chinese practices dating back to at least 500 BCE, and as far back as 100-1046 BCE. These early martial arts roots can be traced by the influence of Taoist and Buddhist philosophy, emphasized by their focus on physical and mental discipline. Popular styles from China include Kung Fu and Tai Chi.

Karate girl

Japanese Martial Arts

In the context of feudal warfare, Japan had a strain of martial arts grow with samurai warriors developing a range of fighting styles for the battlefield. Judo, karate, and aikido are three of the most common fighting Japanese styles.


Korean Martial Arts

There’s evidence of combat training forms in Koreas as far back as 37 BCE – 668 CE during the Three Kingdoms era. Taekwondo originated around 1945, is highly popular around the world, and is an Olympic sport. It was a formalized version of the prior martial arts styles in the country. Some argue these roots date back to Taekkyon and Subak fighting styles during the Joseon Dynasty. Taekkyon emphasizes fluid movements and Subak focuses on striking.

Two Jiu Jitsu competitors working out on a really hot day. Black and white photo.

Brazilian Martial Arts

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) was created after Mitsuyo Maeda immigrated to Brazil in 1914, from Japan, evolving what was originally the practice of Judo. The martial arts style gained popularity prior to and during the 1990s when the style was utilized in the UFC by the Gracie family. Today, BJJ is recognized as one of the most effective martial arts for ground fighting and self-defense.

Today, martial arts are practiced all over the world, with various styles and traditions being taught and adapted to suit different cultural contexts and individual needs. These fighting styles are not just about fighting others, but about self-defense, physical fitness, and mental discipline. Martial arts are enjoyed and practiced by individuals at a young age and adults alike.

The Impact of Covid-19 on Martial Arts Schools & Gyms

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the martial arts industry saw significant changes across the country. Numerous studios were forced to close down, while other schools struggled to retain their students as families struggled to make ends meet.

With COVID-19 shifting from pandemic to endemic new social behaviors mixed with the anxiety and uncertainty that surrounded the experience have had permanent effects. While it has led to numerous negative consequences, it’s also opened up new pathways.

The martial art schools that endured the challenges have not only bounced back but have also discovered new ways to grow their business and extend their opportunities through both in-person and digital outlets. Offering virtual training and online courses created new options for diversifying school income.

Martial Arts Insurance Coverage

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