Selling to Martial Art Schools


Picture of a few members of my TKD family, I am second from the left

Are you a martial arts school or do you sell to martial arts schools? If so, I have some great ideas for you! I actually have a martial arts background and would love to share my insights to give you some ideas for your custom screen printed merchandise.

Today’s blog topic directly relates to my life because I am a martial artist. I am a first degree black belt, testing for my second degree in July. I am even a taekwondo instructor. Since I love martial arts and see what we use and sell first hand, I’m going to share several ideas of different apparel items you can create specifically for martial arts with just a heat press and heat applied transfers. I will also provide advice on good times to sell to martial art schools.

Every summer, we give students the option to switch out their long sleeved uniform tops with one of our t-shirts, providing a new t-shirt design for purchase each year. If the student still has their t-shirt from a previous year, they can wear that t-shirt as well. Most students get a new shirt each year. If your school does the apparel internally, you can even offer multiple t-shirt options throughout the summer, providing new options every month.

Summer t-shirt idea. Layout MAS-14

Summer t-shirt idea. Can do some with “Black Belt” and some without. Promote your school by adding your logo. Layout MAS-14

Our school has hosted an annual taekwondo championship every fall for the last thirteen years. For this tournament, we invite a custom apparel vendor to heat apply transfers for competitors and attendees at the event. The vendor brings their heat press right to the event to create the apparel on location. They usually provide a few transfer options as well as a few apparel choices to heat apply the transfers to. They also provide popular add-ons such as “1st Place” for on top of the design or on the sleeve. I have even seen a transfer option that shows the name of the tournament for hoodie sleeves. Another popular add-on could include adding the competitor’s name with custom or glitter flake letters.

Tournament t-shirt idea. Layout: QAL-164

Tournament t-shirt idea. Have quick add-ons to show what the competitor placed. Layout: QAL-164

Our school does a summer camp each year for younger students. At this camp, students do taekwondo at the school in the morning and explore parts of the local community (zoo, amusement park, beaches) with instructors in the evening. It could be a great idea to have t-shirts made specifically for the camp goers. You can customize the t-shirt specifically for the location, for camp, or simply include the school’s name.

Summer camp t-shirt idea. Layout: QSL-189

Summer camp t-shirt idea. If you have a nickname for your younger students, add it to the design. Layout: QSL-189

With the colder weather comes more potential for sales. Every year, around Christmas time, we have a hoodie and sweat shirt sale. This is a popular time for students and parents to purchase items for holiday gifts as well as for themselves. Our Grand Master always provides a hoodie as a Christmas gift to his instructors during our Christmas party, as an appreciation gift for our dedication to the school. I highly suggest doing something similar, to show your instructors that you appreciate the time and dedication that they provide to your school.

Holiday hoodie idea. Layout: QSL-170

Holiday hoodie idea. Give hoodie as a gift to your instructors. Layout: QSL-170

A few extra ideas:

We always end the summer with beach training. We have the luxury of living really close to a beach, so every summer we invite the students and their families to bring a picnic dish and meet at the beach for class. During beach training, we combine all of the age groups to participate in class and a few fun activities on the beach in full uniform, sharing in a picnic afterwards. If you do a similar event for your school and create the clothing internally, you can heat apply your school’s logo to swim suits and towels for this event.

Some of our uniforms are screen printed, and some are embroidered. You can create the backs of the screen printed uniforms with heat applied transfers. If the school has its own logo you can add it as a custom clip art so that you can add it to any of our layouts, or you can simply submit it as an Easy Prints Plus order.

After black belt testing we always hold a celebration where all of the testing families brings in a dish and we celebrate this great achievement in the testers’ lives. After black belt testing, there is often an increase in uniform sales because the students want to purchase uniforms that you can only wear as a black belt. This could also be a great time to increase t-shirt sales. Create t-shirt designs that say black belt, there’s a good chance that students will want others to know that they passed their test.

Don’t forget those martial arts moms! We have a great group of taekwondo moms who are extremely dedicated to their child’s achievements. Especially the moms of our demo team members. I know that a lot of them would love t-shirts made specifically for them. Make t-shirts and apparel items specifically for martial arts parents!


When selling to martial arts schools, remember that not all martial arts are the same. For example, if you are selling to a taekwondo school, you may want a graphic with a high kick, if you’re selling to a wing chun school, you will want to focus on images showing blocks and arm strikes, and if your target school teaches jiu jitsu, you will want images that look more like grappling and are low to the ground. The key to martial arts sales is knowing the martial art that you are selling to. This is easy to accomplish by simply researching the school that you want to sell to.

What you can heat apply to:

Here are a few ideas of what you can heat apply to if you own or are selling to a martial arts school. Martial arts shoes, fabric sparring gear, bag for sparring gear, bag for uniform, back of uniform, uniform pants, uniform sleeves, fabric targets, promotional t-shirts, promotional pants, hoodies, and almost anything else that is made of fabric.

Inside scoop:

I hear that there will be some awesome additions to the Easy Prints® Martial Arts clip art coming soon!

~ Roxy

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