Header FAQ 1200

Below you will find the answers to some common questions we get asked. Simply tap or click the question to show the answer.

What is MARTiAL YOU?

MARTiAL YOU is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Carmel, Maine USA that was formed in July of 2011 by Shawn Hill, a 2nd Dan in TaeKwonDo, in order to fill the need for affordable and accessible martial arts programs. Our organization is dedicated to promoting the martial arts and its benefits to both youth and adults in our local community as well as those around the globe.

MARTiAL YOU is not a martial arts school or a martial arts program, we are a source of collaboration and the glue that will bond martial arts communities and its members.

Our original board of directors comprised of three individuals has since grown to include ten like-minded people willing to help direct our efforts.

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Why The Name MARTiAL YOU

Well, the word "martial" in the context of martial arts can mean "war-like", "suitable for war" or our intended and chosen definition "characteristics of or befitting a warrior".

So now we have characteristics of or befitting a warrior and we want to bestow those upon you! MARTiAL YOU.... Simple, to the point, and it defines our mission.

More Information Here

Who Funds MARTiAL YOU?

To accomplish our efforts we reach out to individuals, small businesses, corporations and foundations for contributions.  Though funding is very important to help us promote martial arts, create accessibility for low-income families and improve existing programs, our existence relies on the volunteer hours contributed by those who believe in our mission. 

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How Does MARTiAL YOU Spend it's Funding?

This depends on how the funding is obtained. As a non-profit we mainly fundraise for specific projects and any funding recieved by that campaign is used only for that project and its completion. Funding recieved through general donations and not bound to a specific purpose can be used to help complete a project, promote our cause or help pay for any number of program expenses.

The one thing that does not exist in our organization is a financial motivation or benefit that could attract individuals with the wrong intentions about becoming involved. In other words there is no big paying job.

For More On Where Our Funds Go Click Here 

What is Project MARTiAL YOU?

This is an ongoing goal to create a non-profit community martial arts center focusing on providing the best instruction to the broadest range of individuals possible through reduced membership fees subsidized by fundraising, grant funding and donations.

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Where Will Project MARTiAL YOU Be Located?

Currently we are based in Carmel, Maine and have our sights on the city of Bangor for a community center and headquarters. We will be choosing a location that will best suite the Bangor area and the surrounding towns. A definate address has not yet been determined but will be announced as soon as we know.

Will Project MARTiAL YOU Once Complete, Be Competing With Other Martial Arts Schools?

The short answer to this question is... yes of course we will be in one form or another. Anytime you have a service being offered by more than one person or business you tend to have competition. Though this is unavoidable, our goal is not to undercut the competition and steal their members. Our goal is to keep martial arts accessible.

In fact we will be working to raise money for our Independent Scholarship Fund dedicated to helping those both in and out of our local community attend martial arts programs through participating schools and organizations.

We will be working with as many schools as we can to keep martial arts alive and well.Remember our mission is to promote the martial arts and its benefits, not to compete.

We do not intend on becoming the Big Box store of martial arts that takes over the world and puts the little guys out of business. This is simply not our mission and would not be the best situation. The intent is to provide a choice which we hope will benefit everyone.

Why Would I Choose a MARTiAL YOU Facility Over Another Martial Arts School?

First of all, if you are enrolled in a quality program or school and are able to afford the membership fee, then stick with it. If you find yourself in need of changing or are just begining and live near us then I will list the top four reason you may choose to train within our center.

First - and foremost the bottom line is money. We intend on having the smallest membership fees possible in order to give people the opportunity to participate in structured programs.


Second - we intend on hosting multiple styles of martial arts along with several other programs revolving around fitness and self-defense in order to give individuals the best choices.


Third - we will be rooting ourselves into the community and participating in local programs to best serve the needs of our community.

Fourth - our green initiatives make us unique in that the lessons of balance tought in martial arts will be part of our day to day operations and will give you the opportunity to train in an environment that is more conscientious of that.

When Can I Start Training at a MARTiAL YOU Center?

Well this will depend on how good we are with generating awareness, fundraising and how generous donations are. Funding is very difficult to come by these days and there are plenty of hoops to jump through in order to prove the money will be used for a worthy cause. Having a proactive cause is not quite the same as feeding the hungry, disaster recovery or curing a disease so funding is slow and harder to come by and it will take us much more time to raise the money needed to renovate or build our community center.

We are in hopes that our efforts to create access to programs that foster health and well-being amongst children and adults will earn us the ability to receive enough contributions to create the first non-profit martial arts community center within the next 2-3 years.

In the begining our biggest time killer was official paperwork. Becoming a non-profit itself was a small challenge in itself. As of April 23rd 2012 MARTiAL YOU was granted tax exempt status under section  501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue code.

Hey... Doesn't The YMCA Already Offer Martial Arts Programs? Whats The Need For MARTiAL YOU?

Yes, many YMCA locations offer a few martial arts programs including Karate and Taekwondo. I know this first hand because I have been a volunteer with the YMCA in Bangor, Maine since 2004 and still am. I love these programs and believe them to be a great asset to everyone.


The down fall is that since the YMCA structure encompasses so much, not a lot of focus is placed on those particular programs. Martial arts tends to slip under the radar much of the time when it comes to the benefits it provides so commitments to the programs may vary from location to location.


This is where MARTiAL YOU comes in. Our focus is the martial arts.

How Much Will A Membership at the MARTiAL YOU Center Cost Me?

We intend to establish the following estimated guidelines in the beginning and look to lowering cost as we can:

      • Monthly Fees per individual will be capped at approximately $35 which may be decreased further based on economic standing. This will allow access to the facility during appropriate class times for any chosen discipline.
      • Monthly Fees for families of 2 will be capped at approximately $55 which may be decreased based on economic standing. You will be able to add additional immediate/direct family members for $10 each per month. Now immediate/direct means direct or immediate and not a boyfriend, girlfriend, friend of family or long lost cousins, second cousin etc. Proof of relation will be required to prevent abuse of this rate.
      • As of this business planning minimal testing fees for belts below black are intended to cover only the items required for testing such as a new belt, wood or brick for breaking, certificates and uniform alterations or changes. Black belt test fees are based on certification fees of each discipline, master instructor charges and custom belt costs.

Remember when comparing fee structures from school to school and from fitness facility to fitness facility that there are additional fees above membership costs to cover certain services or programs. Most gyms or fitness facilities including the YMCA non-profit that offer special programs such as martial arts, charge an extra fee per month on top of their membership fee for the martial arts classes. Also the lowest per month fee I have personally found for a quote "martial arts school" is around $50.00 per month and that goes up very quickly and can reach upward of $150-$200 per month for some schools.

I Take Classes At My Community College, Should I Switch Over To MARTiAL YOU?

Well, there are many instructors who teach at community colleges and universities with great success. Most of the time the fees for these classes or clubs are very minimal since overhead is not an issue and many times the instructors themselves may not charge for teaching.

I would say that if the location is convenient and you are satisfied with the quality then stay in those classes. I myself have helped instruct TaeKwonDo at Eastern Maine Community college in the past and have attended several University Of Maine open martial arts tournaments only to realize these are all great programs.

A few of the main factors for switching to MARTiAL YOU from another school, club or facility would be location, cost, environment and of course quality of instruction. 

I Want To Train But Have A Young Child, Do You Plan On Having Childcare Available?

Yes we do. Our plans include a fully functional childcare section with qualified personnel. This of course does not translate into daycare in which a child would be looked after all day but will be an area where you can have your child cared for while you attend classes. We believe this to be especially important when it comes to parents trying to train so it was actually not even a thought but more like a necessity.

How Can I Start a Non-Profit Similar To MARTiAL YOU in My Area?

This question comes up often and usually contains inquiries about specific financial advice which we cannot give since that is not our expertise. We can however point you in some of the directions we ourselves traveled in order to help you begin planning.

It’s great to hear you are working to create a non-profit martial arts organization. We need many more of these! One of the first things you will do is start a business plan to put in writing your ideas and plans. These plans require you to research every aspect of your organization’s financial viability.


We know first-hand that looking to create a business plan can seem daunting but if you approach the task as you would any other goal set you will get it done in no time.

A couple of decent resources for are:

The Score Website


The Small Business Association

During this planning you will probably need to provide demographic information to show how your new non-profit will impact the community you are in. If you live within the U.S. then the Census data from our very own government is your best friend. Try visiting the site below and plug in the zip codes you need the data for.

US Census Data

Business-Planning-Book-100One of the books we ourselves used as a reference for planning:

Starting & Building A Nonprofit (A Practical guide)




costs-200Depending on what type of organization you are going to create whether it be a school or a collaborative mechanism such as MARTiAL YOU, a good place to start is to check with schools around you and find out what their overhead is. Look at properties in your area and find out what it would cost to lease some space. Ask all over to see what is charged for membership fees.

A few numbers pertaining to membership fees we gathered in our research can be found here:

MARTiAL YOU - Affordable Memberships

Those costs are typically up there because of overhead and the desired profit margins set by the owner. You can see very quickly how high membership fees can go by adding up the basics (rent, insurance, salaries, etc.) and dividing it by the average amount of students you may have.

Independent for-profit schools are hit hard with overhead unless they are run from someone’s home. If you open a separate facility your costs will skyrocket not only because of the building but because that usually comes with employees that need income to survive.

With a non-profit, one key item to keep those costs down is the use of volunteers. Volunteers are as valuable as gold and should be treated as such. The martial arts community is based on giving back by teaching once you have been taught. Tap in to that philosophy but never abuse those who give their time… ever



hands-200Even though we have a goal of creating a large community center, we are all about collaboration with existing organizations. This allows you to run programs right away and with lower costs. In the end the students do not have to pay for the higher overhead and you give more people the opportunity to participate.

For this I would check with local universities, town rec centers, churches and other local organizations with space available.

Hard Work:

Never make the mistake of thinking a book, a plan or an idea can take you on the fast track to success. Hard work is what will get you there. Do the hard work, do the research, do the networking and find those who share your views to prosper with.