Martial Arts Scholarships
Self-Discipline Counts in the Job Market
Unfortunately the martial arts remain non-sponsored sports among the collegiate athletic associations This, despite the fact that millions of American youth participate in a variety of disciplines and engage in fierce national and international competitions. The search for martial arts scholarship money directly from any college or university is not wasted time, though. You will see among the list of scholarships we’ve discovered that there are a few from very prominent collegiate teams, such as Texas A&M Judo.
If you wish to continue your sport in a collegiate environment, explore your options for collegiate club sparring and competition. A growing number of colleges have clubs that invite students from mixed martial arts backgrounds for education, sparring, and light competition.
Leverage Your Martial Arts Experience for Professional Purposes
The practice of martial arts is a great selling point on your future professional resume. Employers regularly seek the same character traits that any good student of martial arts learns: self-discipline, determination, the ability to focus, and other strong personal characteristics. You can learn these in any MA discipline.
Here is a list of martial arts scholarships you must not miss:
From Martial Arts Associations and Leagues
American Taekwondo Association Scholarships
The American Taekwondo Association’s H. U. Lee Scholarship Foundation has been supporting the higher education of Taekwondo youth since 1992. The scholarships are open to students nationwide that have been actively engaged in the study and sport of Taekwondo. Eligible applicants must be graduating high school seniors enrolling in a four-year degree program, with a GPA of at least 3.0 and SAT/ACT scores of 1100/27. Applications must also contain a 500-word essay and two letters of recommendation.
AAU Karate Scholarships
Two Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Karate Scholarships are annually awarded to outstanding AAU competitors. One male and one female award are given. Applicants must be active and skilled competitors in national AAU Karate to qualify.
Kick 4 College National Karate League Scholarships
Talented karate students involved in Kick 4 College league competition stand to win some impressive scholarship dough. The league awards scholarships to “the top five point leaders in all advanced belt boys and girls sparring divisions, for ages 14 years and older.” This rounds out to about $3,700 per scholarship.
U.S. Judo Federation Scholarships
The Keiko Fukuda Judo Scholarship is annually awarded to outstanding female athletes (judoka) enrolling in college. Applicants must have at least four years of active membership with U.S. Judo. Applicants that demonstrate financial need are preferred. Awards are usually around $500. The George C. Balch Education Scholarships recognize a student whose educational goals are in education. Applicants must be college-bound and intent on staying active in judo. Scholarship awards are $1,000.
USA Judo Life Member Scholarships—Elite Judoka
Elite athletes that practice the art and sport of judo may also compete for a chance to wind an elite college scholarship. The USA Judo Life Member Scholarships recognize the outstanding accomplishments of college-bound athletes. Awards are $2,000 and renewable by semester. Applicants with significant financial need are preferred, but they must have GPAs of at least 3.0.
From Colleges and Universities
Texas A&M Judo Team Scholarship
Rare is the college team that extends martial arts scholarships. The Texas A&M Judo Scholarship comes directly from this highly competitive team. Athletes must have superior judo and academic records to qualify.
San Jose State University Swain Scholarship
San Jose State University has a long judo tradition. The Mike Swain Judo Scholarship is given to outstanding judoka at SJSU to help support their education and sport. Applicants must provide a letter of recommendation from a coach as well as educators. Students are also encouraged to submit tournament video.
University of California-Riverside Karate Club
The Karate Club at UC Riverside offers scholarships to students meeting certain eligibility criteria. To qualify, full-time students must have been on the Karate team for at least one year and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Practicing an AAU/WKF recognized style of Okinawan/Japanese Karate is a pre-requisite for application, as well. Full and partial scholarships are awarded.
From Private Organizations
Elite Martial Arts Students
Kumite International offers five $1000 scholarships to elite martial arts students who also demonstrate strong leadership abilities. These funds fill in the gap left by so many universities and colleges not offering martial arts scholarships. For more information or to apply, interested applicants need to contact the organization directly.
Martial Arts Scholarships for Education and Research
If you are serious about education and research in the martial arts, the USA Martial Arts Foundation may be willing to fund your project.
The San Diego Foundation
The USA Freestyle Martial Arts Scholarship is available through the San Diego Foundation. To apply, all candidates must be currently attending or must have previously attended USA Freestyle Martial Arts. A minimum 2.5 GPA is required as well. Those students exhibiting financial need or those with extraordinary challenges will be given preference. Two awards ranging from $1000 - $3000 are given annually.
The Willington Karate Club
Eighth through twelfth grade students in the Connecticut counties of Tolland and Windham may apply for the Willington Karate Club scholarship. A student need not be a member of the club in order to be awarded this scholarship. The local schools determine the recipients based upon donor criteria, so interested applicants need to contact their school for more information.
Vero Beach Karate Association Scholarships
Student athletes involved in the Vero Beach Karate Association may earn valuable scholarships when they complete high school and earn a black belt. The association awards scholarship money to all its senior black belt members enrolling in college.
Scholarships for High-Risk Youth in Michigan
Superior Martial Arts Project Action in Gladstone, Michigan provides martial arts scholarships for high-risk children. The goal? Keep kids off the street, out of trouble, and drug-free. More information may be obtained directly from Superior Martial Arts.
Attend Chinese Martial Arts Seminars
A Taste of China, Taijiquan, Chinese Martial Arts in Winchester, Virginia, offers the Jou, Tsung-Hwa scholarship in order to allow free attendance at their Taijiquan, or Tai Chi, seminars. Seminar topics include Taiji Weapons and Traditional Yang Family Style Taijiquan. Those interested in applying for this scholarship must contact A Taste of China directly.