Looking for a Zen Planner alternative?

Martial Arts on Rails is an modern, user-friendly alternative to Zen Planner, that saves you frustration and costs.

See why hundreds of gyms & martial arts school owners have already made the switch.

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What Makes Martial Arts on Rails Better

Martial Arts on Rails
Zen Planner

A Modern Member Profile

Everything you need to manage your members' memberships, attendance and payments is right there at your fingertips.

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Martial Arts on Rails
Zen Planner

Quick Dashboard And Notifications

Everything you need to know at a glance, from your business financial situation, to members attendance and notifications that require your attention.

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Martial Arts on Rails
Zen Planner

Member and Manager Friendly Attendance Tracking

Self service member check-in via a numeric code, name search, barcode scanner or QR codes - on any device.

Managers can backdate attendance quickly and efficiently with our mass check-in feature.

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Martial Arts on Rails
Zen Planner

Billing And Reporting

Understand your cashflow in real time with visual charts and sophisticated filters. Access it from anywhere, on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

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Martial Arts on Rails vs. Zen Planner

  Martial Arts on Rails Zen Planner

Free Trial

Martial Arts On Rails

30-day free trial with access to all features and full support.

Zen Planner

15-day free trial.

Accessibility

Martial Arts On Rails

Optimized for use on any device. Laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone, you choose.

Zen Planner

Runs primarily on desktops while providing an inferior or broken experience on mobile devices.

Pricing

Martial Arts On Rails

Starts at $60 / month. All features included.

Zen Planner

Starts at $117/month. Excludes basic add-ons.

Payment Processing

Martial Arts On Rails

Integrates with Stripe, Square and Authorize.net to handle your membership payments and point-of-sale. Your payment processor stays separate and under your full control.

Zen Planner

Single provider with limited options in many countries. Exporting members' payment data comes with a hefty fee.

Payment Processing Fees

Martial Arts On Rails

Fixed rates that save you over 20% on membership payments.

Zen Planner

Variable rates that trigger higher rates for membership payments (off session payments). Learn more

Ease of use

Martial Arts On Rails

Easy-to-use software, with a modern look and feel. No training needed.

Zen Planner

Customers need to go through the training process to learn how to use the software. Outdated user interface.

Try Martial Arts on Rails 30-day Free Trial, No Credit-Card Required

Fees as low as …% *

* For qualified payments

You’ve probably seen this before when evaluating processing costs – a low processing fee with phrasing such as “As low as…” or “starting at …”, ending with an asterisk.

Different transactions are charged different rates by the credit-card companies, depending on the type of card used and the potential risk of the transaction.

Payment gateways then roll those rates on to you with their own pricing scheme, often separating payments into classes of "qualified", "mid-qualified" and "non-qualified" payments. Qualified payments are charged the advertised “starting at…” rates, while non-qualified payments are charged increasingly higher rates depending on different factors (also known as three-tier pricing).

Recurring payments that are charged using a card on file automatically are charged the highest fees. For a membership based business, that means most of the transactions will be considered non-qualified and be subject to much higher fees.

Other charges can include setup fees, monthly fees, charge-back fees and more.

At Martial Arts on Rails we partnered with payment processor who offer simplified rates with that are optimized to online and recurring billing, and no monthly fees. Let's see how it compares to Zen Planner's fees through Solupay:

Qualified Non-qualified Direct Debit Monthly Chargeback
Zen Planner
(PaySimple)
2.49 % + 25c 3.9 % + 25c 55c
+ 29c per batch
+ $2.5 declines
$10 / month $25
Martial Arts on Rails
(Stripe)
2.9% + 30c 2.9% + 30c 0.8% ($5 cap) 0 $15 / $0

To show how this adds up, we'll calculate it using a monthly payment volume of $12,000 in 100 transactions. We’ll assume 90 of these transactions are active members on recurring billing (i.e, offline transactions which are non-qualified), and 10 are new members which are swiped in where possible and, to keep it simple, don’t use rewards cards or other non-qualified cards.

We’ll also include 1 chargeback per month, which we defend successfully (Stripe will refund the chargeback fee if you defend it successfully).

Qualified Non-qualified Monthly Total
Zen Planner
(PaySimple)
10 x $120 x 2.49%
+ 25c x 10
= $32.4
90 x $120 x 3.9%
+ 25c x 90
= $443.7
$10 / month
+ $25 chargeback
$511
Martial Arts on Rails
(Stripe)
10 x $120 x 2.9%
+ 30c x 10
= $37.8
90 x $120 x 2.9%
+ 30c x 90
= $340.2
$0 chargeback $378

More than $100 monthly difference in cost due to higher rates on most payments and additional monthly fees. This is one of the reasons we integrate with Stripe and Square, as they work well for online payments and membership based businesses, and provide a better experience overall.

Why do users switch from Zen Planner to
Martial Arts on Rails?

The price kept going up while more and more restrictions were being added. We would contact Zen Planner customer support just for them to transfer us and make us wait for an email that never arrived. It felt like their software was stuck in early 2000. The complete opposite of Martial Arts on Rails!
Stephen Cruz - Kioto BJJ Chattanooga Stephen Cruz Kioto BJJ Chattanooga
The setup is pretty simple and easily integrates with payment software. The front-desk option is a nice feature for allowing students to check in. Great set of features for the price. Cost, support and usability of Zen Planner was much worse.
Ben Larrabee - Parker Self-Defense Ben Larrabee Parker Self-Defense
  • Onboarding

    Easy to Set Up, Easy to Use

    We understand the pain of trying to use a product that wasn't designed properly. Delivering fancy features and advanced capabilities means nothing if the software is not easy to use.

    That's why we spent years optimizing ours to provide you with the best experience possible and make running your business more efficient.

  • Dashboard

    Premium Feel, Premium Look

    Forget the boring and outdated management software. Get started with our modern tool and give your gym that premium feel it deserves.

    Impress your staff and members with a tool that matches your brand, in terms of quality and customer satisfaction.

  • Badges

    You Can Ask Us Anything- Really

    As martial artists, fitness junkies and software developers - we built this product because you are our ideal customer. We will work with you to make sure our product fits your needs. Your success is our success.

Here’s Why Gyms Love
Martial Arts on Rails

01 / 15
  • Super useful to martial arts gym owners. I run a grappling gym, and the features are perfect for that.

    Customer service is very responsive and guided me through the whole set-up process. The team is always adding new features and enhancements based on user feedback, and the product gets better every month.

    I would recommend this software to anyone!
    David Gorham Colossal Fight Company
  • The beautiful UI and overall feel of the software got us hooked.

    There are a ton of great features, but the best thing is how their support team makes you feel when you sign-up. From the first day, if we have an issue or question, a developer or the founder get back to us almost instantly to get it resolved!

    Martial Arts on Rails is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made for our business. Don’t think about too hard like we did in the past - sign-up now and see for yourself how amazing this software is!
    Stephen Cruz Kioto BJJ Chattanooga
  • Great value for a very reasonable price. The team is extremely responsive, and suggestions are made into new features all the time - sometimes on the SAME DAY.

    You have everything you need to run a martial arts gym - membership management, attendance tracking, billing and recurring payments all for the same amount you would pay a third party JUST to collect money. Too much good stuff to list.

    I haven’t dealt with a service this good and people this dedicated in over 20 years - it’s almost a little shocking to be honest.
    Ray Effler Livingstone Karate
  • After three years of avoiding the bigger companies and their products, we gave Martial Arts on Rails a try.

    Any questions or issues we had were immediately addressed, and our feedback was quickly implemented to make the product an even better fit with our gym.

    We’re now using Martial arts on Rails at both our locations and are really happy with the software and the customer service.
    Branden Guptill Honu BJJ
  • Our membership doubled within the first four months using this product - it was pretty incredible.

    Easy to sign-up new students, easy to see payment history. Overall it’s very organized and easy to navigate. I love that our members can access their profile online.

    Love this software!
    Mission Submissions Mission Submissions
  • The best software for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school!

    The developers are very helpful. If I have an issue, they answer right away! The product is simple to use to keep track of your students.

    Martial Arts on Rails are doing a great job with their software, and I would recommend them to anyone out there!
    Derrick Torres Knights BJJ
  • All of our feedback was considered and thought through.

    I considered 50+ other options and tried around 10 that were affordable. Martial Arts on Rails was in the top 3 - The thing that sold me was the customer service that has been incredible. They are quick to clarify, adjust, and improve if necessary.

    I can recommend this software without reservation. They are not the cheapest, yet offer great value and definitely not the most expensive. Absolutely worth the money!
    Franck Royer UTS Jitsu
  • It was so easy to set-up our dojo! We got a member portal and a website at the same time. Billing members is extremely easy. Nothing but good things to say about our experience.

    The few issues I had were addressed immediately. I had ZERO problems at all with the member management or the back-end payment system.
    Leif Summerfield Bozeman Aikido
  • Martial Arts on Rails made my life so much easier. With the previous software we used, I was spending hours on the phone, and honestly I hated going to the back office to work on the computer.

    I now have much more confidence in the way we’re managing our business, our programs and our members, and we are so much more organized.
    Molly Shields Kaijin MMA
  • This software is amazing! It’s already saved me time and money and I wish I switched sooner. I no longer have to spend time chasing overdue payments.

    It’s user friendly, reliable, and full of neat features and customization options. Really loving the email and texting functions. Love it!
    Michael Sugar Advantage Martial Arts
  • The billing features and member lead tracking is unparalleled.

    The software is perfect for keeping a martial arts school on track. They are also constantly upgrading and adding features. We highly recommend this software.
    Earl Dunn Alpha & Omega Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  • We switched from Kicksite to Martial Arts on Rails. The website integration is great. I use Square for payments, and this is the only software I have found that integrates Square into their billing set-up.

    They are also more cost effective per student compared to Kicksite. Extremely impressed so far and would definitely recommend people give their software a try.
    Michael Jones Escambia Martial Arts

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How easy is it to switch from Zen Planner to you?

    Zen Planner will provide you with your member information upon request. Our import feature will guide you through adding all of your member information quickly into our platform.

    Zen Planner can also release your members' payment information for a fee. You can then import it with any of the payment processors we work with - Stripe, Square or Authorize.net, and control your payment information going forward.

  • What are the payment processing fees?

    All payment processing is run through our payments partners - Stripe, Square and Authorize.net, and each have their own set of fees depending on your location and payment types.

    We do not charge anything extra beyond the fees charged by your selected payment processor.

  • Can I use direct bank debit?

    We support direct bank debits for member payments, depending on your location and payment processor.

    Stripe and Authorize.net provide ACH and eChecks respectively to US customers. Stripe also provides SEPA bank debits to EU customers, BECS direct debits in Australia, and Pre-Authorized Payments in Canada.

  • How do I track promotions?

    You can track attendance using a tablet at the front desk, or manually at the back office.

    For each program you run in your gym, you can set up promotion criteria for each rank / belt, and then generate reporting on members' progress towards their promotion criteria. The system also generates notifications when members are ready to be tested for promotion.

  • I have an existing website, can I use it with your software?

    All of our online features can work independently from the website we provide, and integrated on your existing website.

    This includes the gym weekly schedule, lead capture forms, the member sign-up form and access to the member portal.

  • Are you available in my country?

    Any gym around the world can use our software! Credit-card processing might be limited to the countries supported by our payment partners, but you can still run payments manually and use all of our features without limitation.