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.


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.


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
2.49 % + 25c 3.9 % + 25c 55c
+ 29c per batch
+ $2.5 declines
$10 / month $25
Martial Arts on Rails
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
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
Martial Arts on Rails
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
  • This software is very useful for martial arts gyms. I run a grappling gym, and the features for this software are fantastic.

    Further, the developer is extremely responsive, and walked me through the entire process from start to finish. He is also consistently updating his product, and incorporates feedback from users to make Martial Arts on Rails better every month.

    I would recommend this software to anyone!
    David Gorham David Gorham Colossal Fight Company
  • The beautiful UI and overall feel of the software got us hooked. Although there are a ton of amazing features, nothing comes close to how the customer service makes you feel when you join. If we have an issue, they personally emails us back almost instantly to get it resolved!

    Martial Arts on Rails has been one of the greatest decisions we have ever made for our school / business. Don't be like us and wait to get started.

    Sign-up now and see for yourself how amazing this software is!
    Stephen Cruz Stephen Cruz Kioto BJJ Chattanooga
  • Very high value for very reasonable price. Devs are incredibly responsive. Suggestions are made into features SAME DAY many times.

    Manage memberships/collect tuition/set up recurring payments all in-app for the same price you would pay a third party payment collection company to JUST collect money. Too much good stuff to list.

    I haven't dealt with a service this good and people this dedicated in probably 20 years. It's actually a little shocking.
    Ray Effler Ray Effler Livingstone Karate
  • After three years of dodging the bigger companies peddling their software, my partner and I decided to give Martial Arts on Rails a try.

    Any issues or questions we had were answered promptly and any feedback we have was immediately put to use to make the software truly compatible for our gym.

    Currently we are using MA on rails at both of our locations and are very happy with the product and service provided.
    Branden Guptill Branden Guptill Honu BJJ
  • Our clientele doubled within the first four months of using this software. It has been absolutely amazing.

    Easy to set up new students. Easy to find history of payments. It's very organized and easy to navigate. I love that our members have access to their own profiles.

    Love this software!
    Mission Submissions Heidi Smith Mission Submissions
  • The Best Software for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy!

    Very helpful, if you had any issue they will answer you right away! The software is easy to use to keep track of your members.

    Martial Arts on Rails have done a great job and I recommended to anyone out there!
    Derrick Torres Derrick Torres Knights BJJ
  • All features requests are considered and thought through.

    I looked at 50+ different options and tried ~10 that were affordable. Martial Arts on Rails was in the top 3, I was sold by the support that was absolutely, and still is, great. Very fast response to explain, correct or enhance.

    I can only recommend this software. It is not the cheapest but far from the more expensive. Definitely worth the money!
    Franck Royer Franck Royer UTS Jitsu
  • I love how easy it was to setup for our dojo! And it built our front landing page AND student portal all at the same time. Billing is easy and perfect. Nothing but great stuff.

    What few small problems I've had were quickly addressed. I have had ZERO problems with the back-end payment system or student management.
    Leif Summerfield Leif Summerfield Bozeman Aikido
  • Using Martial Arts on the Rails has made my life much easier. With the last management software I was using I had to spend hours on the phone and honestly just dreaded going in to the gym to work on the computer.

    I now have a lot more confidence in the way that I am managing the business, our programs and our memberships and I am more organized.
    Molly Shields Molly Shields Kaijin MMA
  • It's amazing! I should have switched sooner. It's already saved me time and money. I don't have to chase down payments anymore.

    It's user friendly, adorable, reliable, and full of custom abilities. I love the email function and even the texting function. I love it.
    Michael Sugar Michael Sugar Advantage Martial Arts
  • Payment system and student lead tracking is unparalleled.

    This software is amazing for keeping a martial arts school on track. They are continually improving features as well and we highly recommend anyone use it.
    Earl Dunn Earl Dunn Alpha & Omega Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  • Switching from Kicksite to Martial Arts On Rails - Website integration is awesome, I use square for my business and as far as I know this is the only software that integrates square into their system.

    The cost compared to kicksite is better as compared per student. So far very impressed would recommend people giving this software a chance.
    Michael Jones 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 parters - Stripe, Square, Authorize.net and Mollie, 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 and Mollie provide SEPA bank debits to EU customers.

  • 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.