Martial Arts Instructor

Job Description:

Martial arts instructors teach martial arts like karate, jujitsu and judo.

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • prepare lesson plans
  • demonstrate warm ups, skills training, and physical conditioning
  • coach students
  • develop individual training programmes
  • observe and assess students, and give them feedback
  • develop and practise your own skills
  • take responsibility for the health and safety of students
  • promote your classes


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Martial Arts Instructor, specific academic qualifications are not always required. However, certain personal qualities, skills, and experiences are highly valued in this field. That said, here are some relevant subjects and other considerations that can be beneficial:

  1. Physical Education (PE): PE or equivalent can provide a solid foundation in fitness, anatomy, and sports science, which are all relevant to martial arts instruction.
  2. English: Strong communication skills are essential for teaching, as you’ll need to effectively convey techniques and principles to your students.
  3. Mathematics: While not directly related to martial arts, basic math skills can be useful for managing finances, scheduling classes, and other administrative tasks.
  4. Psychology: Understanding human behavior and motivation can be very beneficial for instructing students effectively.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship


To train as a martial arts instructor you can do a coaching qualification at college that’s recognised by your National Governing Body (NGB) for your martial arts discipline.

Before taking a coaching qualification you’ll need:

  • instructor membership of your NGB
  • a minimum grade approved by your NGB
  • a recommendation from your association before attending an instructor award course

Some NGBs may expect you to have held an assistant coach qualification for 6 months. The NGB for your discipline can give you advice on qualifications as instructor awards differ between NGBs.

There are no set entry requirements for this route.


You could do an intermediate apprenticeship for a community activator coaching qualification to become an instructor.

Training providers set their own entry requirements for this apprenticeship.

Career tips

You may need a children’s instructor award before working with children. It can also help you if you have experience of teaching or coaching another sport, and a first aid certificate.

You can gain useful experience through volunteering in clubs or at sporting events.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 36-38 hours of work. You could be required to work freelance/be self-employed managing your own hours.

You could work in a creative studio or at a fitness centre. Your working environment may be physically demanding. You may need to wear a uniform.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, and a senior instructor award, you could set up your own school or association.

You could become an examiner with a professional sporting association, assessing and grading students of martial arts.