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Martial arts instructor

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

Annual Salary


Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

36 to 38 variable

You could work: freelance / self-employed; managing your own hours

Future employment

There will be 0.8% more Martial arts instructor jobs in 2026.

Day to day tasks

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

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work in a creative studio or at a fitness centre.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

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 the 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.

For more information

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.

For more information

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

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.

Find out about and apply for opportunities through Join In.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a martial arts instructor from UK Coaching.

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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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something
  • customer service skills
  • leadership skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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