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Martial arts instructor

Alternative titles for this job include

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

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Martial arts instructor

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.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this route.

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.

More Information

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 Do IT.

Further information

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

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

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 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 and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and 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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Community Activator Coach

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually
  • Location: Sunderland

Sport Coach Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually
  • Location: 2nd Floor, 26 Goodge Street, London

Courses In England

Sports Coaching & Performance

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Waterlooville

BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Bishop Auckland

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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