Job type

Martial arts instructor

£21k - £35k

Typical salary

36 – 38

Hours per week

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

More info

  • Teach martial arts to children and adults, via classes or one-to-one
  • You'll need excellent martial arts skills, physical fitness, along with patience and a strong sense of responsibility
  • You'll often work part time and combine this with another role

As a martial arts instructor, you'll specialise in a particular art such as karate, jujitsu or judo, training others.


  • Preparing lesson plans
  • Demonstrating warm ups, skills training, and physical conditioning
  • Coaching students
  • Developing individual training programmes
  • Observing and assessing students and giving them feedback
  • Developing and practising your own skills
  • Taking responsibility for the health and safety of students
  • Promoting your classes


You could work with both adults and children, instructing them at an appropriate level. You could work in a creative studio or at a fitness centre, and your working environment might be physically demanding. 

You'll usually be self-employed and may work in another job as well as teaching. Your income will vary depending on the number of clients you have and your reputation as a tutor.

You'll need

For this role, you'll need knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses, excellent verbal communication skills, customer service and leadership skills, thoroughness and attention to detail, and the ability to work alone.

To train as a martial arts instructor, you can do a coaching qualification at college that is recognised by the National Governing Body (NGB) for your martial arts discipline. You'll need instructor membership of your NGB, a minimum grade approved by your NGB, and a recommendation from your association before attending an instructor award course.

You can do an intermediate apprenticeship for an activity leadership coaching qualification to become an instructor.

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

You'll need to be 18 or over, and pass DBS checks.


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