Sport, Fitness & Recreation

Martial Arts Instructor

Martial arts instructors teach students the skills and beliefs of a particular martial art, such as judo or karate.

  • Entry-level education

    VET qualification

    Private training course

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Martial Arts Instructor do?

Martial arts instructors teach students the skills and beliefs of a particular martial art, such as judo or karate.


Work activities

As a martial arts instructor, you would:

  • create lesson plans and develop individual training programs
  • demonstrate warm up routines and physical conditioning techniques
  • teach students the beliefs behind the martial art
  • break down movements and techniques into teachable steps
  • monitor the progress of students and give feedback
  • work with students at all levels of proficiency
  • coach students before tests or exams
  • take responsibility for the health and safety of students, and for teaching safe training habits
  • continue to develop your own skills
  • advertise your classes
  • specialise on one or more martial arts forms.

Key skills and interests

To become a martial arts instructor, you would need:

  • a high level of experience and knowledge in your chosen martial art
  • an understanding of physiology
  • the ability to communication clearly and concisely
  • an understanding of the learning process
  • patience
  • a thorough understanding of the safety aspects of the art
  • a passion to inspire others.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Most martial arts instructors are self-employed. You might work full-time or part-time, but you would usually have to work irregular hours, which you may be able to set yourself. This would include working evenings and weekends.


You would work in martial arts studios, gyms or local halls.

Martial arts impose some risk to those that take part. You would need to ensure your students' safety and make sure they understand the safety skills behind the discipline.


How to become an Martial Arts Instructor?

Entry Level Education

You can become a marital arts instructor without formal qualifications. Your employment prospects may be improved if you have a VET in martial arts or self defense. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. Private training courses are available in all forms of martial arts.

It is recommended that martial arts instructors become accredited. The National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS), coordinated by the Australian Sports Commission, offers education and a nationally recognised qualification to people coaching at all levels.

You may also become an accredited instructor by completing the National Martial Arts Instructors Accreditation Scheme through the Martial Arts Industry Association.


Job outlook

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The outlook for martial arts instructors is expected to be positive but relatively steady.

As more people realise the benefits of all forms of physical exercise, particularly as a way of combating obesity or stressful lifestyles, more opportunities will be available for martial arts instructors.


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