What does a Martial Arts Instructor do?

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  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 06 April 2020
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A martial arts instructor teaches students the techniques and respect that come along with learning and being skilled in fighting arts. Not all people who are great at martial arts make good instructors. The individual must have knowledge of the craft, be in excellent physical condition, have a high level of patience, and have a good rapport with people.

A martial arts instructor may be skilled in one or more types of fighting styles. There are a variety of types that are broken down into several specific arts of fighting. For example, Karate and Judo are two of the arts of fighting categorized under Japanese Martial Arts. An instructor may choose to focus on only one specific art.

It is vital that a martial arts instructor be willing to show students lessons repeatedly if necessary. Some students pick up instruction faster than others, but a good instructor will take the time to show each student correct form and proper technique, no matter how long it takes. A good instructor knows that each student is different and should be treated as such. If one teaching technique does not work, a new one should be developed.


A martial arts instructor should command respect and discipline, but in a way that the students do not feel threatened or looked down upon. Each student should feel comfortable asking questions and know that the teacher will listen to suggestions or ideas without being disparaging. A mutual respect between instructor and student is vital for a successful relationship.

The majority of martial arts instructors have black belts, which takes years of discipline and practice to obtain. He or she must always be in top form, not only physically but mentally as well. Being an instructor can be physically and emotionally draining, so it takes a strong willed person to be able to make it happen.

While a martial arts instructor may focus on teaching students that are a variety of ages, some teach only children or only adults. Some may not just teach classes, but may also hold workshops and perform demonstrations. All are a way for the instructor to offer his or her expertise to a variety of students.

A martial arts instructor must know that he or she is responsible for the training of others and that it is merely not a job. Many of the students have a passion to learn martial arts and expect to be taught by someone that has just as strong of a passion, if not more. A good work ethic and character is essential to the individual's success as a teacher.


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Post 1

As a former martial arts student, I can say it takes more skill to be a good instructor for adults than it does for kids. Children usually naturally respect adults, and they're also flexible little rascals who can learn certain skills much more quickly than adults.

A good martial arts instructor stays positive and believes in his or her students. Beginning adult students are often nervous and self-conscious, as well as being keenly aware of those students who seem to catch on to everything while they struggle. A good instructor sees this and does everything he or she can to encourage and motivate the beginner adults so they will not become discouraged and quit. The instructor may be teaching

adults who have been in the work force for years and while they will always have a surface level respect for their instructor, he or she must earn deeper respect by showing the student he believes in them.

An adult instructor also must have tremendous patience for beginning adults who are insecure about their abilities, or lack thereof. The instructor must be willing to continue to encourage these students and to understand some of the skills may not be possible for a student to master for a long while. Encouragement and positive reinforcement go a long way in making sure adult students have a good experience in their classes.

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