new instructor

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Ksdave, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. Ksdave

    Ksdave New Member

    Im thinking of becoming a weapon based martial art instructor. Any advice on how to work it so that at least I have food on my table? specifically in Finland. Thank you.
  2. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    Do you have any experience in weapon-based arts to date? If not, it could be quite a long time before you get up to instructor level, while if you have then your own organisation will probably be able to tell you how long it will take to get qualified to teach that material.

    I don't know any weapons-based instructors making a living off teaching martial arts, just in case you were hoping to make a career of it...
    pgsmith likes this.
  3. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Are you talking full time only career or part time secondary career? Are you already making a living as a hand based style instructor? Or would this be a whole new endeavor?

    It is rare for people to make a full on living only as an MA instructor. It can happen. But it isn't the majority of instructors from what I have seen. My school has full time instructors, but that is only the Sifu and a couple of the instructors. Most instructors are part time.

    From what I have seen here, most who run their own organization, or are running a chapter of a larger organization, rent another facility and still have another job that puts food on the table. Full time, maybe I am wrong, requires investment in your own building for one thing.

    Becoming a weapons based instructor is one thing, making it what you make a living from is a whole other thing. The former is more likely than the latter. Not trying to discourage you, it CAN be done, but the reality of most instructors that I have seen is they don't make their primary living off of it. Also, are you willing to take time to build a business? It might take time to build from say, renting a place for classes and teaching part time to make the leap to building a facility that is primarily yours and you teach out of full time.

    Maybe someone here who does do this as their primary source of income can help more than I can. :)

    I don't mean to be discouraging, but I think a lot of people want to teach for a living, but it is harder than they realize to make it happen.
  4. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I know somebody who took over a number of TKD schools in different locations, teaches 6 nights a week in various leisure centres etc, way over 100 students.

    He did it with a view to making it his full-time job.

    A year in, and after building up the schools considerably, he is coming to the conclusion that he cannot make a decent living as an Instructor.

    Luckily he kept his "normal" job, so has been working 120 hour weeks...

    I have around 60 registered students I think, and it has allowed me to stay at home and look after my kids without being a drain on family finances, and has chipped in a few quid, but it's so far from being a job for a main bread winner, depending on your personal expectations of course.

    I would say go for it, do it properly, but don't expect it to pay the bills.
    aaradia likes this.
  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    My instructor manages it as a full time job. Although I've no nidea what he earns.
    And... he is is incredibly busy.
    Teaching classes 6 nights a week, school clubs, kids tkd parties on weekends, 'ninja skills' classes for very young kids, ladies self defence classes, a yearly interclub competition he helps organise (which basically breaks even as far as I can tell), etc.
    No way he could be as successful without that kind of drive and work ethic.
    He's free during the day and obviously enjoys the lifestyle but it's not something to be taken on lightly.
  6. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    How many students does he have?
  7. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    It's my goal too, but I know what to do. Train for 15 years and have a good fight career.
  8. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Not sure. 250? Something like that? Seems to vary a lot across the year. Get the usual new year influx in Jan, drop off over the summer. :)
    Mitch likes this.
  9. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member


    My Sensei used to have his own school and the only way he could live with it was - with a second job; he also had his own security firm.
    In his school he had others teachers as well - they wanted to get paid.
    Accounting did his wife (it's not something he'd like doing).

    A friend of mine, a lawyer, would like his own dojo - but it would be so much work, that he is hesitant to give up his secure job, he has now.
    He knows the tons of work, because -as you said- it's not just teaching two hours a day and that's it, when you really want to live from it.

    An instructor I know has her own dojo, because her instructor gave it to her - he does tons of things, aside from the normal training sessions (similar to what you mentioned: Additional things on the weekend with kids and such...).

    I think it's pretty awesome, if you can live from teaching and having your own school - but it's not to underestimate what a whole lot of work that means.
    And that's not only the own fun parts, but also accounting, paying people (and if it "only" for cleaning, unless one likes to it alone), ...
  10. Eindhoven Aikido

    Eindhoven Aikido New Member

    1- Why do you want to be an instructor?
    2- Do you have any prior experience in martial arts?

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