An outstanding martial arts instructor will leave a lasting impact on his or her students. Along with the focus on self-discipline, character building, and integrity, instructors can help individuals through their journey in life while keeping them physically active and healthy.
Whether it's a fitness class, a self-defense class, or a traditional martial arts class, a great instructor can make the biggest difference in the quality of your business. Here’s how to find the ideal martial arts instructor for your classes.
What Makes an Outstanding Instructor?
Martial arts are deeply rooted in philosophy, discipline, and integrity. A remarkable martial arts instructor should not only understand the tenets of their martial art, but also live by them and lead by example.
Social skills and leadership are important traits, and some talented martial artists may not have the personality or social fluency to become instructors. Because martial arts involve a combination of mental focus and physical prowess, a strong command of verbal and non-verbal communication skills is essential for providing mentorship.
Naturally, the qualifications of a martial arts instructor must be weighed. For example, poor quality of instruction during a self-defense class can compromise your students’ safety if the training doesn’t apply to the real world. Because of the physical contact involved in training, injuries should be avoided as much as possible through appropriate preparation. A code of conduct should be implemented and potential instructors should be evaluated for their awareness and exemplification of accurate and safe technique.
Criminal record checks can also be helpful in preventing unwanted scenarios, though in certain cases, this should not restrict an instructor from employment. Finally, the opportunity to review a demonstration performed by a potential instructor is typically indicative of whether he or she is a good fit for your organization.
Searching for Private Instructors
By conducting a search, you may find skilled private instructors seeking additional work. Private instructors may create a higher risk for public organizations due to the uncertainty of their credentials; however, you can lessen this risk by hiring a reputable instructor, who has garnered the support of other members in the community. Consulting with someone who is fluent in martial arts or teaching to get a second opinion can also help ensure the instructor is a good fit.
Getting Help from Local Martial Arts Businesses
If you’re not a martial arts school, it can be challenging to source reliable instructors. The martial arts instructor labor market is unlike most other industries, because most schools promote from within.
If you’re a studio or organization looking to add martial arts classes, you may encounter a lack of freelance instructors in your area. Established martial arts businesses may be able to help fill this void. Schools may be interested in creating a satellite program as a means of testing their own expansion potential, or they may want to give junior instructors an opportunity to accumulate more teaching experience.
Being a Gracious Host
Many martial arts class instructors are not in-house staff, meaning that their time spent at your organization may be limited only to their classes. While organizational culture will play less of a role for these contract-based instructors, it’s still important to provide them with a positive work environment. Being accommodating to a reasonable degree will enable them to teach for your organization for years to come.