Martial Arts School Success: Hiring Your First Instructor

A martial arts school’s success can be greatly influenced by the quality of the instructors. Strong instructors can even save a school with a weaker martial arts curriculum. In other words, instructors are one of the most important aspects of your school. Considering they can have such an impact on your school, when your school grows to a size where you can’t be the only instructor, what do you do to ensure you hire the best possible? Here are some points on how to hire a martial arts instructor at your martial arts school.


Assess your School

Take a look at your school’s student make up, as well as your martial arts marketing plan. Do you have more kids than adults? Do you focus more on a specific age group? Does your school focus on lifestyle or does it lean more towards serious competitions? These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself, to get a grasp on where your school is at now and where you want it to go. This may also change the style of teaching your going to need, in order to make these plans a reality. Once you know where your school is situated, make a list of instructor traits you’re looking for.


Internal Versus External

Do you have any senior students who could be a high quality instructor? It’s hard at the beginning, with limited numbers of students close to white belt, but you should see some stand out students with teaching potential, as your school progresses. A student who has really bought into your teachings will be a great asset, as they will pass along your teachings with passion and resolve. That being said, if you don’t have any students with potential as an effective instructor, it might be a good idea to look outside your school.


It should be noted that promoting students to instructors is much more likely in schools that have been open for a longer period of time; schools where students have grown along with the business. While younger schools can still attract lifelong martial artists, schools on the road to quick expansion may find more difficulty hiring from within, compared to schools that have been around for longer. If you’re just opening your school, see this blog on advice on how to open a successful martial arts school.


Assess your Candidates 

When looking at how to hire a martial arts instructor, it’s important to remember that even the most talented and committed martial artist isn’t necessarily going to make the best teacher. Your top student star candidate may be skilled but, if they lack the social skills necessary to be an effective instructor, it might be wise to source an instructor with a different personal approach. They’re going to need to have the skills and the personality to bring students back to class again and again.


There are a few aspects that are important for the interviewing process, as well as when they go through their trial period. First, make sure their moral code and their values align with yours and those of the school. Second, you should insure they have many traits that allow them to be a great instructor. Some of these include being at peace (nothing to prove), no ego, teaching for the love of martial arts instead of money, being energetic or inspired in their teaching, and good verbal and non-verbal communication. Potentially the most important factor, patience plays very heavily into an instructor’s success with students, especially if they will be dealing with younger age groups.


Initial Training

A great place to start with new instructors is children’s birthday parties. We’ve talked about in the past how birthday parties can be a great source of revenue, prospects, and act as a risk-free trial of instructors, to see how they engage with students. Most of the time, the majority of the guests will not be already paying customers who have a relationship with your school or its instructors. Some schools may choose to have newer instructors or senior students seeking a leadership role manage birthday parties, so they can gain experience in the position, while furthering your school’s cause.


What is your first piece of advice on how to hire a martial arts instructor for the first time? Let us know on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Google+ to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.