Martial Arts Instructor  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotA martial artist is not a person of violence. The philosophies and principles of martial arts aim to avoid violence. Through training, instructors learn how to rise above violence and teach their students to do the same.

dotThe martial arts come mainly from China, Japan, Korea and Okinawa. Lesser-known sources include the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.

Karate, jiu-jitsu, tae kwon do, aikido, judo, kung fu and sumo are all different areas of the martial arts.

"The techniques are different at the higher levels. At the novice or beginning level, most are basically the same," says grandmaster George Petrotta.

"The Koreans are known, as are the northern Chinese and Thais, for their kicking prowess. They prefer to fight at that range. The southern Chinese, the Indonesians and Filipinos prefer close range and like to utilize the elbows and knees as well as the hands."

dotThe philosophy of the martial arts is to improve character, attitude and manner, to teach respect, to be honest and to always stand by the weak.

Successful instructors need more than just knowledge of the sport. "Teaching requires a lot of patience and training both in technical skills and communication," says instructor Stan Lee.

At a Glance

Teach people the principles and philosophies of the martial arts

  • It's not about fighting -- it's about rising above violence
  • Instructors lead groups of students through training and competition
  • In some martial arts, you'll need to be certified before you can teach