3 min read

Martial Arts Employee Recruitment and Staffing Strategies

Starting a martial arts school gives you an opportunity to share your passion with the world, teach others, and empower your students. However, you can’t run a successful martial arts business alone, especially not at scale. To thrive, you need talented martial arts staff that are aligned with your goals, mission, and values.

Starting a martial arts school gives you an opportunity to share your passion with the world, teach others, and empower your students. However, you can’t run a successful martial arts business alone, especially not at scale. To thrive, you need talented martial arts staff that are aligned with your goals, mission, and values.

Finding the right staff for your martial arts business isn’t just about hiring a skilled instructor. It’s also about creating an environment that nurtures growth, discipline, and commitment — both in students and your staff.

You will also need to be able to retain these valuable staff members, which can be a challenge if they aren’t the best fit for your school from the beginning. Take a look at these winning martial arts staff recruitment and retention strategies that you can use to grow your business.

Identifying Key Roles in Martial Arts Schools

At the heart of every martial arts business are its instructors. They’re the ones leading your classes, imparting techniques, and shaping the culture of the studio. Finding a few great instructors will ensure that the quality of instruction is consistent across classes and locations.

The assistant instructors are also key. Your assistant instructors provide vital support, helping ensure smooth class operations and providing individualized student attention where necessary. Together, instructors and junior instructors or assistants can provide your students with a memorable, meaningful experience.

However, they can’t do it alone. The third type of martial arts staff that you need to consider is the administrative and support team. They work behind the scenes, managing everything from scheduling to fee collection.

Traditionally, managing a martial arts business required substantial back-office support. While there are still plenty of back-office processes that you must account for, the growing influence of technology in martial arts represents the opportunity to streamline.

Platforms like MyStudio martial arts management allow you to automate many admin tasks, reducing your payroll expenses and decreasing the need for extensive support staff.

Developing Effective Recruitment Strategies

You’ve got your roles defined. Now, it’s time to get those vacancies filled with the right talent. Here are a few tips to accelerate your recruiting and hiring process:

Craft Compelling Job Descriptions

Be clear about what you want, using both online job boards and social media for your postings. Every job posting should outline the position’s roles and responsibilities, expectations, and other important details.

However, you also want to showcase the vibrant community your school offers. When creating your job descriptions, list tangible benefits along with workplace culture-related perks, like a friendly work environment.


Networking works wonders in the martial arts space. Leverage your industry connections, whether they’re from tournaments, seminars, or other events. A trusted colleague or business partner might know the perfect person for your school.

With that being said, make sure to vet every candidate, even if they were referred to you by a trusted source. Anyone you hire is going to act as an ambassador for your brand. You can’t afford to rush through the vetting process.

Recruit Former Students

Your past students are a goldmine of talent. They’re familiar with your school’s culture and already have a bond with the community.

Students making the transition to college represent some of the best prospects for staffing. College students often want a flexible part-time job to generate an income while they’re in school.

Assess Cultural Fit

Lastly, it’s crucial to prioritize cultural fit. You can always teach new skills, but an instructor who embodies the spirit and values of your studio is invaluable.

When you're considering a candidate’s cultural fit, clearly communicate your values, mission, and expectations. You want everyone to be on the same page from day one.

Establishing Effective Retention Strategies

Hiring great talent is only half of the equation. Retention is where things can get tricky.

Consider implementing training and development programs for your martial arts staff. Such programs help instructors, assistants, and administrative team members hone their skills and grow professionally. Additionally, getting together with everyone for a training session can build chemistry and cultivate a sense of belonging.

You will also want to strive to create a motivational work environment. A studio is a community and needs to feel like one. Ensure your staff knows they are integral to your community.

Another effective way to retain your staff is to cut down on monotonous tasks and tedious admin work. These tasks zap your team’s energy and can crush morale. With MyStudio martial arts business management software, you can automate many tasks, allowing your team to focus on teaching.

Finally, you want to offer competitive compensation and benefits. A great culture will attract top talent, and good pay will help keep them there. Regular performance evaluations and opportunities for advancement are also key.

Keep in mind that happy staff may refer other employees, so ensure you offer referral incentives.

Martial Arts Staffing Case Studies

There are many ways to approach your martial arts staffing needs. However, the best approach is to mirror the strategies used by successful schools, such as InCourage Martial Arts.

InCourage has exhibited an ability to scale revenue and location count while holding true to its fundamental values and principles. To achieve its sustained success, InCourage Martial Arts relied on MyStudio gym management technology and a talented martial arts staff.

MyStudio provides automation tools, membership management capabilities, and other features designed to reduce your focus on the daily operations of your martial arts business and allow more time for important ventures like recruiting, training, and providing equity for staff who take on leadership roles.

To learn more about the hiring and retention strategies that InCourage uses to scale, check out our free webinar. And if you want to take MyStudio for a test drive, sign up for a free trial today.

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