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Fighting Forward: Making a Living Through Martial Arts

Updated: Jan 7, 2023

Fighting Forward: Making a Living Through Martial Arts - Lewis Training Performance

If you’re a martial artist looking to make a living from your passion, you might be surprised by your options. There are a number of proven means to earn an income from fighting disciplines. In this article, we’ll explore the various employment opportunities and how to get involved.


For many of us who have training in a martial art, the most natural step towards employment is to instruct as an assistant. Usually, you would need at least a decade of experience within your discipline (or a certified black belt) before you could be considered qualified to instruct others, although this can deviate depending on the dojo. This is usually a position that is offered to those who the head instructor trusts and has a previous relationship with, so it’s often wisest first to establish a rapport before enquiring about vacancies.

Office Roles

Outside of the gym itself, there are a number of roles that keep you involved with martial arts but that will not blur the lines between passion and employment. A program director, for example, is responsible for the delivery and overall success of each training program. This means supervising and informing management on progress and performance, as well as developing reports and finding new ways to ensure customer satisfaction. Alternatively, you might find you fit well into a marketing or sales role - helping to bring in new business and growing the dojo as an enterprise.


The world of martial arts encompasses some of the fastest-growing spectator sports, such as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), wrestling, and boxing. Unsurprisingly, this gives rise to media roles for those who enjoy writing about, reporting on, or shooting combat sports. There are plenty of ways to get started with a media role - you could try documenting martial arts in your area or even try blogging about your favorite fighting style. With examples of your work, you’ll then be able to apply for more mainstream roles.

General Tips

For roles of any kind, it’s important to have an up-to-date resume, and a resume creator is a useful tool. This tool allows you to create your resume by choosing from a library of professionally designed templates and adding your own copy, photos, colors, and images. If you need to make updates, there are also tools that will allow you to edit PDFs - simply upload the file online, make changes, download, and share.

Self Starting

If you’d rather try launching a venture of your own, you’ll find there are plenty of opportunities for coaching, competing, vlogging, podcasting, or even founding a dojo of your own. It could be worth looking to see if there is studio space to rent in your local area, this will give you the opportunity to host classes or record content. Just remember, there are many tight regulations when it comes to hosting martial arts activities of any description - these are well-summarized online and can often vary on a state-by-state basis.


The world of martial arts can be tough and tough to penetrate. But, with the right mindset, a fresh resume, and a few key contacts, it’s possible to earn a living (or at least a part-time wage) from your favorite fighting discipline.

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Written By: Sheila Olson

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