GM Lindstrom: 4 Tips For Monetizing Your Martial Arts Skills as a Teacher


If you strive to turn your passion into a career and monetize your martial arts skills, follow these simple rules to avoid mistakes and make your business skyrocket.

According to the Eurostat report dated 2016, about 41% of Danish citizens (and 11% at the EU level) have participated in training courses related to their hobbies.

Custom Katana

The modern population is all about the meaning over the money and the knowledge over a diploma.

If you’ve accumulated a significant knowledge-base on martial arts, you have all chances to earn your bread and butter by entering a multi-billion education market as a TEACHER and run your own OnLine/OffLine classes or even a school.

The global Smart Education and Learning Market size was valued at USD 135.5 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 423.2 billion by 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research, Inc.

Education has never been as accessible and diverse as it is today. Although global digitization crowds out traditional classroom-based learning, there is still a room for OffLine training and seminars.

What can I bring to the table?

Don’t ask how much money is out there in the martial arts business, but ask what are you best at?

It is crucial to be honest with yourself about your true calling otherwise you have a big chance to step on a path that leads in the wrong direction.

The thing is, you will earn your black belt if you put in the time and effort, but it takes more than that to become a teacher and to monetize your skills.

1. Define your capacities

In order to become the best, one shall know his strengths and weaknesses.

Sit down for a moment and answer the following questions:

  • Do you want to train kids or adults?
  • Do you want to be a mentor?
  • Do you want to teach self-defense or nurture the Olympic gold medalists?

Martial arts teachers make the same mistake when thinking they can teach everyone everything with the same quality.

But it takes a whole different personality to work with children; it requires a different approach to teach self-defense and nurturing a champion; it needs a lot of engagement with the students to become their respected mentor.

Don’t try to straddle both worlds. Pick up the one which suits you the most.

When you’re ready with the self-identification, move on to the next stage and find a place where you can train your students.

2. Classes, School, Private Tutoring

Now when you know who you want to teach, it will be easy to decide on a scale of your business.

Classes and Private Tutoring will suit best those teachers with a limited budget and who are still cautious about their decision to become a martial arts teacher as a main source of income.

Most of the already existing schools and gyms are giving hours out, you just need to contact them and see what they offer.

Pay attention to:

  • what hours are available (the worst hours are during the day time; the best – in the evenings)
  • location of the school
  • how many hours per week/month
  • additional fees, if any (utility bills, cleaning, security etc.)

Private Tutoring can be applied to any category of students, but the most beneficial it will be with self-defense one-on-one tutoring. It doesn’t require a proper martial arts dojan, you can teach in the gym, at home, or even out of doors.

3. Use digitization to your advantage and boost your revenue as a martial arts teacher


An online presence is any existence of an individual or business that can be found via an online search, such as WEBSITE, GOOGLE MAPS, BLOG, SOCIAL MEDIA.

It is easy to set up your online presence, and it is FREE!

But if you decide to hire a professional, try out freelance platforms, such as UpWork or Fiverr.

The latter has a massive section for WEB-developing and Writing, which might come handy when you create a website or a blog for your martial arts classes.

Use Fiverr to find IT freelancers for your martial arts website

If you are a new martial arts teacher, it is crucial to reach out to as many people as possible in order to get students for your classes.

The fastest and most efficient way is to use PAID Facebook Ads. It has a responsive Ad Manager where you can set up different Ad parameters for each of your campaigns (gender, location, age, interests), including its duration and a budget.

Facebook Ads for your martial arts skills monetization

On average it will cost you about $0.27 per click, or about $7.19 per thousand impressions.


With the advent of the Internet, the world has become transparent. You can be famous yet earn nothing if you don’t focus enough on the quality and authenticity of your services.

Bad news travels fast and does serious damage to any business. It takes 40 positive reviews to undo the damage of a single negative review.

If monetization of your martial arts skills becomes a priority, the students will feel it, and it will most likely push them away. MUSULMAG witnesses a number of people on the Internet who simply sell their videos, books, and t-shirts but demonstrate a poor quality of martial arts skills. Such businessmen might earn some money here and there, but due to a low level of proficiency, they won’t keep the customers’ interest for a long time.

Students will identify you as a good quality teacher if you demonstrate a high level of martial arts skills. Make your diplomas and certificates visible so those who come to your class for the first time can get a better clue of who you are as a martial artist. Always engage with your students during training: answer the questions; pay close attention to the sparring and correct the mistakes. Conduct your training plan for each class to be more efficient. Attend seminars for self-education. And DON’T SELL your info products to a student you see for the first time in your life.

4. Paperwork is your shield

No matter how good you are at what you are doing, or how well you connect with people, there shall be a legal agreement between you and your student(s).

Must Haves:

  • Martial Arts Enrollment Agreement
  • Self-Defense Class Release of Liability
  • Membership Agreement

These agreements will protect you legally in case of a misunderstanding between two parties.


Starting your own business is always scary due to a lack of experience. But the good this is that the more you practice the more experienced you become, just like with martial arts.

If you are determined to monetize your martial arts skills as a teacher, following these 4 simple rules will give you a solid background for your start-up teaching business. Stay patient, stay consistent, stay yourself.

Attribution: Business photo created by jcomp –

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  1. There are many teachers out there but not every teacher is a good master or a mentor. I am happy for those who really learn from the greatest

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Written by Bo Mikael Lindstrom

Master Bo Mikael Lindstrom, the 8th Dan in Hapkido and Taekwondo, 5th Dan in Kumdo, the founder of Hwardokwan Martial Arts Institutes and a member of KHGA, KHF, IHF, WHF, WHMAF, KIDOHEY, KUKKIWAN, Changmookwan Taekwondo Federation and International Moogongkwan Kumdo Federation. Master Lindstrom gives Hapkido, Taekwondo and Kumdo seminars all over the world on regular basis.


Resigned & Arrested. Walk of Shame for Kukkiwon President