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Teaching Martial Arts is Never Ever a Hobby

09 July 2019

I’ll set my stall out immediately – this sentence really annoys me, regularly being forced to use politeness when discussing this because it’s such a common mentality, but honestly, I hate it!

I am coming from a good place. I want to offer an alternative description & why it’s a game changer.

Approaching anything with the word ‘hobby’ immediately removes seriousness. It declares nonchalance, disregarding any responsibility to making it grow into something permanent or significant.

The very minute anyone exchanges time & knowledge for money, it becomes business, regardless if you depend on that money as a wage, you are still trading. You are now a professional.

I’m not the Inland Revenue, so not remotely interested from that perspective – but I am interested in Martial Arts & protecting it at all cost because we are nothing short of an outstanding sport, which does nothing short of change lives.

Teaching is serious. You immediately have responsibilities. You become enormously significant.

A hobby is something to casually engage in, for pleasure in spare time.
Martial Arts was something that you dedicated hours learning & invested £1000’s, your student status can be forgivably described as a hobby.

But teaching is a gift, a vocation, an invaluable contribution.

You are trading for money, providing a paid service. You have overheads, compliancy legislation, legal responsibilities – you’re no different to schoolteachers.

You are responsible for building confidence, developing minds & bodies, overcoming fears, pushing potential, changing lives.

Martial Arts is a fear conquering, health promoting, life changing tool for living.

You can describe it as teaching part time for the love of it, without relying on the money as a wage, but teaching Martial Arts is not, under any circumstances a hobby. Teaching is a profession.

The 'hobby teaching’ sentence also lets a lot of instructors off the hook in facing their own fears of change.

Many instructors genuinely start teaching without needing the financial dependence, but with the massive oversight that because they’re amazing at martial arts, students will just join. Often instructors are not confident on the business side, so neglect it & hope for the best.

It’s never going to work with this approach – never.

In what other situation can someone just start trading, without looking at marketing & processing & pricing & admin? You could be the greatest Martial Artist in history, but you won’t ever have your legacy neglecting these things.

The truth is that many instructors are a little embarrassed with their student numbers, worry that it reflects their ability & become a little frustrated because they don’t quite know what to do to make it improve.

It becomes a lot easier to hide behind the ‘hobby teaching’ status.

The good news is that your class size reflects how much attention you have paid to the business, not your teaching ability – and it’s okay to admit that you are a little lost on what to do!

The other good news is all you have to do is call us. We will help you for free.

All I ask just one thing – please change your mentality – change your status – remove the word hobby & replace it with professional – ‘part time professional’ or ‘doing it for love professional’ but never hobby!!

I promise that small shift in mentality & being brave enough to come & get some help is nothing short of a game changer.

We are really interested in your thoughts about this; please feel free to leave any comments for discussion.

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