Info for Martial Arts School Owners and Instructors

The Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (MATA) is a professional organization that helps martial arts school owners and instructors improve their teaching skills and grow their schools with proven marketing, management, and curriculum design.

Click JOIN MATA to learn more.

martial arts instructor association and curriculum

Martial Arts Instructors: COVID-19: What to do with your time.


white belt child kicks with instructor watching

Get Certified as a Martial Arts Instructor Online

MATA Martial Arts Instructor Certification Course

Module 21-The Proper Use of Student Instructors

by Scot Conway, Esquire

The $25,000 Volunteers

Excerpt from the Martial Arts Instructor Certification Course:

Using upper ranks to teach classes has been a long-standing martial arts tradition. But, is it legal?

A California instructor had his black belts teaching under-rank classes at his studio. In exchange, he no longer charged them tuition.

This continued until one fateful day when the owner and a black belt student had a disagreement.

The vindictive student contacted the California Labor Board and reported that his instructor had been employing assistants by requiring that they teach classes each week.

This can constitute an Employer – Worker relationship. The only thing missing was payment for the workers and the taxes the government would collect if they were being paid.

The State of California investigators concluded that the owner, over the years, had a total of 25 black belts teach classes.

They defined them as uncompensated employees, which is illegal under the laws of California, and fined the instructor $1,000 per incident.

The final bill: $25,000 for the volunteers.

Lesson: Know your state laws regarding utilizing assistant instructors.

1. How to Get Paid.

Consider researching and applying for Federal aid to be part of your job description. Below are links to the most important resources.

2 Get Your School Involved in Your Community. 

Find local organizations you can align your school with to help the community during this time of need.

For instance, many families depend on school lunch for a child’s meal. No school means no meal.

Find a church that is helping these families and encourage your students to join in the effort.

e. Create an FAQ specific to the concerns of your students.

3. Be Proactive in Providing Information

Update your email list, website and/or Facebook page with:

a. Online class times.

b. Your plans to help students get back to class when permitted.

c. Your contact info to let students know that you are always available for them.

d. Update your Google My Business listing with a COVID-19 post.

e. Download the Google My Business app and turn on messaging as a way to help your customers reach you.

4. Review Your Curriculum

One way to create excitement about returning to class is the prospect of learning something new and exciting. How to Evaluate Your Curriculum video.

5. Get MATA Certified

Many owners are taking advantage of downtime to upgrade their teaching skills with the MATA Instructor Certification program (

MATA is not providing legal advice and takes zero responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided.

How to Apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The PPP is from the federally funded U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a loan designed through the CARES Act 2020 to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

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