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Karate Studio Owner Job Description

by Rick Suttle

Karate has become a catchall term to describe many different martial arts disciplines, including tae kwon do, kempo and kung fu. Karate – or martial arts – studio owners are small business entrepreneurs who teach karate throughout the United States. Most are black belts who have spent years learning their specific art forms. If you want to become a karate school owner, sign up for lessons at a karate school, earn your black belt and get experience teaching karate at local karate studio. Once you start your own studio, you can expect to earn an average of nearly $35,000 annually.

Education and Requirements

One of the most famous karate studio owners, Bruce Lee, starting teaching in Seattle while he was a student at the University of Washington. Most karate studio owners, just as Lee, become instructors and karate school owners by taking lessons and perfecting their punching, kicking and fighting techniques, not by getting formal educations in karate. You may consider becoming certified at a college or university that offers karate lessons and instructor training.

Duties and Responsibilities

Karate instructors must attract students to their studios before they can start earning a living. They accomplish this is by advertising in coupon magazines, distributing fliers and offering discounts to interested residents in their communities. If you open a karate studio, it behooves you to select a high traffic area such as a shopping center, which will help elicit walk-in traffic. You can then sell memberships to people and start teaching them karate. Besides promoting their businesses, karate studio owners usually spend much of their time teaching karate lessons, ordering supplies such as uniforms, belts and sparring equipment and tracking their sales and expenses.

Working Conditions

Most karate studio owners run their businesses like many other retailers – from small storefronts at strip malls. They may allocate portions of their retail space for both lessons and their offices. In this job, you'll likely spend most of your day in your karate uniform, taking students through stretching exercises and rigorous punching, kicking and sparring sessions. You can set your own hours for your classes and the general operating hours of your business.

Average Salary and Contributing Factors

The average annual salary for a karate studio owner was $34,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Simply Hired. Most of these owners pay their salaries from the profits they earn. Your salary in this job will largely be contingent on the number of students you teach. You may be able to charge more in certain areas such as Massachusetts or Washington, D.C., where average salaries were $41,000 and $53,000 per year, respectively. Karate studio owners likely earn higher average salaries in those places because living expenses are higher there.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't forecast jobs for karate studio owners. It projects a 24 percent increase in jobs for fitness trainers and instructors from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the 14 percent national growth rate for all occupations. People are exercising more as of 2013, according to Runners World, even though the nation as a whole is getting fatter. With karate, people can exercise and learn to protect themselves, another important benefit for people in an increasing violent society. Both these factors plus increases in population may increase jobs for karate studio owners in the next decade.

Photo Credits

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