(A345) Instructor Eligibility Criteria

Back To All Policies

Policies & Procedures
(A345) Instructor Eligibility Criteria


The British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA) is proud to represent instructors and coaches from across many differing styles and disciplines of martial arts. We take seriously the integrity of our documentation and membership affiliation, and our duty of care to safeguard the martial arts community. Accordingly, we require all applicants of the Association joining in the capacity as an instructor, teaching staff, coach or assistant instructor to meet our universal eligibility criteria (A345) detailed within this document and duplicated online from bmaba.org/instructor.

If you’re an instructor, black belt, coach, sensei or if you’re thinking about joining us as one of these, you can find a more in-depth look at our eligibility criteria for membership from here.


3 Key Areas To Eligibility

The association tests eligibility based upon three key areas; grades & qualifications, personal qualities and criminal convictions and history.


Grades, Qualifications & Experience

We accept that just because you’re a black belt, it doesn’t necessarily make you a good instructor. We employ a minimum grade, qualification or experience requirement for every member to ensure we’re only working with those who hold a sound level of knowledge, technical understanding and professional competency in every style they are recognised to teach.


As different martial arts entail different forms of gradings, please seek the most appropriate sub section below;

A martial art with belts or grades

I.E: Karate, Jujitsu, Aikido, Taekwondo etc. Disciplines or styles that use grades and belts as a means of progression.

In order to join the association within a graded or belted discipline, you must hold the following;

  1. A minimum 1st Dan Black Belt (or equivalent, if working from Degrees or other) that has been earned after a minimum of 3 years and 8 months of continued practice


  1. An association issued instructor’s certificate earned after the same minimum period of time that qualifies you as an instructor, issued by a trustworthy and reputable organisation.

You must be able to provide proof of this grade when applying for membership. This must be the dan grade certificate. A copy can be provided in digital format (digital copy, photograph, scan etc) or a photocopy may be sent to our office. Instructions are provided and easy to follow at the point of applying.



A martial art without belts or grades

I I.E: Mixed Martial Arts, Self Defence or Martial Arts Based Boxing and other disciplines or sports that do not traditionally have grading or belt structures

In order to join us within a non graded discipline or sport you must be able to provide the following;


  1. A minimum of 4 years continued practice within a singular style or discipline
  2. A comprehensive martial arts based CV that details dates and names of clubs and instructors covering the entire period

In addition to the above, one or more of the following will also be required;

  • Written testimony from an instructor (whom can provide sufficient proof of grade) and who is happy to confirm that the applicant holds the appropriate level of skill, technical competency and professional integrity to instruct unsupervised.
  • Documented evidence to demonstrate continued practice for atleast 4 years in the form of club memberships, licenses, certificates or fighter records.
  • A video submission confirming a ‘snapshot’ of the applicant’s abilities and technical understanding that satisfies the board of competency.
  • An instructor’s certificate or qualification (see below).

Instructor Documentation

We’re happy to accept instructor certificates or qualifications provided they are sufficient and issued by a reputable organisation. If you hold an instructor’s certificate and meet the first two points of eligibility, we will generally be able to offer membership provided we are confident that the instructor’s certificate supplied has been issued by a trustworthy and professional organisation in good standing.



Coaching Qualifications

The association recognises the value of coaching qualifications and prefers all applicants to ideally hold some form of recognised coaching qualification prior to applying. Whilst we will require all applicants to work toward a coaching qualification after joining (if not already in possession of one) it shall not be considered as an automatic eligibility criteria. This is because, whilst crucial in delivery professional, safe sessions, a coaching qualification does not necessarily denote core technical competency. For this reason, for the purposes of establishing eligibility upon the technical competency and proficiency of an individual the grade requirement shall withstand, however coaching qualifications are of course greatly regarded.


Personal Qualities

As a leading UK martial arts organisation we’re looking for a special type of instructor to join us. As a member of the BMABA, we’re looking for the key qualities that make you a professional instructor. Namely, these are;

  1. An honest and open approach to martial arts and teaching
  2. The integrity to admit when you are wrong
  3. A professional attitude to your instruction and affiliation


Criminal Records & Convictions

As you can no doubt understand, we’re committed to safeguarding our members and as such we need to set certain standards surrounding criminal records and past convictions.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 gives people with spent convictions and cautions the right not to disclose them when applying for most jobs or professional memberships, and for other products/services like when buying insurance. Apart from those given prison sentences of more than 4 years, most people with convictions will benefit from it at some point in their lives.

Whilst we recognise the importance of convictions becoming spent as we deem all of our members to be in a position of working with children and other vulnerable groups we must request details of spent convictions as well as those currently not classed as spent.

We’re proud to hold an ethical and balanced approach to criminal histories and convictions, understanding that many of the best martial arts instructors have themselves faced discrimination and difficult lives – hence inspiring them to instill change in others. Whilst this may be the case, our duty to safeguard our members and the general public must be considered.

You will be asked when applying for membership to disclose all spent and unspent convictions. If you fail to disclose any such spent or unspent convictions at the point of applying, and subsequently this should be uncovered through DBS checks or any other future enquiries, we reserve the right to withdraw (without notice) your membership without compensation.

Our advice is to speak with our office in confidence before applying. Everybody is afforded complete privacy and confidentiality, and the compassion of experienced members of our martial arts community when querying whether or not their criminal history may be a bar to entry. We will not discriminate against you because you have a criminal record – only where applicable under law to safeguard effectively.

Whilst it does depend on the nature and circumstance of your crime, we’re generally able to pass-off any minor offences, or those that have been spent a considerable amount of time ago. That said, if it’s likely to show up on a DBS check, you must remember to inform us before applying.


Questions & Concerns

If you have any questions about your suitability to apply for membership or if you’d like to challenge any of our requirements for membership please contact our office using one of the many available channels. Visit https://bmaba.org to find these methods of contact.



LAST UPDATED: 05/09/2018