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 Mind, Body & Spirit
Choosing a Martial Arts School

How to choose the right Martial Arts School for you!

How do you choose the right Martial Arts school for you? There are often many schools and instructors to choose from. Here are some general guidelines that may be helpful in choosing your school.

1. Check your telephone directory or search on-line to see what kinds of martial art schools are listed within a reasonable distance from you. At the same time, keep in mind that a high quality school may be worth a longer commute!

2. Telephone or e-mail the martial art schools and make an appointment to see the school and meet the instructors. Calling schools and strictly choosing a school based on pricing is often not the best way to choose a school since it is very important to know that you will be taught quality martial arts in a safe environment and that your teacher’s philosophies are in line with your own. You can only do this by visiting the school.

3. Determine your martial arts goals. Are you interested in fitness or self-defense? Do you want to become a black belt or attend classes to meet people and have fun? It is important that the schools curriculum matches your personal goals.

4. Stop by several training halls to watch martial art classes. Many martial art schools have an observation area, so you can watch during class. It is a good idea to ask permission first before observing just out of courtesy.

5. Ask for permission to talk with students and instructors. Find out how students' experiences have been with the school and whether the instructors' styles will support your goals.

6. Assess the quality of teaching. What is your impression of the head instructor? What are his / her credentials and experience? Do instructors expect and show respect and courtesy? How long have they been established and are there advanced ranks in the school or only beginner students?

7. There are many different martial arts styles. Some employ striking techniques such as kicking and punching, others use grappling, and some use weapons. In addition, while choosing the right style for yourself is important, finding the right teacher is at least as important as the style for you to maximize your training experience.

8. Ask friends and work associates whether they've heard anything about a martial arts school you're interested in joining. Does anyone that you know already train at a school? A good reference from someone that you trust can be of great value.

Consider a month-to-month payment option or an introductory program when you first join a school before signing on for a long-term commitment. ·

  • Be sure that you are aware of all pricing in addition to the Monthly tuition. There are often times additional costs such as ranking fees and equipment that must be purchased. This is acceptable as long as you know about it upfront! Be sure to ask!
  • You will often get a “feel” for a school after spending some time there. Trust your instincts. If the school makes you feel uncomfortable, review other options. If you feel at home, check out their introductory programs.

Consult your physician before beginning any exercise regimen. Also, remember that the practice of martial arts can be dangerous. Follow school rules and guidelines and exercise caution at all times.

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