How do I find a good martial arts school?
Updated: Dec 18, 2019
What an excellent question! Finding a good martial arts school can make or break your martial arts experience and be a bit overwhelming especially when you are brand new to the martial arts world. Here are a few things to be on the lookout for:
Instructors. Instructors can completely ruin or enhance the learning experience so you want to make sure that the instructor you have is passionate and knowledgable. Also, every instructor has a different teaching style, just like every student has a unique way that they learn. With that being said, if you want an instructor that is more serious than playful or friendly, then these are characteristics that need to be taken into account.
Legitimate Organization. This one can be misleading if you aren't well informed in the martial arts world, but make sure that your martial arts school is under legitimate organizations so that if you were to move or something like that, your rank could be transferred over. If the school is not under a recognized organization then you technically aren't earning the rank they are giving you. You don't just want a store-bought belt and a certificate printed off at the nearest Staples, do you?
Cleanliness. I think this one goes without saying but you definitely want to go to a clean school. There are a lot of bare feet and people that walk in and out of a martial arts school so you want to make sure that proper sanitation is happening. I guess unless you like the chance of getting some funky foot fungus?
Behavioral Policies. Martial Arts is about self-defense, yes, but it is also about other disciplines like respect, focus, self-control, and etc. If the martial arts school you are looking into for your children doesn't have a way to keep their students accountable for that, then you know their focus is just on making little fighting machines. Now don't get me wrong, I think self-defense is just as important as the next person, but the focus should be on making black belt skills on the mats and black belt attitudes off of the mats.
Schedule and classes. Obviously it's going to be hard to get to classes if their schedule doesn't line up with yours, right? So you want to make sure that their schedule is flexible enough to work around your schedule as well. On this subject too, you want to make sure that the martial arts school class schedule is well divided and organized. You definitely don't really want 3 years old taking the same class as your 10-year-old. As an adult martial artist, you probably don't want to be beating up on a 7-year-old unless you are in a family class and that 7 year old is your child and they haven't cleaned their room lately.
Practicality. Of course, if you are getting a child or yourself into martial arts you want to make sure what they are learning is practical. If it can't really be used to defend yourself then why waste time and energy (and money) learning it. In my opinion, it is also good to know different ways to defend yourself. What I mean by that is the ability to defend yourself standing up, on the ground, against a wall, against someone bigger or stronger than you, or even at different distances.
School Credibility. This one is so important and often overlooked. You want a school that is credible. I would suggest doing some research in that magical google place just to check it all out. Do they have a facebook, website, a youtube, Instagram, or google listing? Also, are they involved with the community? Do they participate in town events? Do they visit schools or Boys and Girl's clubs? What are the reviews saying? All of these things plus more play a part in a martial arts school's credibility.
Pricing. Now there is a reason I put this one for last. And no, it's not because I believe that pricing is everything. I'm not saying that in all cases with martial arts you get what you pay for, however, sometimes that is the case. And oftentimes you have money-hungry schools. Usually, you can tell because some martial arts schools (sadly) are buy a belt instead of earning a belt. You want to stay away from those. But also just because the price tag is a little higher, doesn't mean you should automatically overlook the school. Quality martial arts tends to come with a pricier tag, but it is oh so worth it if you find a school that is truly good and treats you like family. I promise it is one of the best investments you will make in your life.
Good luck and happy hunting! Also, if you live near Calhoun, Rome, Summerville, or Albany Georgia, check out a Seo's Martial Arts.
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