Finding the Right Martial Arts School

If you are looking for a martial arts training program for yourself or your child, here are a few tips for finding the right school:

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  • If you are looking for a martial arts program for your child, talk to the staff and administrators at your child’s academic school about any recommendations they may have.
  • Talk to your local community leaders.
  • Check with your Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Check out more than one school. Talk to the parents and students of the schools you are investigating. Compare the training facilities, training methods, and school standards.
  • Is it an independent organization or a franchise? There are advantages and disadvantages to each.
  • Is the martial arts school community oriented?
  • Find out how long the martial arts school has been established. How long has the current head instructor been with the school?
  • How long has the martial arts school been at its current location?
  • What is the reputation of the head instructor and of the school itself?
  • Is the martial arts school full or part time?
  • Is the school clean and well organized?
  • Ask to see the school rules and observe classes. Do the rules uphold a standard of discipline and are those rules implemented in the classes?
  • What other amenities are offered such as video training, stretching machines, locker rooms, showers, and sauna? Decide what amenities are important to you and balance that with the quality of instruction you will receive. Some schools with spartan amenities offer the highest level of instruction while other schools with a plush environment just offer so-so instruction.
  • How many classes are offered each week? How many of those classes are taught by the head instructor? Are all classes taught by well qualified black belts?
  • Are students taught a balance of sparring, self-defense, and forms?
  • Are a variety of styles offered to enhance the students’ individual mental and physical development?
  • How does the school monitor student improvement?
  • How often are belt tests offered and how do students qualify to take the belt testing? Be very wary of schools that group students into a class that tests together every few months.
  • Does the school have a good number of intermediate and advanced students? If the answer is ‘yes’ then the school does a good job of motivating and retaining students.
  • Does the school have an emphasis on moral character development or Karate-Kung Fu ego?
  • Travel time. The closest martial arts school to your home may not be the best school for you. However, a splendid far away school may not be the best choice either, as the long travel time may limit your attendance at classes.
  • Cost. Get the most you can for your money. However, do not forsake quality to save a few dollars or a few miles in travel. Don’t expect to get the best when you pay the least.