If you want the best martial arts school for you and/or your child, you need to know your goals. Once you know what you want and what you need, all you have to do is do your research and set out to do them. Here are the different “phases” or “steps” in choosing the right martial arts school for you.
Do you want to learn martial arts for sport competition? self-defense? to lose weight? be active? or just to take up a hobby? Knowing why you want to learn martial arts is the most important aspect in searching for a martial arts school or club. Every martial arts school or club is different, they too have their own goals to set on their students.
Martial art style
Once you have your goals set, the next step is choosing the right martial arts style. In this phase, you have to know yourself and know what you can do and also know things that you would not do. If you’re uncomfortable with using weapons, then you would need to steer clear of martial arts schools that are weapon-based (i.e. Kali/Escrima/Arnis, Kendo). If your more inclined to hitting people, then you would steer to martial arts schools that teaches striking techniques (i.e. Karate, Boxing, Taekwondo) or else look for martial arts schools that teach grappling (i.e. Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Aikido), which has minimal striking techniques and focus more with grappling the opponent.
Credentials cannot be really be compared to University diplomas like that of medical practitioners or lawyers. Although some schools do hang them proudly on their walls as if this is the gauge of their skills. These pieces of paper do help in knowing who taught the main instructor of that martial arts schools. However, remember that not every martial art has a teaching certificate to offer, so it is still best to ask the instructor who or where they learned their skill from. Although beware of other so-called black belts that just name drops like “The master who taught me learned his martial arts skills from this 12th degree black belt master who lived in the secret caves and mountain of an unknown island.”
For me experience is more important than black belt certificates and one way to tell is by medals and trophies. Although some medals and trophies can be forged, you can’t really replace experience. Knowing the head instructor’s experience is a must if you want quality training in martial arts. The best teachers are those that already experienced real-life situations and used the techniques they are teaching, because believe it or not, some techniques look good and sensible when taught but when it is time to use them, it doesn’t work as expected; be it in real life or in contact sports.
Last but not the least, what’s this martial art school has to offer. This goes in line with your goals, is their program geared toward self-defense, sport or fitness? You do not want to learn how to fight competitively if your goal is for self-defense, although some skills you will learn can also help in the streets, you will develop a habit of thinking that there will be a referee to stop the fight when you want to get out of the situation. What about programs for kids? If you want your kid to learn martial arts, ask what kind of programs they offer kids. The program to look for should be fun and entertaining for the kids, you do not want your kids to lose their interest in learning martial arts right?
You’d think that the price should be taken into consideration, however if you can find the perfect school that fits you the price shouldn’t matter.
Brock Landers of MMA Tips [http://www.mmatips.net] has more than 10 years of experience in kickboxing. He is also a black belt in Judo, Brazilian Jiujitsu and knowledgeable in Chinese kung fu and the Filipino Martial Arts of Kali and Dumog. MMA Tips [http://www.mmatips.net] offers information regarding martial arts and is open to everyone whether you’re a black belt master, a beginner or just want some information regarding martial arts.
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