Most cities and towns in America offer a wide variety of martial arts options; figuring out which one is right for you and your family can seem intimidating, but it doesn't need to be. Here are five key items you'll want to take into account in finding the right martial arts school for you.
A Martial Arts School that Fits You
Many schools offer short-term introductory rates. Those introductory rates are not just promotions to get you in the door, they are also an invaluable tool to use in determining whether the school you have selected is the right one for your needs. Does the martial arts style fit well with the goals you have in mind? Do you like the instructors; what are their ranks, awards, certifications, and number of years teaching? Does the culture and philosophy of the school align with your personality, personal goals, and values?
We also recommend visiting a school during class times and observe how the instructors interact with the students. Do the students seem to be having fun? Do they appear to be learning? Are the higher ranked students clearly better than the lower ranked students? Are the students well-disciplined and focused on what is happening in class? Talk to the students when they have a free moment or talk to parents watching the class and ask them about their experience. They may not all go on social media websites to express their opinion about the school, but if you ask, they are bound to have an opinion and will likely be happy to share it with you.
Location is importantbecause time is so precious, however the martial arts studio closest to your house or job may not be the best fit for your needs. One parent of an 8-year-old taekwondo red belt stated that they had originally selected the Taekwondo academy just down the street from them, but after the first couple of classes it became clear that that school’s curriculum was too fast-moving for their child. They eventually found a school that was more user-friendly for them one town—and one freeway exit—away.
We also recommend you look over the class schedules of the martial arts schools you are considering. Different schools offer classes at different times for all age groups and skill levels. Before you plunk down your hard-earned money, make sure the school you have selected to train you offers the classes you need to attend at times you are available to attend them. If there are conflicts, you may want to speak to the school about scheduling private lessons at times that are more convenient to you.
One more valuable item to consider looking into before finally settling on a martial arts training center, is the types of additional programs they may offer you that would add its convenience factor as well as its overall value to you. Many schools offer summer and winter camps for kids, after school care, women’s self defense seminars, bully prevention seminars, birthday parties, mock tournaments to train for competition, child care, and many other special programs that might make attending that school even more appealing. Be sure to ask each school you speak with about these types of programs.
First and foremost, the martial arts instruction you choose must fit within your budget. One thing you will be happy to note is that many schools offer the option to pay for an entire contract in advance or month to month. Frequently, if a school offers you the choice, paying for 6 months, a year, or even longer, in advance, will offer you substantial discounts over the month-to-month option. If you’ve found the school you like and you feel you are informed and prepared enough to make the commitment, ask about their payment model and possible tuition discounts if paying in advance, before you whip out the credit card or checkbook. Chances are you’ll save a bundle.
Other Important Things to Consider
Also, make sure to ask about you any additional costs you may need to incur beyond the monthly tuition as there are often uniform and equipment purchases necessary, regular testing fees, as well as optional expenses like annual memberships to martial arts organizations, tournament registration and related expenses, private lessons and special events. These costs vary from school to school and event to event, so be sure to find out ahead of time and enter that information into your decision-making process.
If you are looking for a martial arts academy, chances are you have a reason why. It might be for you or your child to learn self-defense, instill self-confidence, become physically fit; or introduce a new family activity to enjoy together. There are almost as many reasons to join a martial arts academy as there are martial arts academies. More important than anything, except perhaps cost, is that the school you choose will assist you in meeting the goals you set out to achieve when you signed up. Again, the parents of children—or peers—already enrolled in the academy you are considering are far and away your best resource. You can also use this website to investigate what the public and previous and current students have said about schools and how they rate them. If you are ready to begin searching for a school, just begin by clicking on .
If you are unclear about how one type of martial arts discipline compares to another, it would be good to research in advance or ask each school representative you speak with to explain what the styles they teach entail. It is important to note that certain styles such as Taekwondo and Kung Fu teach not only basic hand and foot self-defense and attack techniques, but how one would perform them in both sparring and katas or forms. Other martial arts styles concentrate solely on sparring techniques such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai.
There are bound to be many different martial arts programs with varying areas of focus, cost and instructor qualifications in your vicinity. You will benefit greatly from doing the legwork ahead of time necessary to ensure that your first choice is the right choice.