How To Find A Good Martial Arts School
This page focuses on how to find a good martial arts school. It was designed to help parents with young “future martial artists” and adult beginners. These questions should be answered to your satisfaction. Talk to instructors, students and parents of the students attending the martial arts school in order to learn the pros & cons of a specific martial arts school.
- Pick a school based on your martial arts “goals” – Do you want to concentrate on self-defense instruction? Do you want to learn more about a foreign culture? Do you want only a good cardio work-out? You need to decide on your personal martial arts goals and find a school that best matches those goals.
- Examine several schools – Check out several schools, rather than just going to the closest martial arts school. The teaching style of schools can vary significantly (from very regimented to overly loose).
- Research the expertise and background of the instructor – Watch out for fake 8th degree black belts. Those tend to be 80 years old, not 25!
- Watch the instructors carefully – You want to find instructors that teach well and make the class enjoyable.
- Ask questions – Talk to other students, parents & children at the school in order to find out their likes and dislikes about the school and instructors.
- Visit different classes – After you have found an interesting school, visit different classes (versus just the basic introductory class). Visit the black belt classes, sparring classes and even the belt tests. See if the school’s attitude changes as the children advance. You don’t want to find a school that changes in a negative way (i.e. becomes too harsh) as your child progresses to higher belts.
- Focus on safety – Is there enough stretching? What happens if a child is hurt? What level of supervision is given during sparring classes?
- Always get an introductory trial – See if your child enjoys the martial arts training before committing to any long-term contract. Ask if the school has a short introductory trial offer that covers a few weeks and use that time to see if your child enjoys the school and is mature enough to handle the instruction. Also be wary of a “cheaper” multi-year contract. Try the “more expensive” monthly programs until you feel certain that your child likes the martial arts school. Many kids do not last multiple years in martial arts as they have other commitments (i.e. school sports) or lose interest.
- What is the “real” cost? – Make sure to find out the real cost of the class. Beyond the monthly/annual fee, what additional costs will you pay? Be aware that you are likely to pay for items such as uniforms, sparring gear and belt tests.
- Consider the location of the school – If it is too far away, you might find it hard to go frequently and thus quit or fall behind the other students.
- Information provided with permission from Taekwondo Animals, Tips for Taekwondo Parents, https://www.taekwondoanimals.com/taekwondo-for-kids.asp