How to Choose a Martial Arts School

Finding the Spot Just for You

So you typed into the almighty search engine How to Choose a Martial Arts School. There are so many reasons why you want to train. Maybe you want to learn self defense. Perhaps its to get in shape. Want to lose weight? How about to learn something new? Martial arts can be a very healthy and fullfilling lifestyle but with every school claiming to be number one in your area, choosing your martial arts school can be difficult to accomplish. In this article, I will be as unbiased as possible to give insight on how to choose your place to train. Let’s dive in.

What are your goals?

Starting the journey with goals in mind is probably the best thing that you can do for yourself. Some of the top reasons to start training is to lose weight, learn to protect yourself, get into better shape and learning something new. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of people I’ve taught and have asked why they started had those goals in mind. The goal of becoming a fighter came a great deal after the initial goals were accomplished.

Help yourself by writing down what you want out of your training. Floating thoughts can disappear. Make it real and write them down. 

Finding a Style that Suits You

There are only three categories to choose from. There are striking arts, grappling arts and weaponry arts. Tgere are some systems that claim the ultimate mix but in the end, picking a single art has been what I’ve found students doing based on their own preferences.

I‘d go as far as to say that all systems can accomplish your goals. It’s just a matter on how you want to do it and which style is for you. Review your list of goals and line it up to the categories listed above.

Look at the Reviews

Check out what people are saying about the school you’re thinking of joining. Actually read some of them and discern what kind of environment it is. The “this place is wonderful” short answers can give you a small pocture of what the school and staff are like.

See if there is consistency on these reviews. If you’re someone like me, I like to look for commonalities in the reviews. 5 star reviews can sometimes be too generic. Look for the posts that describe the culture of the school. Determine if that’s the kind of crowd you want to be around. Even the negative ones help.

Search YouTube

YouTube is a great place to see for yourself what you’ll be getting into. The vast majority of martial arts teachers have created instructionals on their channels. Other social media like Facebook and Instagram are good resources too, but in my opinion, YouTube is where it is the best organized. Check out the way the instructor explains their lesson. Here are some considerations to think about:

  • Are they speaking at your preferred speed?
  • Is the lesson too wordy or just enough?
  • How do their details affect you?
  • Does the instructor‘s energy suit your learning style?
  • Are you willing to learn from this person for about 6 months?

Visit the School

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Ask the Staff

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Ask the Students

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Check the Schedule

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Meet the Instructor

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Determine Your Budget

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Impressions on Social Media

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