Consideration when looking for a martial arts school
May 24, 2023
When giving it serious thought, there are some legitimate questions a person might have about enrolling in a martial arts school. So that’s what we’re here to discuss, go over, and perhaps provide some helpful advice and answers so that you can make informed decisions with as little fuss and bother as possible.
We would probably say the chief question you should ask first is why you are enrolling in a martial arts school? What is your desired result? What is it you’re looking for, because this will point you in the direction of which type of martial art is best for you, which might most suit your needs.
Maybe your primary interest is losing weight and getting in better shape. You aren’t as deeply invested in self defense, but you’d appreciate some. But you’re mainly interested in getting fit, getting healthier and strengthening the body. And you really like the idea of being in the company of other people who can help motivate you and keep you feeling positive. In that case something like Kickboxing or Muay Thai might be of great benefit because it places a strong emphasis on cardio, constant movement, and strength training.
Naturally any martial art is good for weight loss and getting healthier but different types offer different benefits in given areas that might be more appealing to your specific needs.
Maybe you have a strong interest in not only self defense but possibly even competitive fighting somewhere along the line. Maybe you’re already in fair shape, would like to improve, but your driving interest is self defense and fighting. Then maybe Brazilian Jiu Jitsu might be just what you’re looking for.
It’s also true that your motivations will almost certainly change after a time in that given art. You may feel you’ve strengthened your body and lost weight, and now you want to improve your self defense skills. That’s a consideration, but it’s also one that’s easy to answer, because you can still satisfy that need in that given art. Or you can simply transition to a different art. But it is something to bear in mind as you make your initial decision.
Next there’s the issue of actually getting to your school.
It goes without saying that location is key, and you’ll have to limit your search to whatever types of schools are available to you in your area, but generally speaking there are usually a good mix, and a surprising number of choices when you really look into it.
So a good rule to go by is to consider your motivations for joining up in the martial arts, and then take a little time to look up the various arts online, look into the types of fighting systems they specialize in and learn a little about them, poke around, do some window shopping and see what appeals to you most. Then see what’s available in your area.
Another important consideration is instructors and teaching styles. Once you’ve found a school you might have an interest in, you’ll want to just take a little trip downtown to actually check the place out. Take some time to talk to the instructor. Generally speaking most instructors should be quite happy to take a little time out to talk to prospective new students, and most offer you the opportunity to sit in on a class and just see how things work. And they’re usually quite amenable to answering just about any question you might have.
Sometimes people mesh and sometimes they don’t, and there’s no right or wrong answer here. It’s just a matter of how well you get along. Some people may have a teaching style or something that just doesn’t quite appeal to you and you’d rather look elsewhere. That’s perfectly fine, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Indeed it’s much wiser to just look elsewhere rather than sign up to a class you aren’t going to get anything out of, and you’ll likely end up dropping out later. That just wouldn’t make any sense.
So talk to the instructor first hand, and see how the whole thing feels first.
Cost is of course another relevant factor you’ll want to consider. Most schools are reasonably priced in terms of enrollment fees and membership and so on. But that necessarily has to jive with what you can afford consistently, because remember, if you intend to stick with it this could be an investment that will require years of dedication to. So you’ll want to factor that in and determine whether you can afford that additional expense without any major hardship.
In all truth you can satisfy many of your needs in many of the different martial arts out there. But there’s also simple personal preferences as well, so you’ll benefit yourself by simply taking the time to consider, look around, shop around and see what strikes your fancy over other choices. You may also discover along the way a martial art that you’d never heard of before, and find yourself with a new and intriguing interest.
The point is to look for something that’s going to satisfy that basic motivation, something that’s affordable and available in your area, and something that just feels right to you. And offers an instructor you feel you can learn from.
It’s a big step, and an important one that can indeed change your life if you’re serious about it. But there’s also every reason to expect it to be fun, there’s no reason it can’t be, and honestly if you aren’t having fun then maybe you shouldn’t be in that given pursuit after all. Because when you’re having fun, you’re engaged, and you’ll learn better, and you’ll have an overall greater and more beneficial experience.
So, those are just a few things to think about and consider when you’re looking for the right martial art to get into.
Article reposted with permission from Go2Karate.com.