My 4 top tips for choosing a Martial Arts school
Learning a Martial Art can be a fantastic time in a person’s life, whether it is a child or an adult. Taught well it can instil discipline, modesty and a real drive to achieve in life. I met many of my dearest friends though my Martial Arts training, over the years they have gone on to be very successful; some have gone on to be doctors, teachers and entrepreneurs and all are very happy family men and women. When we all get together and talk about the good old days it’s almost always mentioned that we owe our success to the mind-set that we got from practising Martial Arts.
Martial Arts offers something that most other hobbies don’t, A WAY OF LIFE.
Here are my 4 top tips for choosing a Martial Arts school for yourself or your children.
Tip 1. Try before you buy
Almost all Martial Arts schools will offer a free taster session before you commit to joining. Don’t be afraid to let the instructor know that you are trying other schools as you really want to be 100% committed to pursuing the Martial Arts and it is important that you try different styles before you make a decision.
If the instructor takes offence with your decision or tries giving you the hard sale to keep you, it probably isn’t the right school.
Tip 2. Check credentials
Unfortunately anybody who’s anybody can now put on a black belt and start teaching the martial arts. The industry as a whole isn’t very well regulated in the UK and this has led to more Martial Arts related injuries and has also diluted the true meaning of the Martial Arts. This being said there are a lot of very good Martial Arts instructors and schools out there and it is still one of the safest hobbies – according to government statistics.
I would recommend when choosing a school to ring ahead and ask if the instructor would mind letting you see certificates for insurance, and governing body qualifications, you may want to research the governing bodies to ensure the information you are given is genuine. You should also check that all staff have been DBS criminal record checked.
Tip 3. Where, when and how much?
Before you ring or visit a Martial Arts school ask yourself these three questions.
1. How far are you prepared to travel?
2. What is the latest you could finish a class?
3. What is your budget?
I say this as it’s important that you understand that learning Martial Arts is an investment in your or your child’s future. You shouldn’t choose a school just because it is cheap or close to your home. Remember learning a Martial Art is an education and it’s the quality of the sessions that is important. Most professional schools will have earlier sessions for children and later sessions for adults to accommodate bed/evening meal times and work finishing times.
Tip 4. Does it feel right?
This is usually a gut instinct and you can sometimes get this feeling from the school website or Facebook page alone if there is video footage of classes in session. I run schools in Peterborough UK www.evolutiontkd.co.uk and in my schools I feel it is important that parents can watch the children in class. However I know that a lot of schools don’t have viewing areas making it more difficult to get a feel for the class and instructors. If this is the case you could ask the instructor if it would be ok to sit in on a session and watch. This will give you a better idea of the vibe in the class. Here are some things to look out for:
1. Are there lots of smiles? Including on the instructors?
2. Do the instructors have a good rapport with the members?
3. Does it look and feel safe?
4. Are there any children using weapons?
5. Is it just about the physical activity or is the instructor teaching life skills as well?
6. Is the class well organised?
7. Is the instructor a good role model for your children?
8. Are the lessons fun?
All of the above questions will help you make the right decision in choosing the right school for you and your family. And in turn keep you learning Martial Arts longer.