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Monday, December 22, 2014

Finding the Right School, Part 1

Posted by William on October 15, 2012

Finding the right school for you will mean doing some research to see what style may interest you, as well as what you want from your training.

Once you have decided what your focus will be in your martial arts training, it’s time to choose a school. Keep in mind that there are no licensing requirements for an individual who plans to open a martial arts school. All you need to do is watch a few Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris movies, buy a gi and a black belt at your local supply shop, and hang out your shingle. So it pays to be careful when you decide where to train.

First, look around the area where you live and see what schools are within a short distance from your home. When you are starting out in a physical training program, proximity is a major requirement. The farther you have to go to get to class, the easier it is to use an excuse not to show up after a hard day at the office. Most people find that any school more than five miles from their home is a problem on those nights you don’t really feel like training. Also, there may be more than one school in your area that teaches the style you are interested in studying. Even with the same style being taught, different schools have different methods of teaching. Find the one that is right for you. And finally, as you look for schools in your area, you may find a style you didn’t know about that sparks an interest. One of the most important factors in continuing your training is your interest in the style and the school teaching it: the better you like it, the longer you’ll stay active.

Once you’ve found a few schools, start checking them out. Call the instructors and ask about what they teach and how they teach it. Are they members of a larger organization and sanctioned by that group or are they a single school of some unusual style?

What are the instructor’s qualifications and who confirmed those qualifications? Do they have a very formal program with strict rules?

Are they a relaxed school, with more emphasis on the individual than on promotions and competitions or do they crank out black belts on a regular schedule? How intense is the discipline in the school? A good instructor will be happy to fill you in on the details of their school over the phone. If you can’t get answers, try another school.

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