How to choose a martial arts school

choosing a martial arts school

Which martial art should you choose?

That is really a question of personal preference and there are quite a few options to choose from. Some styles of martial arts are more prevalent than others. And within each style there can be dozens of variations.  Assuming you are just interested in choosing a martial arts school to learn effectively and enjoy, rather than delve deep into the philosophical foundations, we’ve outlined 4 simple steps to help you choose a martial arts school.

How to find a good martial arts school, studio or dojo

  1. Online searches are a great way to find a local school, and even calling to inquire will give you some idea of what each place offers. But the best way is to visit the school. You have to walk in and speak with someone who can help. A nice website and a pleasant voice on the phone can be good, but you simply cannot know until you go in!
  2. Once you get in the door, look around. Is the place where you or your child will be training in bare feet clean and well kept? Do you notice students following a procedure (like removing and holding shoes) to help ensure cleanliness? That’s discipline in action!
  3. How do you feel when you enter the school? Were you welcomed immediately? These things matter because you will  be treated the same way if you become a student. Politeness is contagious!
  4. If all of those items seem good to you, you, or your child, needs to find out how to try it. Most schools will offer some way for you to experience a class or classes. At Bushido Karate, we offer a one month introductory program for everyone, kids, teens and adults. As a student, you need to be on the mat training with fellow students and as a parent, you should speak to the other parents! They are often the best resources for information in making your decision.

Other considerations in making a decision

Of course there will be other considerations.  Distance, required minimum number of classes, hours of operation, etc. but those will depend on your location and schedule. Cost should always be a consideration because the martial arts is essentially an education, and you should get what you pay for. The instructor’s experience and the number of classes that person actually teaches (you’d be surprised at the vast differences here!) should definitely play a strong role in deciding the value to you.

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