Choosing a Martial Arts Instruction

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What should you be looking for when choosing martial arts instruction, school, style or teachers? We first need to realize that not all martial arts are the same. Even within a similar system, it is not the same. Not all karate is the same. Research the style. Know the difference between Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. Ask some clarifying questions as to what they actually teach. What do they mean by “traditional”? Check if the school and teachers have a governing authority. Does the school have realistic goals for you as the student. If they tell you your 5-year-old can make black belt in a couple years, then you have to ask yourself about the quality of the training. Is that realistic? Check the credentials of the instructors. Take time to check out the facility. Is it clean, updated, and safe? Ask about all the fees. There is usually a fee for the class. What does that cover? How man times a week? What are the fees for testing and belts? Ask about the terms of the contract, if there is one. Then read it before you sign it! Is the school family-friendly? What is the history of the school? Ask any question.


Why do people want to receive martial arts instruction? There are a wide variety of reasons: 

  • want to learn how to kick and punch
  • self defense
  • looking for a life coach
  • want to break bricks and boards
  • need a mentor
  • character development
  • inspiration
  • overcome anxiety, stress, and tension
  • friendly support
  • gain confidence in the face of bullying
  • solve life problems
  • encouraged to believe in yourself
  • get healthy and fit
  • seeking a personal trainer
  • strength, flexibility, balance and weight loss
  • learn personal victory
  • earn medals and trophies
  • someone to encourage
  • learn respect
  • gain patience, humility, discipline, perseverance, empathy, courage, listening skills, loyalty, and self-control
  • hard work to reach goals
  • get a black belt

And that is a short list! Make sure the particular martial arts instruction provides what you are looking for.


Finally, you just have to give it a try. If it doesn’t fit what you are looking for, try something else. Remember, everything is not the same. Don’t ascribe your feelings about one school or one instructor or one style to all. Marital arts is a way of life. You just have to find the right martial arts instruction, for your journey to begin!

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