How to choose the right Martial Art....
Rather than trying to figure out what the "best martial art" is, you
need to decide what are your realistic objectives and what you want out
Here is a list of things to consider in order of importance.
As they say in real estate - Location, Location, Location. Well when you
are going out once or twice a week for classes you want your Dojhang (korean
for training hall) to be easy to get to. If you can find one that is
local to home and/or work (or school for the kids) you will find it
easier to keep up with your regular training, and it saves time and
money in travel.
You really need an instructor that you get on with and you are confident
can provide you with the training you want. You are going to get to know
each other well over the years and you need someone you can trust and
All teachers (in any educational field) have different ways of teaching,
and different mannerisms. So find someone you relate to and are
Also you need to observe or ask about the
Is the instructor competent in what they are teaching?
What grade and experience does the instructor have? They should
obviously be a black belt and qualified to be an instructor from the
Martial Art they are teaching.
Are there other instructors that help, or take entire lessons? Or do
they take all the lessons (or at least are present)?
Does the instructor use various techniques to teach? Are they effective
in how they manage the classes and teach the syllabus.
3: Environment and Atmosphere
How the class flows and how much the students enjoy the classes comes
directly from the main instructor. Observe a class and see how the
students relate to the instructor and each other. Are they enjoying
themselves and are they respectful of the instructor(s) and each other?
Is the overall atmosphere positive or negative?
4: The style of Martial Art
There are many many different martial arts you can do. They are all
similar in some respects and very different in others. Ask yourself what
you want to do this for. Fitness? Self Defence? Achievement? Observe and
participate in a couple of classes (most let you do some free trial
classes) and ask questions of the instructors about what is the same and
different compared to other styles. All instructors will say their
martial art is the best. But most when probed deeply will not be able to
explain why they do techniques a particular way as most are steeped in
5: Does the timetable suit you
What days and times you can attend must work for you. It is vitally
important with learning a martial art that you keep up regular classes.
Not sure this should even be on the list, but money can be tight in
today's economy. Prices can vary greatly between martial arts. Some
price per term (for kids), and some monthly or per class. Also many have
hidden costs (like extra for belt grading tests). Ensure you have a
clear picture of what it will cost.
Many initially think martial arts are expensive, but keep in mind what
you are getting out of it (fitness, strength, coordination, confidence,
and of course practical self defence skills and knowledge)
FINALLY - Ask Questions!!
Once you decide, make sure you stick at it for at least 6 months. Often
when first starting, if you have no previous experience, a lot will feel
alien to you. Give it a good 6 months to get comfortable.
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