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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 of it.

Here is a list of things to consider in order of importance.

1: Location
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.

2: Instructors
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 talk to.
All teachers (in any educational field) have different ways of teaching, and different mannerisms. So find someone you relate to and are comfortable with.

Also you need to observe or ask about the following;
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 tradition.

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.

6: Price
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.




Ages 5 through to Adult

School Location

185 Upper Harbour Drive


(Walkway down left side of garage)

North Shore, Auckland, NZ


Phone: 021 263 8097

Postal Address:

Martial Arts for Life Academy Limited
PO Box 153
Auckland 0756

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