So many martial arts schools and so little time! How does one choose the right one? Here are some inside tips to help you to pick the right school – If you live in the U.S., chances are you have at least one school within a 5-mile radius of your home - and probably more.
There are estimated to be more than six million martial arts practitioners in North America, about 70% of those are children.
Price ranges in the martial art industry, according to Frank Silverman, Director of the Martial Arts Industry Association, can be found anywhere from $35.00 per month to more than $200. How does one go about choosing the right school?
Howard Munding, 6th degree black belt in the Chuck Norris System has some advise...
“While important, you can't choose a school on monthly tuition price alone. The old adage you get what you pay for is very applicable to the martial arts industry. It is imperative that you personally visit the school or schools that you are considering enrolling in. "
When visiting a martial arts school look at the following:
Do they offer you a FREE trial period? You don't buy a car if you don't take it for a test drive. The same for a martial arts school. The trial period allows you to evaluate the facility, the instructor, and the other parents to make sure it is a place that you and your family would feel comfortable.
What does the facility look like? Is it clean? Is is a safe environment? Does it look professional?
Are the staff members friendly? Are they well groomed? Are their actions professional? A martial arts instructor will have a major impact on a student's life. You want to make sure it will be a positive one.
What is the culture or feel of the school? Talk to the other parents in the lobby. Ask them why they chose this school for their family.
Do you feel comfortable, like one of the family or are you just another customer? Are you having fun? Do you leave the school feeling empowered and taken care of? If you go to a martial arts school and leave feeling better than when you arrived, you’ve found a good thing. Your Gut Instinct. Always go with your gut instinct when choosing a school or instructor. If your intuition says something’s not right, something’s not right. If you’ve found a good school, you’ll know it.
How long has the school been in business? It is very discouraging for a student to start training in a school only to have it close down a year later.
It is an unfortunate fact that many martial arts schools open and close frequently. It is a competitive business and just because someone has earned a black belt doesn't mean they can operate a successful school.
Look for a school that has stood the test of time. They may not be perfect but they must be doing something right.
When shopping for a martial arts school, the “style” the school teaches is secondary to who teaches the classes and how they teach them. A good instructor will make you feel good about what you’re doing. He or she will help you stay healthy and take an interest in why you’ve joined the school. If you’re a complete novice to the martial arts, don’t shop for a style or method, shop for the best teacher or teachers you can find. Find the right teacher and you’ll love the martial arts. Find the wrong teacher and it won’t matter what style they teach!
Lots of intermediate and advanced students in classes? Chances are you’ve found a school that knows how to enroll and keep its students; that’s a good sign. If you go to a school that’s been in business for a year or longer and it’s still empty, something’s not right with the school.
The Financial Arrangements
Is it a high pressure sales pitch or does the school allow you the time and comfort to make an informed decision? Does the school have contracts or is it month to month. Both have pro's and con's.
Is everything included for one fee or are their additional charges for everything?