How To Choose A Martial Arts School

adhd & focus, self-esteem, martial artsMaking the right martial arts school selection is an important decision. This article describes which criteria to use in choosing a school.

First, the school’s martial arts discipline should not be one of your primary selection criteria. There are myriad styles of martial arts taught, including karate, taekwondo, kung fu, and jujitsu, which differ in their emphasis on kicking, punching, and throwing.  The style of martial arts that we teach at Northwest Indiana Martial Arts Academy is Tang Soo Do.

Instead of martial arts style, you should primarily consider these two criteria:

1. Personal-Development Focused

For a martial arts school primarily serving children and families, you should select a school that emphasizes the personal-character aspects of martial arts rather than the self-defense aspects.

All martial arts styles support the development of:

  • Personal character
    • Self-confidence and self-esteem
    • Focus and concentration
    • Self-discipline and mental toughness
    • Physical fitness
  • Self-defense
    • Personal safety awareness
    • Personal protection
    • Fighting

However, different martial arts schools emphasize one more than the other. Again, if you are looking for a school for kids and parents, find a school that emphasizes personal-character development.

2. How The Programs Are Taught

The practice of martial arts is largely about the development of self-esteem. Therefore, you want to find a martial arts school where the instructors emphasize the effort as well as the result.

To build self-esteem, martial arts instructors must acknowledge, recognize and reward the efforts of the student.

Some martial arts schools emphasize the effort and others emphasize the result. For kids and parents to gain the greatest benefits from martial arts, look for a school that emphasizes the struggle over the accomplishments and successes.

To summarize, the most two most important criteria in selecting a martial arts school should be the:

  • Level of emphasis on personal character development
  • Use of a teaching approach that is focused on building self-esteem

To evaluate a school against these two criteria, you should discuss them with the school’s instructors. Also, you should observe a class, paying particular attention to what is emphasized and how classes are taught.

Other Criteria To Consider in Choosing a Martial Arts School

1. Curriculum

  • Is there a structured curriculum?
  • What are the opportunities for leadership? For competition?

2. Values

  • Many martial arts schools have a student creed that students must memorize. Does this creed agree with your personal values?
  • What is the school’s reputation in your community?

3. Class Considerations

  • While watching a class, observe the interaction between students and instructors very carefully. The atmosphere should be formal and professional, but the students should be having fun as well. Evaluate if the students seem happy and motivated.
  • A good instructor can instruct 50 students with control and ease, but for an inexperienced instructor, five students might be too many.

4. Martial Arts Instructors

  • What kind of training do the instructors have? Just because the instructor has a black belt does not necessarily mean he or she is a good instructor.
  • The martial arts instructors at the school should be positive role models for the students

5. Martial Arts Facility and Safety Issues

  • The school should be welcoming and comfortable for both students and parents.
  • Is the facility clean?
  • Is there a large matted area where students can train?
  • Is there a viewing area for parents?

Selecting the right martial school is an important decision. We certainly hope you select Northwest Indiana Martial Arts Academy