Select a Great Martial Arts Program

There’s a great array of martial art styles available today. Some of these, such as Kung Fu and Karate, have been around for centuries; some, such as Jeet Kune Do and Wing Chun, are new, modified versions. People’s reasons for choosing a martial arts program are just as diverse. Some want to learn how to defend themselves in any situation. Others want to stay fit. The confusing part is finding the right martial arts program.

Martial Arts Style

Fighting aspects or techniques should not be your sole criteria for choosing a martial arts program. You should also consider how it can help in personality development. Martial arts is a great way for learning and applying life skills such as self-discipline, self-control, and focus and concentration. Some programs neglect to integrate these important personal development aspects.

Another factor to consider is the amount of contact you prefer in your training. In full contact, knock-outs and tap-outs are the aim of each sparring. In controlled contact, the student has to control their techniques so as not to hurt their opponent. The amount of force used is limited to 40%-50%. The goal is not to knock-out or hurt the opponent, but to score the most points. Some styles allow no contact at all, and some do not involve sparring. If you want to learn self-defense, then you should look for styles that incorporate this aspect into their curriculum.

Some styles incorporate weapons into the training, while some only use hand training. This is something to consider if you want to learn how to use weapons.

Martial Arts School

Cost of program and convenience of location are important considerations when choosing a school. If you want to get the best instruction, however, you should consider other factors. Visit as many martial arts schools as possible and see what each has to offer.

  • Instructor: The instructor should be knowledgeable. He or she should be able to demonstrate his/her achievements and credentials. Look for an instructor with a minimum rank of 4th Dan Black Belt, as this means he/she has learned the entire curriculum of martial arts thoroughly.

You may also want to consider the instructor’s behavior and personality. How does he/she interact with students? Is the instructor someone you can relate to? Will you be comfortable with his/her style of teaching?

  • Environment: Observe a class. How do students interact with each other or with their instructors? Instructors impose their own teaching philosophy when running a school. Some facilitate a competitive environment. Some use militant style. Talk to the students to learn about their experiences.

In sum, selecting the right martial arts program for you would require you to look at the school, the teacher, and the style or technique. If you choose a reputable school with great teaching environment, study with a teacher you’re comfortable with, and choose a style you prefer, you will more likely stick to it. Hopefully in your journey you will develop the life skills and personality you aspired to have.



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