Choosing a school

JohnnyEnglish

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Just how many martial arts places have you been to, looking at your posts across different threads you must have been in hundreds of them?
I've taught children martial arts, horse riding and am also a Girl Guide leader where the youngest girls are 5, children can learn easily. Of course everything must be age appropriate to get the best from their lessons but really, children can learn martial arts at a young age. Whether they should is up for debate as people have different views on it from various points of view but not because children cannot learn. The argument against is whether they should be taught at a young age and grade so that you have young blackbelts while the argument for is that the children learn the ethos of martial arts to take forward into adulthood, neither argument says that children cannot learn.

Correct, good that you remind me though.

The training environment and training structure I saw children in, were the same as for adults, this might be the reason why they were not able to follow or concentrate as much as we adults did. I've got no children, so I don't know much about it. However, to answer your actual question, I've been to around 70 maybe 80 different martial art schools, in 50 of them I were just a guest for a couple of weeks, in some others I learnt for months or even years to adapt and gain as much knowledge as possible.
 

TriciaGarcia

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There are some great suggestions in the comments for those who want to start martial arts.
 

alexl1989

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Hello I'm Alex and I live in Greece...I intend to move to London somwhere in November,I'm kinda trying to start a new life and I am thinking to join a martial arts school too as part of my new "project".The thing is I don't really want to learn how to beat someone up,I am not so interested to learn a fighting technique,I need something that will help me improve my self-confidence,control of myself and my feelings and I was hoping that someone here can advice me where to start.I need something that combines mind and body,maybe a little spirituality in the mix too,it's a little hard to explain but maybe someone here can understand what I mean.Thank you!!!
 

KenpoMaster805

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I did seido taekwondo shotokan but its not my style so i went to Kenpo karate and I loved it I learn a lot in Kenpo Karate and My instructor is awesome and the location is near its about 10 min drive
 

lifelongstudent1

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I wrote a pretty detailed article that will cover any style any newbie but to big I think for here.
 

maryf

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well you can check online feedback for many schools but martial arts learning classes must be taken from right and expert instructor therefore it do take time.:bear:
 

Marie_Flowers88

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Hmm how to choose a good school, its fraught with pitfalls unfortunately. I speak from experience from the UK. The first school I joined was a McDojo, sadly :(. All they were interested in was getting students in the door and paying fees, they charged extortionate amounts, and offered very little in the way of teaching. They had a nice dojo in a clean industrial building, they had nice equipment and a nice padded floor, and they seemed nice enough but while the head instructor had something like 30 years of experience, great posture, and from what I could see seemed like he was a very capable instructor it just didn't feel right. I sort of knew something wasn't right, but at the same time I didn't realise just how bad it was. :confused:

So first of all the fee's were somewhere in the realm of £80 a month. Beware fees, this was very much a business first, and a school last. You paid by credit agreement, this should set alarm bells ringing, and it was a franchise :eek:. Frankly if you come across this, run. There are plenty of good instructors who charge just enough to cover costs, or just a little bit over, if there doing it for the love of teaching, and for the art itself there not going to charge extortionate rates.

Secondly they had a sales pitch. So in the UK if you walk into an electrical store that sells computers and laptops and things, they always tell you about how just for you there going to do you a deal (shhh don't tell anyone! ;)), or because it's the last day of the week customers get a "special offer"...ughh its tedious and all lies, this school actually had the nerve to say that to potential students. Why is this even necessary? Martial arts can do great things for you, it can open doors, boost confidence, it could even save your life some day... just tell it like it is. This sort of behavior is insulting frankly, and it's a huge red flag.

Lastly the teaching was just awful. It was family friendly, this could be controversial to some people, don't get me wrong martial arts isn't just for adults I wish I had started it as a kid, but when a school dumbs down its curriculum to cater for young students so much that the older students teaching suffers it's just pointless for the adults, and it isn't real. Martial arts has two words MARTIAL and ART, it's both. You would look around in class and see adults who can't punch properly, nobody used hip movement, stances were none existent, nobody broke into a sweat, this particular school is Tang Soo, there were green /red and black belts who couldn't name the first Hyung the school taught. The school was afraid that students would quit if they found it too hard. The head instructor even said out loud to the entire class one day "I have a policy of not correcting students". Boy did some of these students need correcting, including me, but it never happened, and when they got the camera out to take pictures at grading it showed...boy did it show.

Grading was every two months, and it was a walk in the park, the students stood still in a line and did techniques stood on the spot. Students were guaranteed belts if they attended the grading, no matter what. A grading should be a test, sure there is room for error, and making a few mistakes shouldn't be instant fail, teachers evaluate students in class as much as at gradings, everybody gets nervous at gradings and sometimes you make mistakes but a good instructor will take that into account, if they know you can perform a Kata/Hyung/whatever your style calls it, or a techniques a few mistakes at grading are forgiven, but a good school should expect students to put effort into it gradings, and show spirit.

So my advice is watch a class or two, the class should be challenging to the students, and if you know anyone who does martial arts, maybe at your work or your childrens school, talk to the students or the parents and see if they have any thoughts on what is a good or bad school in the area, they might have encountered more than once school and can compare them.

Gosh! I'm thankful that I came across your reply. I'm currently finding a martial arts school and found McDojo which quite popular. Maybe I need to find another school. Thanks for this! ;);)
 

kravmaga1

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The most important part of choosing a Martial Art school is for which reason you are getting into the school and the form of martial art you want to learn.
 

KenpoMaster805

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Before choosing a Martial Arts School you need to go to all Martial class in your area and pick what u want
1st what style you want
2nd Location of the Martial School isit a good school
3rd choosing an instructor is the instructor good does he or she teach the technique step by step and by detail
4th is the Martial arts he or she teaching is effective on the streets
5th the cost of the Martial Art school
 

Antighsiothail

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Hello I'm Alex and I live in Greece...I intend to move to London somwhere in November,I'm kinda trying to start a new life and I am thinking to join a martial arts school too as part of my new "project".The thing is I don't really want to learn how to beat someone up,I am not so interested to learn a fighting technique,I need something that will help me improve my self-confidence,control of myself and my feelings and I was hoping that someone here can advice me where to start.I need something that combines mind and body,maybe a little spirituality in the mix too,it's a little hard to explain but maybe someone here can understand what I mean.Thank you!!!
In that case you may like either Aikido or Ki Aikido, either of which seem to meet your criteria.
 
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