Help me choose a MA!

Chris Parker

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Seconded. The class where you feel the most uncoordinated, the most uncomfortable, is the first one. Every class after that you at least have a frame of reference, and previous experience to fall back on. Well done on just attending in the first place, that's further than a lot of other people get!
 
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Konrad

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So I can say that I'm making progress and even after my third training I can make the moves I barely could on my first training. Today I had even a training with the staff. I have just one question for you all:

What's the best method of taking down notes? Elaborate on defining a technique in your notes, illustrating the moves and of finding the proper name on Japanese etc. :)
 

Dirty Dog

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So I can say that I'm making progress and even after my third training I can make the moves I barely could on my first training. Today I had even a training with the staff. I have just one question for you all:

What's the best method of taking down notes? Elaborate on defining a technique in your notes, illustrating the moves and of finding the proper name on Japanese etc. :)

You really cannot take notes (other than mental notes) during your training. You could make notes after class. You could make notes during your practice at home.

This is one place where I think books/videos can be useful. You'd need to find sources that teach, as closely as possible, the system you're studying. This can be problematic. Our Moo Duk Kwan school teaches the Palgwe forms, but they have been slightly modified over the years. Finding a source that demonstrated the forms as they are taught in our system was impossible. Ultimately, I wrote a textbook for our students, but that's not an option for a new student. ;)
One thing I would strongly recommend if you use books/videos is to avoid the temptation to "read ahead". Systems are designed in such a way that new knowledge builds on old. If you have not learned "A" properly, your learning of "B" will be flawed, and it will be more difficult to unlearn it and learn it properly when the time comes.
 

Instructor

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My teacher occasionally filmed moves for me to practice at home. It is a custom that I maintain with my own students.
 

Jimfaul

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1. Define your goals
Before you begin your search for you a school you should try to understand your motivation for wanting to train in the martial arts. Everybody has different expectations as to what they plan to get out of there training. For example some people are just in it for fitness, some self-defense, and some want to compete. It could be a mix of any number of things. Understanding your motivation will help guide you in selecting not only the school but the style.
Try to answer the following questions honestly:

What is my primary motivation?

i. Is it Fitness?
ii. Learning a Traditional Martial Art?
iii. Competition?
iv. Self-Improvement?

I have trained at a number of schools they ranged in price from 90-125 dollars a month. Couple of things you should look out for are the schools that charge extra money for belt tests, which is more common in traditional schools like Karate. A monthly fee plus some basic training equipment is all you should have to spend money on. Decided I ahead of time what you can afford to spend on classes. Typically you are charged a flat monthly fee.
Once you have completed the previous two steps it is time to start visiting schools. I recommend calling ahead of time and ask the head instructor if you can watch a class. Watching a class is going to tell you a lot about the school, and typically after the class the instructor will talk with you to answer any questions you might have. They usually offer you a couple weeks of free classes so you can try it out before you commit.


Once you can define what your goals are this will help to guide you in your school selection.

2. What is your budget?

I have trained at a number of schools they ranged in price from 90-125 dollars a month. Couple of things you should look out for are the schools that charge extra money for belt tests, which is more common in traditional schools like Karate. A monthly fee plus some basic training equipment is all you should have to spend money on. Decided I ahead of time what you can afford to spend on classes. Typically you are charged a flat monthly fee.

3. Visits Some Schools

As you look around take note of the cleanliness of the school, what kind of training equipment they have, if it is a BJJ or wrestling school do they have padded floors.

Once the class begins you should note how it is run. For example:

Is the class organized and well run by the instructor? Ideally the instructor has a strong lesson plan and is able to control the flow of the class

How many instructors on the floor? If you have only one instructor and there are 50 students you are not going to get much in the way of personal attention. Ideally the instructor should be able to provide critiques on your form or performance during the class.

Do they take safety seriously? In all sports you run the risk of injury, but a good school will take steps to mitigate injuries. I trained at an MMA school that got fighters ready for the UFC, and believe it or not that was the most safety conscious Martial Arts school I have trained at. In comparison I have trained at a Muay Thai school that didn’t even require students to wear mouth guards. Instructor is going to set the tone of the school so it is important you agree with that tone.

4. Try before you buy. Once you have visited a couple of school it is time to give it a try. Most schools will give you a couple of weeks for free. This will give you a chance to see if the school is for you. If you have any questions about this process feel free to send me your questions. Also check out my article on being the new student in the class.

​
http://martialartsevolved.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-select-martial-art-school.html
 

K-man

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grumpywolfman

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[video=youtube_share;IVPxAgy7lBA]http://youtu.be/IVPxAgy7lBA[/video]
 

GiannisMalkavian

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Maybe your area has a Ninjutsu teacher. I know it's specialised and not many westerners can teach. However it is a martial art which uses striking, weapons and self defense techniques. Also I believe a short and slim body can make a good ninja. Not joking :)
Also, do not leave MAs out of your list just because they seem to be uninteresting for you. If you 've not tried them, then you can't really know.
Sometimes it's more about your psychology and character and about the teacher than it is about what you 're doing. I mean not only does the what question matter, but also the how question!
 

Instructor

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I think the others have given sound advice. I'll just say the best thing to do is get out there and sample the schools in your area. Chances are you will feel right at home in one or another for many intagible reasons. Less speculation and more action!
 

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