A beginners guide to choosing a Martial Arts school

Welcome to the first of many blogs at Fight Sanctuary.

Our first post is about what to look for in choosing your school. There are so many great schools out there, but unfortunately there are as many awful ones. Below is a Five point check list that will help you chose your school. 

  1. Who is teaching the classes?
    This is the most important part, as the instructors are how you get your knowledge, not the facility. The age of the instructor does not really matter providing they have the relevant qualifications and abilities to teach to your level. To be honest i have a 5th degree black belt but if i teach a beginners class or one of my trainees do the content is exactly the same for the client the results come from application and work ethic as opposed to who is teaching at the beginner level. 
     
  2. How big are the classes? 
    We all love a big busy class, but if you have a class of 50 and one instructor many details will be missed. Ideally you will have smaller groups of no more than 15 or multiple instructors available to help where needed.
     
  3. Does the school compete in open events?
    Even if you do not wish to compete knowing the techniques you are being taught work against other trained competitors is very important. There are many traditional schools that do not compete as they are practicing art as opposed to application, but i would be suspicious of a school that only competes in closed events.
     
  4. Can you see and try a class before committing?
    This is key. If the school is confident in their product they will let you try a session. There are some schools out there that do not allow the new client to even look at the classes until they have joined which is crazy and clearly the motivation is money over development. While we have to make a living there is a line that this sort of practice crosses.
     
  5. How long does it take to get to black belt? 
    This is a telling sign of the standards within the school. The usual answer will be "Depends on the student" but the fastest i have ever graded someone to black belt was five years, but she quit her job, trained six days week (sometimes twice a day) and competed nearly every weekend, during the first year started competing in advanced and won two world titles (WKA & WPKA) won 6 british championships and a bunch of internationl medals against very high level competition, so ti made sense. I would say the average should be about 10-15 years as being a black belt has more todo with understanding the techniques over just being able todo them.

I hope this little list will help you choose your school and you keep training!

See you all soon

Wez Lucas

The Fight Sanctuary