Before choosing a martial arts school, I think it’s important to ask yourself, “Am I looking for a fighting instructor or a mentor?”
Instructor or Mentor?
Some schools have a reputation for fighting. The intensity level is highly competitive and aggressive. These schools will teach you how to beat people up, earn money, and win, win, win.
Other schools believe in training to avoid the fight. I believe a good martial arts instructor is a mentor, a role model who helps you make the right choices in life. Don’t misunderstand me, we learn how to fight. We’re excellent fighters. But the true practitioner of Tae Kwon-Do will know how to avoid the fight in the first place.
Meet the Owner
Once you’ve decided which style best suits you, go meet the owner and instructors. You want to make sure they’re all on the same page. What is the school’s philosophy and vision towards martial arts? Is this a training facility for fighters or mentors? If the owner’s vision differs from the instructor’s, or vice-versa, you might be signing up with the wrong school.
Tour the Facility
Take a good look around the facility. Is there an open viewing area or does it feel closed off? Is the staff courteous and respectful? Are they dressed properly? Is the instructor in shape? It’s funny to think about an overweight, out-of-shape instructor, but they’re out there. In my opinion, the instructor should set an example for the students.
Watch the different classes. See how the instructor works with the lower ranks compared to black belts. You may not understand what’s going on in the classes, but you’ll learn how the instructor treats the students. Are the students advancing? Black belts are well oiled machines compared to the lower ranks. Again, look for respect and discipline.
Try it Out
A good school should offer a free demonstration class, or at least a low-cost introductory class. If you’re new to Tae Kwon-Do, you might have certain expectations and be surprised by others. For example, we punch and kick. This might come as a surprise, so keep an open mind when you first approach a school. Our martial arts school offers a trial program for you to decide whether Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. Simply fill out this form to sign up.
Ultimately, only you can decide which instructor and school is a perfect fit. When you know what you’re looking for, the right decision typically makes itself apparent.