Choosing a Martial Arts School

Practicing the martial arts can be an experience that affects you in multiple areas of your life. As you learn, you may find yourself growing both mentally and spiritually while honing your physical form. Reaching mastery of an art can bring profound changes, but the first step to that mastery is in choosing a martial arts school that fits your specific needs.
1. Each martial art has a specific style to which its practitioners adhere. Some emphasize offense while others rely on defensive throws. Research the individual styles by watching tapes of exhibitions or competitions. Note the differences between styles like Brazilian jiu-jitsu and taekwondo, among others, to determine a style that suits your tastes.
2. Like individual styles, not every martial arts academy is the same, despite teaching the same methods. Martial arts training in karate for example is commonplace, but before you choose a location to take your martial arts classes, you should speak to those already enrolled to determine if the current students are comfortable with the program offered. Narrow down your possible academies to a handful.
3. Check your intended schools for introductory classes. You’ll want to try out each of your final choices by taking a class at each location. These are familiarization classes meant to give you some idea as to the teaching methods of the instructors and the way in which classes are conducted. Take notes on your experiences as soon after class ends as possible. Ask any questions you have about teaching methods after the class as well.
4. Review your notes and choose an academy that fits your chosen style and your temperament. Sign up for a few classes and see if your initial assessment of the school was correct. If so, continue your training. If not, try the next martial arts school on your list.

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