Choosing the Correct Martial Arts School for You or Your Child

So, You’re Thinking About Martial Arts…

There is no doubt that martial arts are a fantastic way to get and stay in shape. For kids, there is nothing better for learning respect, self-control and building self-confidence. However, there are so many options to choose from. There are hard styles such as Karate and TaeKwon-do, soft styles such as Kung-Fu, Tai Chi, then there is Judo, Japanese Jujitsu, Brazilian Jujitsu, Aikido and the list goes on and on. So, how do you know what fits you? Let’s look at a few things you can do to make sure you choose the right school for you or your child.

Choosing A School for Your Child…

Choosing a martial art for your child may be the most confusing with all the styles available. Also, it can be a little scary for some parents. After all, it’s martial arts. This can conjure visions of carnage, blood on the floor and cheap kung fu movies, but it’s not that. Yes, it’s a fighting art but it’s not about fighting. It’s about building character, perseverance, self-control, respect and a spirit that is indomitable.

Isn’t Martial Arts Risky?

Is there risk? Sure there is, it’s an active sport. But so is football, basketball, soccer and just about everything you can name outside of checkers. Shoot, I’ve seen kids flip over the back of a sofa playing video games.

Bear in mind that martial arts classes are well supervised, with a lower student-teacher ratio than most modern classrooms. Also, safety is stressed to the max. We want your child to be safe and in our school, safety is the number one rule. So, don’t let the term “martial Arts” keep you from giving your child the experience and character building it provides. It’s no scarier than any other sport and with all things considered, may be safer.

There Are So Many Schools Around My Area…

In choosing as school, consider your child’s personality and traits. If he\she likes to wrestle, try Ju-jitsu. A shyer child may do better in TaeKwon-Do or a karate class.

If your child is younger, say 3-6 I would think TaeKwon-Do or karate is a great place to start. However, you know your child. Consider their personalities and attributes when choosing a school.

The single best advice I can give about choosing as school is to shop around. Go to the different schools in your area, talk to the instructors and observe a class or two that caters to your child’s age. See how the instructors interact with the kids. If a school will not allow you to watch a class, walk away. Also, do not not be afraid to ask about the head instructors qualifications and affiliations. It will not hurt his\her feelings and you have the right to know

Ok, I’ve Found a School, Now What?

Once you find a school you like, I would suggest taking your child to watch a class. This will ease the sometimes intimidating experience of being thrown into an unfamiliar environment.

In addition, most schools will offer an introductory class or two, take advantage of them. These are usually very small classes of brand new students and very un-intimidating. they let your child get to know the instructor and gets them familiar with basic class structure.

But I’m An Adult! What About Me?

If you are an adult looking for a change from the boring gym, the same rules apply. Consider your age, goals and personal likes and dislikes and… SHOP AROUND.

I’m Too Old for This Martial Arts Stuff!

Poppycock! I’m 60 years old and it’s great! if you do your school shopping, you will find a school that will let you progress at your own rate. You will be in a class with a wide range of people at different skill levels.

Check out this video of a 72-year-old grandmother earning her black belt.

A 72-year-old grandmother from Canada became the third person in her family to become a Tae Kwon Do black belt, following in the footsteps of her daughter and granddaughter. CBSN's Vlad Duthiers has the story.


On a closing note, there is a camaraderie, a fellowship if you will that develops in a martial arts school that you will not find many other places. So, do your due diligence, pick a school and give it a try.

Until Next Time, Tae Kwon,


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