Learn the Criteria For Selecting a Martial Arts School
There are myriad styles of martial arts — karate, kung fu, taekwondo, jujitsu, judo, aikido, tai chi chuan, and kendo, to name a few. Some have passed through the centuries, while others have been modified and are relatively new.
However, the style of martial art should not be your primary criteria in selecting a martial arts school. Instead, you should consider what is emphasized in the martial arts program.
The Appropriate Martial Arts Emphasis for Children and Families
For children and families, martial arts instruction should primarily be focused on the personal-development aspects of martial arts – rather than the fighting aspects.
All of the martial arts develop self-esteem, self confidence, focus and concentration, self discipline, physical fitness and self-defense skills. An emphasis on these benefits of martial arts is what you should look for rather than seeking out a specific style of martial arts based on the techniques used for kicks, punches and/or throws.
You should also consider how the martial arts programs are taught. The practice of martial arts is largely about the development of self-esteem so you want to find a martial arts program where the instructors emphasize the effort as well as the result.
Self-esteem comes from having real successes in doing something you care about. For many children and adults, martial arts can be an important activity that helps build self-esteem, but only if the martial arts instructors acknowledge, recognize and reward the efforts of the martial arts student, as well as their accomplishments and successes.
To summarize – the most important criteria in selecting a martial arts school should be the level of emphasis on personal development and an approach towards teaching that is focused on building self-esteem.
To evaluate a school against these two criteria, you should discuss them with the martial arts instructor and observe a class, paying particular attention to what is emphasized and how classes are taught.
Other Criteria To Consider in Choosing a Martial Arts School
- Is there a structured curriculum?
- What are the opportunities for leadership? For competition?
- Many martial arts schools have a student creed that students must memorize. Does this creed agree with your personal values?
- What is the school’s reputation in your community?
3. More Class Considerations
- While watching a class, observe the interaction between students and instructors very carefully. The atmosphere should be formal and professional, but the students should be having fun as well. Evaluate if the students seem happy and motivated.
- A good instructor can instruct 50 students with control and ease, but for an inexperienced instructor, five students might be too many.
4. Martial Arts Instructors
- What kind of training do the instructors have? Just because the instructor has a black belt does not mean he or she is a good instructor.
- The martial arts instructors at the school you select must be positive role models for the students and should be able to establish an immediate rapport with your child.
5. Martial Arts Facility and Safety Issues
- The school should be welcoming and comfortable for both students and parents.
- Is the facility clean?
- Is there a large matted area where students can train?
- Is there a viewing area for parents?
Selecting the right martial school will have a positive influence on your child’s development. We certainly hope you select Chay's Tae Kwon Do.