The Karate Guy What You should Consider When Choosing a Studio

By: The Karate Guy  09-12-2011
Keywords: Martial Arts, Martial Arts Program

Finding The Right Martial Arts Studio

Choosing the right studio for you and your family is a very important task. Your instructor will have a strong influence on your personal training and overall enjoyment of the martial arts. Children will quote their instructor at the dinner table. As an adult you’ll share personal situations and obstacles with your instructor. Do your homework and visit some potential studios. Ask this simple question, “How does the martial arts program actually do what it advertises?”. Most studios advertise the development of self confidence, self esteem, discipline, respect, self defense, weight loss, etc. Just sit and watch and see if the atmosphere of the studio delivers on its promises.

Here is some general information about choosing a martial arts studio, but remember not all programs are right for everyone. Even if your friends recommend it, you must decide what’s right for you or your family.

A studio advertises that they teach confidence and self esteem. What is actually being done to empower the students? It could be as simple as higher levels of fitness, or a quick little self defense trick. The bottom line here will come from watching a class. Try and watch a couple classes, this will give you an idea of the atmosphere in the studio, how classes begin and end, and what some of your future training partners are like. Are students trying new things and getting better? Is it an environment of positive learning?

A studio advertises that they teach discipline. Discipline is performed when a student actually controls their technique. Technique could mean a physical move, mental thought, spoken words or feelings and emotions. Understanding and developing this kind of self control is inherent in any quality martial arts program. Discipline is not punishment, punishment is done out of anger and frustration. Watch out for punishment being disguised as discipline.

A studio advertises that they teach respect. Respect is a two way street. A quality instructor deeply respects their students, and recognizes the commitment it takes to attend martial arts classes on a regular basis. A quality student trusts their instructor’s guidance, even if the technique or drill feels awkward at first. Ask yourself this question, “Does your instructor have your best martial arts interests at heart?”. If the answer is “yes”, then congratulations you’re in a respectful place.

A studio advertises that they will help you increase your fitness level. This one is simple, does the instructor look healthy? Can they perform the moves appropriate to their age? Sometimes there will be a real wise old instructor, they normally don’t perform all the latest jumping moves, however, they’d have a younger instructor who can perform all the neat, highly advanced techniques that everyone loves to watch. Don’t buy into the “We stand and fight, this isn’t a runner’s club.” Any instructor who doesn’t openly discuss fitness levels and healthy lifestyle should be avoided.

There are plenty of different and fantastic studios out there, take the time to find the one that’s right for you. And remember, your instructor should be someone you can look up to and hold in high regard.

Happy kicking
The Karate Guy

Keywords: Martial Arts, Martial Arts Program

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Quitting the Martial Arts

If your studio is open to this, congratulations, you’re in a wonderful place that is easy to join, easy to quit, and easy to come back to. The student used the martial arts as a stepping stone to other activities — becoming a black belt was never the goal. This is important for parents to understand, as many children start a martial arts program to help build confidence.


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Respect, seek it and it will evade you, demand it and it hides, but take complete responsibility for your life and it will embrace you forever. I believe the most important part of your martial arts training should be about who you are as a person. As a Black Belt, you should realize the incredible responsibility that accompanies being a Black Belt.


Changing Martial Arts Studios

This will let you see how the instructor interacts with the students and help to calm any nerves you might have about what will be expected of the you in class. A martial arts studio’s atmosphere is directly linked to the personalities of the instructors, and since everyone is different, the environments will be also.