When it comes to deciding on the best martial arts studio for what you are looking for, here are a few things worth considering. Of course, it depends on who the training is for, but focusing on some basics can help quickly determine if a martial arts studio will be a fit for your lifestyle.
If you are considering getting your child or teen involved in some extra-curricular activity, martial arts have proven to be an incredible way to stay active and healthy. Martial arts, among other sports, address the need for increased physical activity across our nation. The current obesity crisis in America has been compacted by the last two years of remote learning and socializing for youth and adults. The unfortunate result is a growing technology dependence quickly turning into an addiction. Finding an activity that requires focus, goal setting, and physical activity is the first step to a healthier lifestyle, both mentally and physically.
Small Children: Small Class Size
Class size is essential when students are first learning martial arts. Younger children need a lower ratio of student to instructor. As is true in the school setting, learning has immense benefits with smaller groups initially. Younger students naturally need more help at the beginning with form and coordination. Established studios will allow you to try a class or observe to determine if it fits your child. It should be evident the instructor has bonded with some of the students, meaning class size is conducive to building relationships. A reputable and professional studio will have assistant instructors participating in the class to provide additional guidance and help struggling students or those needing more guidance.
Martial arts training is established in these formidable years, so class size does matter.
Once students have developed some skills in martial arts, the class size may grow. A larger group is beneficial because students recognize the difference between what they are doing and what is being demonstrated. Students are also ready to incorporate socialization at this level, and the larger class sizes teach how to navigate diverse peer groups successfully.
Successful studios will offer specialized classes, such as self-defense. As people may begin training with something condensed and brief, the studio atmosphere should make people want to return. Incorporating weekly training for adults has immense benefits. Testimonials from clients should reflect the health and emotional benefits of training with a studio. Always look at testimonials as a gauge of who the customers are and the strengths of the instruction.
Instruction Method – Competitive v. Encouraging
Some martial arts studios focus on competitive-level training. It depends greatly on what your goals are. Suppose the goal is to compete nationally and win championships. In that case, a competitive studio is very specific and should be sought out, so exposure and opportunities to participate in tournaments are regularly offered. In a competitive studio, instructors should be at the highest level to elevate skills and best prepare students to compete.
As with any sport, the coach or instructor often drives the level of competitiveness. Choosing the proper studio is vital depending on what you want to achieve through martial arts training. Some studios find training younger students in a positive and fun atmosphere is more effective. These studios focus on building up students\’ confidence and minimizing fear-based responses, egotism, and hyper-competitiveness.
It is essential to research and find a studio with a model that aligns with your family and personal values. If you want to train in martial arts solely to compete, you won’t be satisfied with a studio without that focus. On the other hand, if you want to have fun while getting fit, make sure you end up in a studio that encourages that approach to training.
The hard truth is – if something is not convenient, it won’t last. As much as your child may want to go to the same studio as their best friend, it is critical to find a local studio close to where you live or near school. Class schedules should also be convenient. Finding a studio with class times and days that work for you is worth prioritizing. Even if your child ends up at a different studio than their bestie, they will be working with peers, naturally forming friendships.
As adults, find a studio either close to work or home. People are much more likely to attend and stick with training if it is naturally on the way to or from work or home.
The ultimate goal is to find the right studio out of the gate. In researching these basics, you can find your dojo home the first time.