When deciding where to start if you’re new to the area or want to train in martial arts for the first time, figuring out which studio is best for you can be challenging. Instead of giving in to the overwhelming process and skipping it altogether, use these three things as you look for the best studio in your area. Not all martial arts studios are created equal, and not all styles are, so it is essential to know a little about what you want before you sign up! When you begin the process of finding your studio, find out what programs they offer, what the culture is, and the values of the owner and instructors. If you have these in mind when you begin to visit websites and even take a free trial class, it can help you sift through the many choices.
Ensure the Programs You Want Are Offered
An easy thing to identify at a martial arts studio you are considering is what programs are offered. Some studios will specialize in one martial arts style, like Karate or Jiujitsu. If you are new, it is best to find a studio that offers mixed martial arts styles so you get the best of all the styles and can choose to specialize later in your martial arts journey. Ensuring there are programs available that you want and seek is a straightforward way to sort out the studios that are not options. There are some key ideas you should decide upon before heading out to the studio.
Questions to Think About Ahead of Time
Questions you need to consider are, is this something I envision myself doing long-term, or is it more of a curiosity? Next, consider why you are considering martial arts training – are you looking at it for fitness, self-defense, competition, or something else? Last, is there a specific style you want to learn, and are your long-term goals a black belt? When choosing a studio, find out what this looks like as far as commitment and timeline. Earning a black belt can take years and require extensive dedication on your part, but it is well worth it in the end! Although these are some great questions to consider to get started, new martial arts students sometimes decide along the journey to pursue a black belt, and a quality studio will provide expert guidance to get there!
What Type of Martial Arts Studio Culture Fits You Best
An important thing to remember about choosing a martial arts studio is that you will likely spend significant time there training. Finding out what the culture is in the studio, whether hyper-competitive or more family-friendly, are two vastly different approaches to training. The studio that offers courses and taking for young children often has a more positive approach to training because young students need to feel welcomed and encouraged. Entering a highly competitive environment initially can be off-putting for many students, not just kids.
When choosing your martial arts studio, it should feel comfortable and like you fit the culture. Attending training should be something you look forward to – not just for the training but for the connections you make with other students and the instructors. You want your studio to know you, and you want to feel valued when you are there. One of the great things about the best martial arts studios is that they offer a free training class. This is an opportunity to find a studio that fits your style and what you seek. Initial observations can tell you much about a studio and its culture, which is essential that it is a fit for you!
Observe Instructor Interactions with Students and How They Manage a Class
You can tell much from watching martial arts instructors, both in their leading of a class and how they interact with the students. An instructor will make or break your experience; if you consider martial arts for the younger people in your life, it is even more critical. Instructors should be in control of the class, maintaining professionalism but also displaying signs of encouragement. There should never be any berating of students or causing embarrassment to anyone. If you observe this when you enter a studio, turn around and head back out.
Most studios have criteria their instructors must meet to lead, and this is something you can inquire about. You want to get the best quality instructors and training, but the instructor must also be fit for the style of instruction you respond to. Remember – you are investing, and you should get what you want.
Martial Arts Studios Mission and Values
Studios like SwiftKick Martial Arts have a clear mission and vision for all students with a clear set of values that are required to be carried out by all instructors. The values instilled by the leader of a studio will determine how the instructors teach and how students perform. Many of a studio’s values can be observed before signing up, so take your time. When you decide on the studio, it will be the best fit for your continued success!