How to choose a martial arts school
this is probably the 10000th time someone has written this article, but what I'm giving you is really the right answer.
Step one: find someone you trust that teaches martial arts.
Step two: take classes, and be willing to take everything on faith at the start. If you have a bad feeling and want to quit after a month, then discuss it with the instructor. If he or she will not discuss it or will not deal with your concerns, then quit.
The trick is, how do you find someone you trust. If you happen to know somoene, they might not be the right person. Would you trust them as a teacher, confidant, defender, and friend? All of those things should be present in this person. You might find someone that you have never met before, and somehow they give you a warm fuzzy feeling and you think it will work out alright. In that case, go for it and if it doesn't work out after a month then get out.
Remember it might be you, not them. It is possible that you are looking for something that a particular school does not have. Keep looking. Any school, regardless of the style they teach (taekwondo, kung fu, karate, etc.) should be willing to discuss these various martial arts systems intelligently. You do not need to learn multiple systems. That is wasteful. You need to learn one system well, and learn to apply the principles found in other systems. If you learn taekwondo well, and learn some aspects of jiu-jitsu, then you should be able to apply the jiu-jitsu techniques within your taekwondo. All martial arts have much common ground. Tai Chi, Aikido, various kung fu styles, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu all have some common elements with each other.
Some Red Flags to Stay Away From
- year long contracts up front, and no refund policy
- they promise your black belt by a certain date
- they make it sound like black belt is a destination
- they say that only they have the true methods
- you are required to enter competitions
- The head instructor no longer receives training from his/her master
Some of the best instructors I know turn away students on a regular basis. Not because of their class sizes, but because they don't feel the person is ready to be a student. This is an incredible service to the other students, who will not be dragged down by someone who doesn't really want to be there.