Inquire and Compare
Over the years it amazes how assuming we can be. Are you aware, there are virtually NO government qualifications required to open a martial arts studio in many countries, including Canada… and most schools have few if any! Even a business license is only a registration for local taxation purposes, requiring just an applicant’s signature!
The Internet is an incredible source of information. Unfortunately it can also be an incredible source of dis-information, illusions are easily generated. Like a physical business, some websites will have an attractive, legitimate appearing, ‘virtual storefront’, yet may have little basis in fact. The difference is risk. It takes significant moneys, time, commitment, and hard work to establish a credible martial art school or organization. Almost anyone, in a few days, with today’s easily acquired equipment, can generate realistic appearing certificates, publish ‘web literature’ online very cheaply or even create a complete virtual martial arts organization, making themselves the Supreme Grand Master. I urge you to cross reference any data you acquire. Although the vast majority of business’s are of good character, “If it seems too good, too cheap, too easy to be true…it is probably ‘sucker bait”
It is common these days for instructors to add material from other martial arts or sources to compliment and broaden the school format as a benefit for students. This can add interest for advancing members or options for the range of students ages and abilities who wish to take up martial arts……BUT the school must be based on a solid, quality, core style from which legitimate technique, skills, and certification can be issued. Ask the same in-depth questions and expect the same quality of response you would anticipate from any reputable business. Disclosure not evasiveness should be forefront. If you are suspicious or unsatisfied with your inquiry or school, remember there is tremendous competition for your membership dollars. TRUST is everything, do not take chances with the health or education of yourself or your child
Do you feel comfortable with the instructors? Does everyone at the school show you personal respect and consideration for your capabilities? Are classes age and level appropriate?
Does the school and each instructor practice a philosophy which you are comfortable with?
Does the school have widely recognized certification and affiliations? Are they serialized and posted in clear view? Do they include Canadian and local government recognition? Merchants or Community membership? In Canada RCMP background check, “National Coaching Certification Program” and provincial SportAid/Sport Medicine council programs are standards we recommend you look for
Is the school well established with a commitment to the students, surroundings, and the community? Statistically, 8 out of every 10 new Martial Arts schools last only 3 months – 3years . How long has the school held a business license? How long at that location? What is the technical experience, martial arts history and business record of the owner?
Does the school provide a wide selection of ongoing classes and programs to suit your individual needs, commitment, and budget? Different instructors by age, gender ?
Do students stay with the school? Look for a balance of all belt colors. Are the instructors experienced and able to teach? Not all good athletes can coach. Not all Black Belts can teach.
Does the school allow for individual concerns, special needs, and student input?
Are there others your age, sex, motivation, and capabilities that you can relate to and have a sense of camaraderie?
Does the school offer enough energy, excitement and variety to keep students active, interested, and most of all motivated to continue to their personal goals?
This is a very personal decision. We are not the only Martial Arts School. Choose the one that will keep you committed long enough to be of value. No Martial Art will benefit you if not given the chance.