How To Select A Martial Arts School 1. Define your goals Before you begin your search for you a school you should try to understand your motivation for wanting to train in the martial arts. Everybody has different expectations as to what they plan to get out of there training. For example some people are just in it for fitness, some self-defense, and some want to compete. It could be a mix of any number of things. Understanding your motivation will help guide you in selecting not only the school but the style. Try to answer the following questions honestly: What is my primary motivation? i. Is it Fitness? ii. Learning a Traditional Martial Art? iii. Competition? iv. Self Improvement? Once you can define what your goals are this will help to guide you in your school selection. 2. What is your budget? I have trained at a number of schools they ranged in price from 90-125 dollars a month. Couple of things you should look out for are the schools that charge extra money for belt tests, which is more common in traditional schools like Karate. A monthly fee plus some basic training equipment is all you should have to spend money on. Decided I ahead of time what you can afford to spend on classes. Typically you are charged a flat monthly fee. 3. Visits Some Schools Once you have completed the previous two steps it is time to start visiting schools. I recommend calling ahead of time and ask the head instructor if you can watch a class. Watching a class is going to tell you a lot about the school, and typically after the class the instructor will talk with you to answer any questions you might have. They usually offer you a couple weeks of free classes so you can try it out before you commit. As you look around take note of the cleanliness of the school, what kind of training equipment they have, if it is a BJJ or wrestling school do they have padded floors. Once the class begins you should note how it is run. For example: Is the class organized and well run by the instructor? Ideally the instructor has a strong lesson plan and is able to control the flow of the class How many instructors on the floor? If you have only one instructor and there are 50 students you are not going to get much in the way of personal attention. Ideally the instructor should be able to provide critques on your form or performance during the class. Do they take safety seriously? In all sports you run the risk of injury, but a good school will take steps to mitigate injuries. I trained at an MMA school that got fighters ready for the UFC, and believe it or not that was the most safety conscious Martial Arts school I have trained at. In comparison I have trained at a Muay Thai school that didn’t even require students to wear mouth guards. Instructor is going to set the tone of the school so it is important you agree with that tone. 4. Try before you buy. Once you have visited a couple of school it is time to give it a try. Most schools will give you a couple of weeks for free. This will give you a chance to see if the school is for you. If you have any questions about this process feel free to send me your questions. Also check out my article on being the new student in the class. Link removed. JimFaul, please contact site admin if you would like to place an advert.