3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Karate School

Posted by on Oct 29, 2011

3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Karate School

There are many things to determine when you are looking to take karate and are looking for a school. Many karate schools populate the streets of our neighborhoods and determining which one is the best for you can be a daunting task, Here are three things to help you determine which school is right for you:

What is the best style?
The short answer to this that there isn’t a “best” style. Martial arts are, in a lot of ways, like people. They have different personalities. Some are aggressive, some are passive, some are difficult, some are easy. In determining which style is right for you (karate, tae kwon do, kung fu, etc.), you should ask yourself “What do I want from a karate school?” If you just want a physical workout, then just about any karate school will do the trick, but if you are looking to actually learn a martial art, or a self defense system, then the first thing you should meet the head instructor or owner of the school. What is his or her personality like? Does he or she teach all the classes? If not, what are the credentials for those who do teach the classes? Are they friendly? Are they knowledgeable about their art? Asking questions to the school owner will tell you a lot about their school.

If you find a school that you are interested in, ask about all fees! Many schools have a registration fee for signing up. This is not uncommon.

But are there annual fees? Testing fees? Equipment fees? Tournament fees? All this on top of monthly fees? Wow! That can get to be expensive!

While many schools have some or all of the aforementioned fees, you should know what you are getting into up front! There are too many conveyor belt karate schools that produce black belts faster than the belts can be made! If you are going to spend the time and your hard earned money to take a karate (or any martial art) class, get all the details up front so that you can get the maximum benefit from your training. I would rather be a yellow belt that can throw a decent sidekick than a brown belt who can’t.

Students at Burke's KarateDon’t let the price dissuade or persuade you from joining or into joining a school. Don’t think that because you are paying a premium in tuition that you are getting the best instruction. By the same token, don’t think that a school who has minimal tuition fees isn’t worth a hoot! Some schools have more overhead, some don’t. For some instructors, teaching is a full time job. For others, they do it part time. Some want to drive a new BMW, and for others a used KIA is just fine. Bottom line: the price you pay should not influence your decision. One caveat here is if you have multiple family members that are interested in training. There is a karate adage that states that families that train together, stay together. However, multiple family members taking a karate class together can get pricey. See if the school offers family training discounts.

Bottom line: While there are many factors beyond these that can influence where or if to take a karate or martial arts class, the bottom line is that if the school is in a location that is convenient to you, you can afford it, you like the instructor and the style and the training schedule works with you and your schedule, give it a shot. Keep in mind that most schools will let you try a class for free or offer a trial period for a nominal fee. Good luck!


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