When you have come to the decision to take up karate lessons, whether for yourself or for your child, it’s important that you select the right school to get the best training possible. You never want to waste your time and money on something that’s merely flashy or on a school just out to make a profit.
To ensure that you don’t get roped in by simple sales tactics, we have come up with a quick guide to help you select the karate lessons that will serve you best.
Before you can begin on your karate journey, you should probe a good handful of schools instead of settling on the first one you find. To do this, think about this question: how far are you willing to go for your lessons?
When you train in karate, the lessons are going to take place in between school, work, and everything else life throws at you. As you cannot just learn the art without putting in the necessary effort, time, and determination, you should select a location that you can travel to without difficulty.
Consider any commitments you have, and that will help narrow down your search region. Also, to assist with further reducing your search, come to terms if you want to train in a large or small class. Various class sizes can accomplish the same amount of training; it’s generally a matter of personal preference.
Once you have come up with a good handful of schools to look at, examine the facilities themselves. How clean is the area? Does the equipment look up to par? Some locations (generally larger ones) have fancier gear than others, but as long as everything looks cared for, it matters not how well-used they are.
So, you’ve come up with a few schools you can see yourself training at. You may think that’s the end and you can just sign up. A bit more research needs to be done before you can find the right place for your lessons.
What’s needed now is to look up the instructors involved with the schools you have selected. Admittedly, it is a task that’s easier said than done.
It is simple for anyone to go purchase belts and a studio space for training, all while claiming to be some top-notch karate instructor. This occurs frequently throughout the United States since there isn’t anyone overseeing their authenticity. Before you jump into learning this art, you have to thoroughly research any instructor involved with the particular schools.
A good instructor will have years of experience under their belt. They should be well-respected by their peers and by the other students, and their teaching methods should incorporate not only the physical aspects of karate but the values that come along with it.
What is even as important as an instructor’s credentials is the amount of trust you feel toward them. Your instructor will be everything, so it’s necessary to have a strong sense of faith in them. It’s something that you can just feel when you meet and watch them with their other students.
It is rare that a school will publicly advertise their prices, so cost is not something you can just find on the internet. You will have to talk to the instructors to figure out how much they charge.
Some schools will have you pay based on how much you train each week. Others will have a set fee that is due every month or over the course of a few months. There are even schools that have you sign a set contract that is non-refundable and based on a set amount of months you have to attend. Before you settle on any school, know what type of payment plan you’re most comfortable with.
When you check out plans, ask plenty of questions. For the monthly ones, for example, determine if that includes either certain amount of classes in the month, or if you can take an unlimited amount of classes.
You should also weigh price in terms of the required gear. A karate gi is no simple purchase, so take into account what you will have to buy in order to train in addition to the price of the lessons.
How an instructor treats their students, and how students respond to them and their own peers, says a lot about a school. Lessons should be personalized even when there are a large number of participants. Instructors should actually know each student by name, treating them with respect regardless of their skill level.
On the other end, students should be seen showing their instructors the same amount of respect. You want to be comfortable in their presence as well, so observe how they interact with one another. Are they friendly? Encouraging?
To speak about respect once more, it is something that should come naturally from both students and instructors. No one is forced to look at anyone in high regard. This should come with ease, something that is earned amongst students and instructors.
Karate is a serious investment, and we are not only speaking about the monetary costs. It will take a lot of your physical and mental state, but it is all worthwhile if you want to develop the confidence, respect, discipline, and physical strength that come with the art of karate.
To anyone looking to take karate lessons, it is not as simple as picking the nearest school, signing up, and paying the price. There is a good deal of research that should go into choosing a class, facility, instructor, etc. The best way to go about all of this is to sit in and observe a lesson. Talk to the instructors as well as the students. Research well, and you should get right on your way.
Jason Maine is the founder of FullContactWay, a blog dedicated to provide best martial arts advice and information. Jason helps his readers with martial arts training by sharing personal tips and thorough research.
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