by Grandmaster Caprio

      There are many martial arts schools. Schools that claim to teach self-defense often offer specialized classes. Take a moment to expound on their true value as far as the martial arts and genuine self-defense are concerned. The techniques taught in most non-traditional martial arts disciplines are focused primarily on increasing the heart rate, building stamina, and in turn improving your overall health.


    Although the results are extremely beneficial to all of those things and more, the means simply will not teach a person true self-defense.

     If you are interested in improving your health and working out in a fun environment, then those techniques will help you reach "those" goals. However, if you are serious about learning a true art and how to defend yourself, than these techniques cannot compete with a traditional martial arts school.

     Training in a traditional martial art, even if one was to stop, would keep life long benefits of self defense. The knowledge learned in this environment would last a lifetime. If one ever stops training in a non-traditional discipline, they would lose everything they have gained. It will not happen overnight but it most assuredly will happen.

     There are health benefits gained from non-traditional martial arts disciplines. The extent of what they have to offer is limited. The traditional martial arts offer development in all areas of life including the physical, mental, and spiritual. Wouldn’t it make sense to choose a style that has more to offer?

     There were many points covered throughout our video "Defunkin the Funk - How to Choose the Martial Arts School Best Suited to Meet Your Needs." If you are seriously considering a martial arts school, it is important to find out whether the teacher and senior instructors have ever experienced a real confrontation where their knowledge was truly tested. Some instructors may believe and even try to convince you that sparring in a school, dojo, or even a competition is the same thing. Do not believe them. In the school or in a competition the environment is almost always controlled. The rules not only govern the types of strikes you may use, but also how and where you may use them. Although self-defense is used in competitions the main goal is to score points. This is why the true art and how it is applied can only be tested in a real-life, uncontrolled environment. Competitions and sparring are in reality only glorified practice sessions. If your teacher or instructor has never experienced a real confrontation, you have to ask "How they can possibly teach you how to defend yourself?"

     Some schools require their students to teach classes before they are eligible for their black belts. This may seem like a good idea. However, this does take away from the students’ time to study and learn. Some may argue that to teach is to learn twice. However, not every individual is cut out to be a teacher. A poor teacher can jeopardize the quality of the art and jeopardize the safety of the students. Teaching classes can be a good, productive experience, but it should not be required.

     Most martial arts schools out there ask their new students to sign a contract that varies in length from a few months to a year. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes time to sign a contract. Initially, when signing for the first time, always choose the shortest term that is available. Three to six months is usually best. Second, do not sign up with a school solely because they are offering something for free. Free uniforms and free months are ways of attracting people to a school that may be lacking in quality and must compensate by using gimmicks. They usually make up their loss by charging exorbitant fees for testing and new belts that come along with them. Remember, "There is no such thing as a free lunch."

     Do not choose a school solely because someone you know is already a member. Although they can be used as a reference, there are several good reasons to explore your options. Just because a school is right for one particular person does not mean that it is the right school for you. They may have chosen the school because it offers a great physical workout for themselves while you are looking for more spiritual development. What happens when the person who brought you to the school decides that they no longer want to train?

     There are a number of different schools offering a wide range of very unique and special arts. Every school, regardless of their style, can be broken down into three groups: Mental, Physical, and Spiritual. Whichever of the three it is you seek, make sure that when you find it, it can offer you the other two as well. By doing this you will eliminate the need to jump from school to school and can start building a strong foundation for your body, mind, and spirit. There is a simple formula to keep in mind when choosing a school. The school should offer physical, mental, and spiritual development. If it only offers one or two but not all three then it tells you that there is something wrong with the school and you should consider joining very carefully.

     In the old traditional schools the teacher is more than just a teacher. He acts as a figure to help guide students through both the martial arts and everyday life as well. He is not there to replace the students’ family but to act as a guide or an additional resource of development.

     As I stated earlier, you may be tempted to choose a school because a friend is already a member. You should choose a school based on two reasons. The first reason is it has what you need. And the second is because it has what you want. If you choose based on BOTH of these principles it will not matter if your friend remains a student or not.

     In the martial arts, just as in life, there is no such thing as a short cut or free lunch. The only way to get to the top of a mountain with the most satisfaction is to climb it inch by inch. Anyone who offers you a short cut is either lying to you to ensure you do not become as good as they are or just does not understand the truth of what they are trying to teach you.

In Conclusion:

     There are so many martial art schools in today’s market, picking the right school can be compared to trying to decipher between a real diamond and a cubic zirconium. To the naked eye there is virtually no difference. Not until they are examined under a microscope can their true value be determined. You have to do the same thing when you are trying to pick a school. Look at every school in your area very carefully. Then put each one under a microscope and examine them very closely. Once you have done this you will know which one is right for you.

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How To Pick A Martial Arts School

60 minutes - 130Mb

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store your personal financial information.