When investing into a purchase of goods such as a car, many people will research the item beforehand. This may be something as little as asking your friend, neighbor or family member about their opinion or perhaps take a more diligent path and read up on the ratings, reviews, features and flaws that the item has. Money is usually the last part of the equation. Why? Because when you invest in something you want to know what you are investing in, regardless if it is the cheapest thing on the market or the most expensive.
So why would you not do the same thing when looking for a martial art school for your kids? A martial art school is not a car. It is a place where you are entrusting someone to teach your child positive information to help build up their character, focus, discipline, confidence and, yes, self-defense skills. Yet when parents come into the school they usually just have three typical questions, what do we teach, who do we teach, in other words what ages, and when do we teach? All good questions to ask when looking for a school, but that was it. After that they just want to know the price. It is important to know that all martial arts are not the same. A school that teaches taekwondo is going to be different than a school that teaches karate. Even two schools that teach the same martial art will most likely be different in how they teach. Cheaper is not always better nor is more expensive. So the question is how do you know which school is best for you?
To begin you need to know what questions to ask, which I will post at the end of all this, but more importantly you need to see what questions the instructor asks. Is he/she asking about your goals in the martial arts? Are they asking what brought you into the school in the first place? Are they asking about any health or mental issues your child may have? If they are only asking about your name, address, phone number, email and when you can begin, then perhaps that isn’t the right place since their main focus it their back pocket and not the betterment of your child. Take the time and watch a class or ask other parents questions on what they like and even dislike about the school. You are investing in your child’s future and entrusting someone to teach your child positive lessons to make them a better person. A good school is an open book and willing to answer all questions to the best of their ability.
Questions to ask a martial arts school:
- What type of martial arts do you teach?
- What kind of school are you? Do you focus on mostly competition, tradition, self-defense?
- What is your goal when teaching your students?
- How many kids are in the class at any given time?
- Do you have a good instructor to student ration
- What makes you different than XYZ school down the street?
- How long have you been in the martial arts?
- What are some of your success stories? What do you think attributed to those successes?
- What are some of your failures? What do you think attributed to those failures?
These are questions that any good instructor can answer without hesitation. Good luck in your journey in finding the school you are looking for.