If you’re ready to start martial arts, or you’re looking to sign up your kid, stop right there. Choosing the best martial arts school in Reno, or anywhere for that matter, is a big decision. Maybe you’ve driven past the same martial arts academy for the last six years. Maybe your kid came home from school with a flier in his backpack. No matter how a martial arts school finds its way to your radar, you need to consider four big factors so you can choose the best place for you or your kid.
1. The Instructors
Learning martial arts from a good instructor makes all the difference. A school could have the highest-ranking instructors with the most incredible technique and ability, but if they don’t understand how to relate to other people, how to be courteous, personable and professional, they simply aren’t good teachers.
What to look for: When you’re visiting a martial arts school for the first time, you should be made to feel welcomed. Staff members should be attentive, providing relevant information and thoroughly answer your questions. You should have the opportunity to sit in on a few classes – this will give you an idea of class dynamic. Pay attention to the interactions between students and instructors.
When to leave: Trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable with the way instructors lead classes, whether it’s what they say, how they say it, or something they’re doing, take it as a sign to look elsewhere. If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions about the background, experience and associations of the school’s instructors, keep looking.
2. The Facilities
A martial arts school should be clean, organized and functional. If you walk in the door and it doesn’t feel professional, odds are good that it isn’t – and that probably affects its classes and billing system.
What to look for: Clean mats, fans and windows for circulating fresh air, equipment like Thai pads, focus mitts and heavy bags. Is there seating available if you’re going to be watching your child’s classes? Is there a waiting area?
3. The Attitude
A positive attitude is important in just about anything, and martial arts is no exception. If you get any bad feeling from the instructors or the students, move along.
4. The Students
In addition to watching students in class, ask if there are a lot of intermediate and advanced belts. When a school is able to retain higher-ranking belts, it’s a really great sign. It means they have the ability to keep students motivated.
What to look for: Students, or the parents of students, can be a great source of information. Ask how long they’ve been at the school and what they like about it.
When to leave: If the school is disproportionately skewed to beginner belts, ask it’s that’s normal. Schools that can’t help their students move along the ranks should probably be avoided.
At Freestyle Martial Arts Academy, we’re as proud of our incredible instructors as we are our welcoming facility (it’s pretty awesome). We’re here to answer your questions, show you around and get you into your first of two private lessons and a group lesson. It’s the best way to see if you’re ready to start martial arts, and if our school is the best fit. Our guess? You are, and it definitely is.