You’re completely fed up with the monotony of the treadmill/spin/free weights/machines hamster wheel you’re on. Or maybe you’re ready to learn some practical self-defense skills. You want to give the ol’ self-confidence a boost, or maybe you’ve been driving past the same martial arts school for the last five years, and your curiosity is finally getting the better of you. Whatever it is, you’re ready to take the leap and start training. Awesome! But there’s one thing you absolutely need to do before you start martial arts.
If you’re thinking that you’re not in good enough shape to start martial arts, good guess, but no. Maybe you’re worried you don’t have the necessary gear, stuff like a gi and a belt. You will need those, but there’s one thing that you have to do first.
You have to do algebra first. No martial arts until all the math is done.
Kidding, kidding. But not about doing homework before starting martial arts. When you don’t do a bit of research and checking around first, you’re making a rookie mistake. The worst thing that can happen is to sign up at the first school you see, get into class and realize with growing horror that this kind of training and these kinds of instructors are not at all what you had in mind.
Some schools will have an introductory offer that gives potential students an opportunity to test things out before committing. Because be very clear that martial arts is a commitment – it’s the kind of thing that you’ll need to do a few times every week, not once or twice a month. This is reflected in the financial commitment most schools have, a contract you sign that makes it clear this is a long-term hobby.
If there is no introductory offer of any kind, you should at least be able to observe a few classes. Pay attention to the dynamic between instructors and students. You’re looking for mutual respect. If there’s anything that seems inappropriate or out of place, that’s your signal to leave.
If you absolutely no clue about the kind of martial arts training that’s best for you, start with some cold calls. Explain that you’re looking to get into martial arts, and you’d like information about their beginner programs. Let them give your their sales spiel, but follow up by physically going in and checking things out. Picking the right martial arts school and the right program is absolutely critical for getting started on the right foot.