How to choose the best Martial Arts club

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Finding the best martial arts club for you or your child can be daunting. Learning any style of Martial arts is a commitment and an investment of your time, money, and your trust. You want to be sure the club you choose is right for you, below are some tips on what to look for.

1. Friendly and helpful staff.
A good Martial Arts club should have friendly and welcoming staff who are more interested in talking about your needs rather than your finances. An easy way to find out if the staff are good is to go to the gym and ask to watch a class. When you walk in, does the person at the front desk greet you and show you around the gym? Do they introduce you to some of the Instructors if practical? Are they friendly?

The manner in which the staff acts can tell you a lot about the club.

2. Quality vs Quantity
Check the classes suit your schedule and that they incorporate the training you’d expect. Examine the class timetable to make sure the class times suit you. Be realistic about your schedule, it makes no difference how many classes are on offer as it’s unlikely you will attend them all, but its important to ensure you can commit to your chosen class times.

Before you sign up, check if there are any additional costs involved for your classes. Whilst lots of martial arts clubs offer specialised training, workshops or seminars, they should be an extension to your training, not a necessity for your development in your chosen martial arts style. If the techniques you expect to learn in your chosen martial art are not included in your regular classes, you are better off elsewhere.

3. Quality Instruction 
The most important thing to look for when choosing to learn any Martial Art, is the Instructors. You can find the most impressive looking facilities and an array of classes on offer but if the Instructors do not know what they are doing then you are just wasting both your time and your money.

An easy way to determine if the club is focused on teaching quality is to visit the club and watch a class. Ability varies, but students should look like they know what they are doing and have the skills to suit their rank.

A good instructor will focus on the learning experience, teaching you correct technique and making sure you learn the skills. The class should be structured for students to get the most out of each class and the Instructor should demonstrate a genuine care for teaching the skills and passing on his or her knowledge. Ask what level the Instructor’s are or check the club’s website for details, its important to know your teacher is actually qualified in the martial art you are wanting to learn.

4. Other students
The way students act, speaks volumes about the quality of the Instructors and the club as a whole.  Do they show a genuine respect for the Instructors, each other and the facilities? Are they helping each other?  Community is a large part of the martial arts. When you join a club, you should be joining a family, a community of people working towards similar goals and helping each other when the going gets tough.

5. The facilities
A good club has the right tools for you to get the most out of your training. You don’t need all the toys ever invented to learn Martial Arts but the basics should be covered. As a general tip, look for lots of mat space, heavy bags, kick pads, thai pads, strength equipment. Equipment should be clean, kept tidy and well maintained.

A gym should be clean and looked after.  If the club you’re considering isn’t clean, avoid it. Dirty gyms lead to staph infections and other not so fun bacterial infections. When you visit, take a look at the bathrooms, showers and training areas, are the mats clean? do they look after the facilities? is it well organised?

Martial arts is not all fun and games, but it should be an enjoyable learning experience, its worth taking the time to find the best martial arts club for you.