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What do you need to know when choosing a martial art school for your child?

Kids doing martial arts

There are hundreds, if not thousands of articles and advertisements, all touting the myriad of benefits children receive from studying martial arts. Let's assume the reader is already sold on the idea of having their child study martial arts, and now it's just a matter of finding the right school. As a former school owner myself, I thought I would share three things to consider when choosing a martial arts school for your child.

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The Teacher

This is the most important thing to consider. The culture of the school flows from the teacher both by their example and conduct. What are they like? Are they similar to John Kreese or Mr. Miyagi?

Somewhere in between? Both styles can be effective, but you will need to determine which one is best for your child.

Is the class fun? Although it's a fine line between entertainment and engagement, for children, I believe a teacher should have high energy and a positive attitude. You have to ask yourself, "Is my child going to learn here?" Of course, if they can try the class, that is a great way to tell


Most of the time when we think of safety, we think of the risk of injury. However, if the pandemic taught us anything, it was that keeping things clean keeps disease from spreading. Is the school clean? Once, I had a parent sign up their child and tell me, "This is the first place that didn't stink."

What kind of supervision do they have? Is the class small enough for one teacher to manage, or is it so large they need an extra hand? Keeping that in mind, parents must remember that martial arts are a combat sport. There are going to be bumps and, bruises. The thing to look out for is a culture of recklessness or lack of supervision.


The behavior of the students and teachers, and the conduct of the classes will tell a lot about the kind of culture the school is fostering. Is there a pleasant, happy, constructive vibe that you can feel? Or is it a heavy atmosphere that puts you off? What was your first impression when you walked in the door?

First impressions tell a lot. Although anyone can have a bad day, for the most part, it should be a positive experience.

Trying to tick all the boxes and cover all the bases will not guarantee that things won't change later, but it is a good way to make the best choice you can in the beginning.

There is no season for martial arts and no age limit. Instilling martial arts in a young person can be the beginning of a lifetime of healthy activity, learning, and peace of mind. Plus, it's a lot of fun. Oh, and all the great benefits for kids are great for adults too, so check out a class yourself. It's never too late to start.

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