While we hope that our school will fit your needs, we do at times recommend that people find a school that better fits there specific needs. Here is a guide to evaluating a school that we think will help in your decision making!
- A school’s proximity to your home (or kid’s school) really matters over time. Keep in mind that class times are often near rush hour traffic and be sure that the school’s you are looking at will work with what time the kids get out of school. Ask yourself if you are honestly willing to spend the time to drive to the classes several times a week.
Equipment & Facility
- Is the school clean?
- Is the equipment in good condition or is it worn out and should’ve been replaced years ago?
- Is there a good place to change clothes?
- What is the average size of the classes? (Some students prefer the energy of larger classes while other’s prefer small class sizes)
- If classes get too big what do the instructors do? (For example, we have the ability to add instructors and also do limit enrollment at times as well)
- Does the schedule work for you?
- Does the schedule work for you and the rest of your family members?
- Can you change times/days if needed?
Quality of Instructors
- What does it take to be an instructor there?
- Who teaches? Is it just the highest rank instructor or is it a mix?
- Do they have a program for training their instructors (and do they do it for specific age/rank groups)?
- How long have the instructors been training?
- Do the instructors have any awards or other achievements that show that they are legitimate?
- Are they accredited? (While being part of a larger organization doesn’t necessarily mean quality – some groups like the ATA do have quality control and other standards that lead to more consistency)
- It may seem obvious, but do the instructors seem like they can connect with the age they are teaching?
- Ask about the curriculum and what is required for the belts
- If it seems to be more of a time based rank advancement you are most likely not getting a martial arts experience based on improvement, but instead are paying for your ranks.
- If you have time, ask to come watch a testing. Watching a testing and the students will most likely be a great example of how the school is ran and what the students learn.
- Is the school in your price range?
- Do students have to pay more at higher ranks? If so, why?
- A more expensive program doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better. I’ve known some great school’s that charged very little, but at the same time if instructors are going and training themselves, buying the better equipment, etc – it may be that the higher cost is due to a higher quality.
If you can watch a class we recommend that you do! If they won’t let you watch a class, that is probably a warning sign. We recommend that you go and take a trial class or month at a couple of school’s. See if the school’s feel and instruction style match what you are looking for! No one school is right for everyone so take the time to find a school that matches your particular needs and goals!