Tip #4 Try Before You Buy.
If you can watch a class or sign up for a trial membership, that is a great option. When you are there, check out the atmosphere in a class and how the instructors and high-level members behave. Are they friendly and welcoming? The people who have been there the longest are the ones who are going to display the values that the studio actually teaches. How comfortable do you feel speaking with the instructors? Some schools are family-oriented, while others are geared more toward adults.
Is attending competitions mandatory? Competitions can be a lot of fun, along with winning medals. Competing with unknown opponents can provide stress inoculation and help you respond in self-defence situations. Competitions can also be extremely fun and rewarding, teaching good life lessons on dealing with losing too.
However, competition can also have serious negative consequences. It is one of the areas of martial arts where I have personally experienced and have seen many injuries occur, some serious. People are ramped up, nervous, and want to win. Referees may not be equally skilled in controlling a match to keep competitors safe. Competitions are dynamic. You have no idea what your opponents will do. Some schools are extremely competitive, and sportsmanship takes the backseat to winning at all costs. You can see this in how students and coaches behave when they compete. If competing is a priority for any studio, I suggest giving that careful consideration.
Tip #5 Virtual Options.
Having the option to try out a few places is fantastic; however, if you do not live in an area that has many options but has access to high-speed Internet, finding a studio with good-quality virtual classes can be a great option. A good quality virtual program offers a lot of benefits. Especially in 2023! Virtual training offers the flexibility to attend a virtual class for various reasons, including bad weather, flu or sickness, working late, vacations and holidays, and even having the option to avoid traffic and travel stress.
Does the studio offer a hybrid option for training virtually, either live or on-demand classes? What options are available if life gets in the way and your schedule does not allow you to attend class? If virtual classes are offered, what are they like? Are the virtual classes a broadcast of a class happening at the studio that you watch and take part in, with no feedback possible? Are they interactive so you can ask questions before, after or during the class, depending on how long the classes are?
Thanks for reading!
Hopefully, this article gave you some ideas on how to choose the right studio for you. Stay tuned for a future article on “Choosing a Martial Art” for even more tips.
Good luck with your next martial arts fitness adventure! It is certainly a wild ride, so buckle up and enjoy the journey.
See you soon!
Chief Monkey - Tough Monkey Nation
PS - Remember... You're TOUGHER than you think!
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