How to Choose a Martial Art – Part II

How to Choose a Martial Art - Part II

Get Your List

In the last article on this series we discussed how to go about making a list of possible martial arts school in your area. If you have not read the article yet, go back and read it so that you can get your list together of potential schools in the area. Now that we have a big list of potential schools, we are going to go through and remove some that won’t work for you.


Schools all have different schedules. Cheaper schools tend to have less classes a month, where as more expensive schools sometimes are open as often as 8-5 every weekday. You need to figure out what your schedule is and when you are able to attend classes. Once you have done that, go through and eliminate any schools that are only open during times that you can not attend class.

Some schools are going to be open sometimes that you can attend and sometimes you can’t. Next you need to eliminate any schools that are not open as much as you want. I enjoy going to class 2-3 times a week for 1 1/2 hours at a time. That is me, everyone is different. If you want to go daily, you can cross out schools that are only open weekly.

Physical Limitations

The next thing to recognize is your own physical limitations. I am a 22 year old, in the military, who works out regularly. I enjoy very physical martial arts, but I am also able to enjoy them because I am in great shape for my age. If you are 85 with weak bones, you are not too old for martial arts, but you may want to rule out Krav Maga. If you aren’t sure if you are going to be able to do a martial art, ask our readers in the comments section.

Every school is slightly different, but there are some basic limitations of a style and you need to be aware of your own medical conditions and physical ability.

View a Class

The next part is to actually go start viewing some classes. You need to figure out which teaching styles you like and which classes actually get your interest. Just as martial arts are all different, schools are all different. I guest teach at my instructor’s school every summer and while he is the one who taught me, I do things very different from him. Neither is better or worse, we just have very different class dynamics and therefor adapt what we teach to best suit our students and our own personalities.

By now you should have a manageable list of options in your area that you actually want to do. In the final part of this series, we will figure out how to make a final decision. If you are struggling right now, leave us a comment and we can do our best to give you some direction. This is a big decision, don’t feel like you can’t get some help.

By KruczekKruczek on FacebookKruczek on Google+Kruczek on Twitter Visit author's website

Theodore Kruczek is the founder and head writer of the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. He is a 4th Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Shorin-ryu with more than 14 years of experience. This site was created as his way of both teaching his own Karate and learning about others.

Comments (2)

  1. I would also add that much like any ‘expert’ a martial arts instructor should have credentials. I know on the blog it has been discussed that the belt you wear or the instruction you have received do not always mean much but when you are looking for a club don’t be afraid to ask to see some certificates or ask questions about the instructors martial arts experiences and who they have trained with. These are important question especially if you want to belong to a ‘traditional’ club that promises strong roots and connections to a long lineage of masters and historical material. That being said there is nothing wrong with a club that does not offer this, as long as they are straightforward with you. I have run into clubs pretending to teach something they don’t or having connections to people they don’t. They may be great instructors but the fact that they are lying about this sets off alarm bells in my mind.

  2. Great information, while viewing the class, take your time, visit several times to get a feel of what they train and teach. I somewhat agree with “Maddy”, if for whatever the reason they are trying to hide something or flat out lie. Chances are it is not a good school. Be prepared to ask questions and if you do not feel right about the answers, then you may be right. Having “credentials’ or a high rank, does not mean much. It just means that they are backed by an organization(s). Look at the person, his or her character, their ability, how they train and teach, also how does their students look. They (teacher & students) are a reflection of that school. Thank you, John (Wes) Shepherd

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