We've compiled a list of five questions that we get asked the most.
We are currently learning how to exist and run a business during a global pandemic. As safety is in the forefront of everyone's mind right now, it should be a given that martial arts schools are posting their updated safety protocols on their website to ensure that everything is being done to stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition to asking about how they are handling safety protocols while teaching, below is a list of five very important questions to ask any martial arts gym.
1. Do the instructors have background checks and what is their experience with teaching?
Use your CSI skills and research the instructors. Dig around for someone who can give you a personal recommendation on the character of the teacher. Also spend some time on the website. An updated website is a must for any business and it is the equivalent of a store front for the digital world. Businesses who care about their future students and customers will have a website and/or a YouTube channel. I have had several students tell us that our website has resonated with them and that is what got them in our door. You can become familiar with the teachers even before meeting them in person. You may also want to seek out Google reviews and ask for a recommendations for martial arts schools on Facebook.
2. What is the purpose of the training? Competition? Self-defense, or fitness?
Your why should match with the mission behind the training at the school. In other words, if you want to learn a fighting sport to be able to defend yourself, make sure the curriculum is street ready purposed. Ask the owner of the school and tell them what you are looking for. It's also a good idea to ask about a free trial to make sure you like the vibe of the school before you pay anything upfront.
3. How do you acclimate new students to the class?
Is there a beginners course or class? It can be intimidating for new students to join because they want to be caught up with the rest of the class. We offer a beginners course and work one on one with our adult students until they feel ready to be on their own. For our youth students we work with them one on one for part of the class so they can start interacting with the other kids right away and participate in the fun drills and games.
4. What are the tuition, test, and tournament fees and how is payment set up?
Martial arts schools will all have competitive pricing. The larger schools will have higher pricing but may have more class offerings. You will find lower rates at a part time school, or a small outfit that teaches out of a Rec center or rents space from a dance school. Small gyms and dojos can offer exceptional teaching. Just make sure that it is run like a full time gym, with great customer service, safety and teaching.
5. What is the rank structure and how often is testing?
Find out how often testing is and how do they track classes and attendance? Do they push people to test before they have the skills in order to create revenue? This is a huge issue- you want to find a school that doesn't promote their students too quickly. Make sure that experience and technique is emphasized more than rank promotions.
I hope this helps you to focus in on what is important to you when considering joining a gym. Martial arts gyms exists for different reasons and it may take some looking around to find the best fit for you. Good luck!