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Finding The Right Martial Arts School: Where To Start

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Kid's having fun & learning fitness while learning Muay Thai! Kid's having fun & learning fitness while learning Muay Thai! Credit: Robert Erickson Photography

Finding The Right Martial Arts School: Where To Start

The martial arts have been around for centuries and many people from many different backgrounds have trained in martial arts. This trend is not just local but is in fact global. With the growth and popularity of mixed martial arts and martial arts in general in national and world wide competitions (i.e., The Olympics), showcasing many different martial arts, more parents are interested and becoming involved and are looking for their children to become involved. One result of the growth of martial arts as an industry is the perpetuation of many different schools offering many different styles, curriculums, and structures.

So, what do you look for in the school that is right for you and for your child?

The desire to participate makes the first experience in a class a much better one than it would be if the student has no idea what is happening. Often though, the potential students’ idea of what martial arts is has nothing to do with a real dojo. Their first exposure to martial arts is often through popular media where martial arts are portrayed as mystical and almost magical or are part of the more classical "Military style" of martial arts with a firm, almost abusive "master" passing along their knowledge to a student or revolve around a student winning a huge competition after a few weeks of training, or even center on a student who is “born” a martial artist and has inherent skills that do not need learning or practice.

The “Mystical Master” stereotype is fun, but mythical. The military style martial arts school is dysfunctional and the idea of hurting someone in order to repair them is not the way of true martial arts. Finally, the idea that a few weeks or even months of training will allow you to compete in and even win competitions is misleading at best and deluded at worst. No one is “born” a martial artist; a child may have natural athletic ability, but learning and practice are still going to have to happen. If your child expects or anticipates any those types of classes/instructors they may be disappointed or even fearful. We do not want your child to be disappointed or to be fearful; we want them to be excited and to have fun!

At Arashi-Do we believe in positive reinforcement and helping young people grow into smart, confident, positive and focused young people. No matter where your young person starts, they can achieve amazing things! Having fun while learning and mastering new skills is part of the goal of true martial arts. This does not mean they will not have to work, hard, to earn their skills and promotions, because they will. I means that the school you want is one that fosters success without sacrificing either the students’ sense of self-worth or the integrity of the art that is being taught.

When you find that school, then you have found the right school for you.

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