Looking for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, MMA or boxing in your local area can be a minefield. Here are some great tips on how to find somewhere that is going to provide you with good instruction in a safe environment.
- Ask around on online forums or social media. Ask current competitors and coaches from good schools with a national reputation who in your area should you train with. There are some great schools around the country, many of them are networked nationally and this information is easy to come by.
- Check out the instructors profile and club on social media. In this day and age people and their attitudes and credentials are easily available. You will instantly get a feel for that person or club. You will then be able to cross reference that with your initial experience with them. Integrity is everything and this is something that everyone can do with little experience.
- Do they have a handful of competitors or competition experience? Not everyone competes but every club should have at least a few competitors hanging around. This lets you know that they are serious about testing their teaching methods and art against other clubs. It would be strange to go to a place to learn how to fight from someone who doesn’t teach fighters?
- You get a feeling that you are not allowed to train at other clubs or socialize with people your instructor doesn’t like. This will stifle students progress and you’re looking for an instructor not an abusive partner.
- You are not allowed to ask too many questions about things like technique or club rules or give feedback about club operations. The whole journey is about learning – there is no such thing as a secret technique. You want a place that is full of sharing ideas and concepts amongst its students.
- Club rules are not written down and therefore students never really know what they are. The instructor changes them as he or she sees fit. A set of “dojo rules” is common in japanese martial arts and helps to add to culture of a club. Look for a place that has a clear set of expectations of its students.
- Your instructor overreacts to perceived betrayals or disobedience, sometimes making an example of the violator in front of the whole class. In particular this instructor will talk about perceived betrayals in loyalty with people that you have never even met. A negative attitude can spread in a club like a cancer. Make sure positivity in your club is top heavy. Good leadership is essential to a great learning environment.
- The instructor frequently loses control and yells at you and others. I suppose it goes without saying but positive reinforcement is essential in the already confronting environment of learning combat sports.
- Go to a local competition and watch how the coaches corner their fighters. This is a good indication of their professionalism and care for their students.
- Decide whether or not the teaching style suits your personality. If you are looking to learn practical martial arts, does the class encourage or allow beginners to get involved in sparring or “free-play” or is this reserved for more advanced students who have spent more time and money at the dojo? Do you want a trainer — someone who will motivate you to push? Do you want someone who will build your self-esteem? Do you want to work one-on-one or in a large class? A Martial Arts instructor’s teaching style will differ based on your goals and the setting you are in. Realise also that beginner sparring, even if encouraged, should be more restricted than the more experienced students because beginners do not usually have sufficient control of their strikes to effectively reduce the chance of injury.
- Make sure they offer a decent free trial. If they are confident in what they have to offer they will offer 1-2 weeks free trial.
I hope this helps someone in Australia find a good martial arts club. If you’re interested in Martial Arts in Australia. I would be happy to give you a few recommendations.
Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if your in Townsville looking for BJJ, Kickboxing or MMA mention this blog and I will give you your first month free just cancel anytime in the first 30 days if you don’t absolutely love courage.
Kind regards Coach Bone