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How do I choose a martial arts school for my child?


By Jessica Militello

When you choose martial arts for your child, they will gain physical and emotional strength like the child flexing in his gi in this picture.There are several criteria that are a good idea to look for when choosing a martial arts school for your kids. Obviously anytime you are investing time and money into something, you want to make sure it’s the right fit, but more importantly, you want to make sure your child is spending time in an environment that is conducive to their overall well-being and ensure they are getting the most out of their learning. Martial arts is a fun activity that can turn into a lifelong practice for someone and finding the right school can play a major factor in the length of a child’s training. 

Here are some things to keep in mind in order to find the right school for your child-

Great instructors vs good instructors

A good instructor will teach your kids martial arts, correct their mistakes, start and end class right on time, smile at the kids and parents, and simply do their job as they’re supposed to-and there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with that. But a student will go so much further in their training with a great instructor who is passionate about the art they are teaching and truly believes in the art’s philosophy in order to positively influence their student’s lives beyond the training floor. At our school, the instructors have over ten years of training in Jeet Kune Do. Many have experience in other arts but ultimately found Jeet Kune Do to be an art that is better for both their body and mind. And because the instructors here started as students and invested so much time at the same school, it’s not just a job for them, the school is a second home and the instructors care about the overall well-being of their students and fostering a positive environment in a place that truly means something to them.


 
Emphasis on character development 

Another really great attribute of martial arts training is the focus on growing and becoming better as a person, but in the midst of teaching techniques and mechanics, this lesson can sometimes get skipped over depending on what school you train in and whether or not they personally feel a need to emphasize these concepts. Throughout every class, parents can see for themselves if lessons of integrity, self-control, and discipline are being integrated in their kids’ martial arts lessons, and whether the way these ideas are being conveyed by the instructor is making an impression on kids. The instructors at our school put a lot of effort into making a positive impact on kids beyond kicking and punching on the training floor, and they care about making the school a positive environment for everyone who trains there.

 

Fostering an environment for making friends

 

Martial arts can be competitive and learning to challenge yourself builds resiliency, but it's also important to make sure your child’s martial arts school equally fosters the idea of working together and making friends. It’s important to be part of a school that learns how to balance these two concepts on the training floor, and it makes training a much more fun experience when students get along and actually enjoy training with each other. 

Learning how to fight for self-defense

While all martial arts has something to offer, Jeet Kune Do is an art that was designed for self-defense in a real-life situation. This differs from other arts that, while helpful, in some instances can have limitations when it’s geared toward competition where there are rules and restrictions that would not exist in a self-defense situation. The earlier your child starts training and stays with it, the better equipped they will be if they need to defend themselves. The instructors always emphasize that their training is meant for instances where the only route to safety is fighting and what they learn in class should never be used to show off or hurt someone unprovoked.