American Kenpo Karate Mission

How to Choose A Martial Arts School

When it comes to martial arts schools, there are so many choices. However, most people aren’t sure how to compare one school against the next. Here are some tips that might help you figure it out how to choose the best one:

Decide on your Goals

Even before you start looking, it is important to figure your needs, goals and desires for your martial arts training. Are you interested in self-defense for yourself or your children? Training for competition? Instructor training and certification? Developing discipline and focus? Or just a good workout? Once you have identified your goals, find a school that fits your goals.

Shop Around

Most martial arts studios will offer a free lesson or introductory course. Try them out to find a school that gives you the benefits that you desire!

Ask Friends and Family

Chances are that you know someone who is takes martial arts classes. Ask your friends about the best karate studios in your area.

Qualified Instructors

Martial arts qualifications and skills vary. If the sensei does not have his qualifications posted on the website or in the studio, ask. Find out how and from whom your instructor has learned. Martial arts heritage matters. Has the instructor produced black belts? Try to see demonstrations of your instructor with his/her own peers. Are the martial arts classes well-run across all different belt ranks? Can the sensei both teach and perform the art effectively? You want to make sure that you are learning from a teacher who continues as a practitioner.

Good Karate and Good Teaching

As with most expertise, it is rare to find a good practitioner that is also a good teacher. Watch a class or two. And definitely try a free class to assess the teaching skills of the instructors.

How long have they been in business?

If a martial arts studio has been in business over a decade, they have been able to weather tough economic times. A long-standing business is an indicator of quality and student satisfaction.


A good martial arts studio will have a price list for you to compare packages. Ask to see it. If they do not have one or are not willing to show it to you, find a new studio.