Choosing The Right Martial Art
By Peter Vermeeren
Every day new martial arts are born and other disappear. They look so different yet so alike. When choosing a martial art for yourself or for your children it is sometimes very difficult to pick the right one. If you choose the wrong martial art for yourself or your children than you will end up with hundreds of dollars thrown away on equipment teaching fees, and so on.
This is what happens to many people and after giving it a try in 2 or 3 different martial arts they decide that martial arts aren’t for them.
They are wrong; everybody can train and enjoy martial arts. It is just a matter of picking the right one.
Now how can you know what martial art is the right one for you or your children?
First of all you should start with a question list for yourself.
Q1. Why do you want to practise martial arts?
The answer to this question will make a basic selection of the martial arts and will leave you with the ones that are best suited for you.
Some people want to practise martial arts to get a better physical condition; others want to boost their self confidence. Another answer might be that you want to be able to defend yourself. Some people even go to the martial arts dojos to have a good time or for the community feeling.
Make sure you find information about the different martial arts and compare the information. Don’t only look at the information about a martial art in from 1 source. Find relevant information from different sources on the same subject.
Only after having read sufficient information about the martial arts you like you will be able to choose.
So now make a pre-selection of the martial arts you like
Q2. What do you want to achieve practising a martial art?
Do you want to be able to win tournaments, defend yourself against many attackers or is your ultimate goal to become an instructor? Off course there are probably as many goals as there are practitioners but you get the idea.
The final goal of becoming a practitioner will determine the way to go, the time to spend on training, etc…
When you have answered this question you should take a look at those martial art systems that will enable you to reach your goal. Most schools and systems provide lot’s of information on the possibilities they have for students.
One important point here is that you should be very selective and ask around when choosing a martial arts system or school. There are many strange systems out there that only want to get your money instead of teaching you.
The best way to know what school is right for you is to take a look at the human and martial arts quality of the high level students. Ask yourself: Do I want to be of the same level as they are?
This will allow you to narrow the possibilities to only a few different systems
Q3. How much do you want to invest in your training?
I do not mean only spending money in tuition fees but also in time. Do you have the time to travel to the dojo and spend the hours needed to train? Are you willing to buy the equipment needed? How much do you want to spend on travelling to seminars or tournaments?
This question is as important as the previous ones; some martial arts equipment is very expensive like the kendo or kyudo equipment, other martial arts are a lot cheaper. How much do you want to spend on equipment.
Next, check out how many schools there are close to you where they teach the martial art you selected. VISIT THEM ALL!!!! Talk with the instructor, ask him if you can witness a session, look at the behaviour of the other students, ask if you can participate in a free session to give it a try and make inquiries about the tuition and insurance fees.
After visiting ALL of them sit down and write down on a piece of paper the pro’s and contra’s of each of them. Take a look at the list and compare. Listen to your inner voice and after waiting for at least 1 week decide which school you will become a member of.
By answering these 3 questions and following this guideline you can easily find the right martial art for you.
About the Author
Peter Vermeeren is a martial arts practitioner and teacher for over 30 years and runs the martial arts and fitness information portal called Kamikaze : http://www.kamikaze-portal.com , home of the magazine called RENSHU.
Peter teaches traditional martial arts all over Europe. Here is his personal site : http://www.takaharudojo.org
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