How to Choose a Martial Arts School Guaranteed to Save You Time and Money

  • What are the most important things to look for when comparing martial arts schools?
  • What are the tell tale signs of a quality school that you can spot immediately?
  • What are the best questions to ask, and how do you know if they can really deliver?
  • What part of a contract can you negotiate?

These are just some of the important questions you need to know how to answer before shopping around for a martial arts school.

A commitment to martial arts is an investment in time and money, so knowing exactly what to look for in a school, and knowing what questions to ask, will give you the clarity and confidence to make a smart choice.

A bad choice in a martial arts school can be an expensive lesson, so use this guide to educate yourself.

There is a huge variety of martial arts schools out there. Facilities range from expensive health-club-like facilities to open space warehouses. Martial arts schools aren’t regulated to insure quality of instruction or business practice. There is no official governing body and no universal grading standard in martial arts. Almost anyone can open a school and appear to be an expert.

What do you look for beyond price, amenities and convenient schedules? While most people first consider price and the facility, there are more important factors that you need to consider first!

These 10 steps show you how to make the best decision in choosing a martial arts school:

  1. Objective
  2. Instructors
  3. Class Dynamic
  4. Student Results
  5. Curriculum
  6. Style
  7. Facility
  8. Service
  9. Price/Fees
  10. Instinct


Before you start looking into martial arts schools, determine your true goals for martial arts practice. To get the most out of your training, clearly identify your real goals and the specific benefits you want to have.

Ultimately, you just want to feel good about yourself and feel super confident, right?

However, this is usually not enough of a specific emotional motivator for consistent practice.

The majority of people who start martial arts rarely make it past a few months of consistent practice. It’s not just a lack of motivation. Not having clear goals is usually why people don’t follow through in practice.

To determine what you really want from training, start by narrowing down what you wish to focus on.

The focus of your practice can be broken down into several areas. There’s no right or wrong – it comes down to personal preference.

For starters, you can number these in order of importance.

  • Physical Fitness as the main goal, with martial arts aptitude as a secondary benefit.
  • Purely Combative Focus, with fitness and personal growth as added benefits
  • Creative and Artistic Expression, aesthetics, beauty and WOW Factor
  • Competitive Focus, sports aspects such as one on one competition
  • Mental and Emotional Growth, catalyst for self-discovery and spiritual growth, cultural and philosophical interests

Ask yourself clarifying “Why” questions, so you can identify what you’re really going for.

This is the first step in filtering the selection of schools to choose from. Once you’ve identified your goals for martial arts practice and understand why they are your goals, you’re ready to search for a school.

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