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What Should I Look For In A Good Martial Arts Instructor or School?

Looking for a good martial arts instructor? With the increase of martial arts schools more people are searching for a good karate school and a good martial arts instructor. There are many great martial arts schools and instructors out there, but unfortunately, there are as many that are not so good. How do you tell the difference? And what should you look for in a good instructor since in many cases the instructor is the school?

Content Knowledge

Most prospective students think that the most important thing to look for in a good martial arts instructor is content knowledge. They want their instructor's karate to be dynamic, powerful and impressive in every way. This is obviously very important because there is nothing that looks worse than a black belt instructor who can't deliver the goods when it comes to content. So this equality is definitely high in the list of prerequisites.

However, there are other things to look for that may ultimately be even more important to you...

Here Are Some Other
Important Points To Consider

A Good Martial Arts Instructor Will Have Good People Skills

This might not seem important at first, because, after all you want to learn about the martial arts. You are willing to put forth the effort no matter what, right? Well...

The instructors who have good people skills are usually the ones who care about their students the most. Generally with this type of instructor your progress will be foremost in their minds and they will:

  • Do their best to encourage you
  • Give you appropriate feedback
  • Ensure your success in their program

The opposite type of instructor may well be very good at the martial arts but often seems arrogant, aloof and completely disinterested. It seems like they are more focused on trying to break your spirit for the purpose of showing you how bad you really are.

This may or not be true, and some people react well to this type of hardcore training but most people don't do well in this type of environment. Instead most people need a healthy balance of caring, tough love, and positive reinforcement. Which type of person are you?

What Are Your Instructor's Qualifications?

Again, I'm not just talking about their technical skill, although this is important. I'm also talking about other not so obvious qualifications they should have. So instead of just finding out what degree black belt they are, try to find out these things:

  • How long have they been practicing the martial arts?
  • Do the dates of their certification make sense?
  • How long have they been teaching?
  • How often do they go on courses to improve their own skills?
  • Do they have CPR and First Aid qualifications?

Other Important Teaching Qualities...

These types of questions don't always give you the full picture of your instructor's ability in the martial arts and their level of teaching, but they do give you some idea as to how seriously they take themselves and their school:

  • Are background checks performed on assistant instructors?
  • Are they qualified to rank you once you get your black belt?
  • Are they part of a larger nationally recognized organization?
  • Are they part of an organization that offers support and continuing guidance to them?

What do your lessons look like?

Here are signs that your instructor is inexperienced and may not know how to teach a class properly:

  • Instructor seems disorganized and frazzled
  • By not building on lessons over a period of time
  • Do lessons flow from one activity to the next or is it disjointed and confusing?

A good martial arts instructor will have a lesson plan and avoid these teaching errors that will ultimately result in many students never achieving their black belt.

Instead Your Lessons Should Look More Like The Following:

A good martial arts instructor teaches with caring and enthusiasm..

  • A high energy and positive environment where the instructor leads by example and models the techniques or drills
  • Ample opportunity to practice the techniques and drills in different ways while giving constructive feedback
  • Lessons flow seamlessly from one technique to the next and one activity to the next
  • The instructor is well organized and uses multiple teaching methods such as verbal, visual and experiential
  • Questions are asked and comments are made to help reinforce the content
  • Good discipline is maintained in the class so there are minimal interruptions and students are held accountable for their effort and focus

Does the Martial Arts Dojo (School) have:

  • Is the area maintained and clean?
  • Is there an adult viewing area where parents are encouraged to watch?
  • Is student safety equipment required?
  • Does the school have matted flooring and proper safety training equipment?
  • Are student required to "suit up" before all sparring classes?
  • Is the school insured?
  • Are all licenses proper and in place?
  • Is there enough of a 'business operation' in place to insure longevity?
  • And, finally, does the school have many long-term students (how long)?

Hopefully, these ideas and this checklist will give you a better picture of what to look for in a good martial arts instructor and a good karate school. Not only will a good martial arts school welcome your questions, but some even encourage it!

At Allen Sarac's Professional Karate Centers in Las Vegas and Henderson, they even offer a free week of classes just so you can "try it on" and see for yourself that karate and their school is right for you.

Click this link to get FREE Karate Lessons at their school nearest you.

Read This Quick Biography of Grand Master Allen Sarac of Professional Karate Centers

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