How to Find the Best Martial Arts Schools for Self-Defense Training
If you have never delved into the world of martial arts and unarmed self-defense, it can be pretty intimidating trying to decide what style, school and instructor would be best for you. Today we’re going to go over some key points that you should keep in mind when choosing a martial arts school and some red flags to look out for to keep you from getting ripped off or misled.
Do you want to learn martial arts or do you want to learn REAL self-defense?
This is an important question to ask before even looking at a prospective school. It seems like the two should go hand in hand but I can tell you from experience that the majority of traditional martial arts schools aren’t in the business of teaching you how to actually defend yourself. They’re in the business of teaching martial arts, but you’re not going to ever be thrown into even a somewhat realistic fight or flight defensive situation in your training. You’ll learn technique, you’ll learn speed and you’ll be required to memorize forms for belt testing purposes, and you’ll even do “sparring” with other students but I can tell you from many years of experience, it’s not the same as a real combat situation.
If you’re looking to “study” a martial art style then this type of training may be for you. There are quite a few benefits to it. All martial arts will help you stay in shape, there’s a lot of networking connections available at these schools with other students and instructors and there’s definitely a rich history that goes along with any traditional martial arts.
If you’re looking to train in real-life, unarmed defensive combat, traditional martial arts schools are just going to disappoint you. Yes there are some techniques and training that could be useful in any martial arts, but unless you’re looking to train in a new style year after year, piecing together your own defensive strategies, it’s not worth it. You’ll learn a lot of bad habits and even if the teaching gives you some confidence, stylized martial arts isn’t going to prepare you to actually defend yourself in a survival situation in most cases.