According to a report published by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, more than 6 million Americans practice martial arts. The high number of participants in this activity can be attributed to its numerous benefits, which include improved physical fitness and self-defense skills, enhanced mental processes, improved general focus and discipline, stress relief, and social interaction opportunities. However, these benefits can only be enjoyed by training
A good martial arts school near you can help you enjoy the numerous benefits associated with this activity while also ensuring that your training is handled safely and professionally. With recreational sports and activities accounting for approximately 10% of the traumatic brain injuries that occur annually in the United States, the importance of training in a martial arts school that has skilled and experienced martial arts instructors cannot be overstated. Therefore, to make sure that the martial arts school near you is qualified to provide safe and professional martial arts training, you should ask the following questions:
While several states have licensing and registration requirements for martial art schools, the specifics of these requirements differ by location. For example, some states like Connecticut require martial arts schools to obtain a state-issued license. On the other hand, states like Florida, New York, and Illinois do not issue state licenses but require compliance with varying legal requirements, such as business name registrations, filing documents like certificates of deposit, letters of credit or bonds, and opening sales escrow accounts with banks or trust companies within the state.
Therefore, before signing up with a martial art school near you, it is crucial to ensure the school has satisfied any legal requirements peculiar to your state of residence. You can do this by contacting your state's consumer protection agency. If this agency cannot provide adequate information regarding a school's compliance with legal requirements, it will direct you to the appropriate state authority or body overseeing martial arts activities.
In addition, it is recommended that you enroll in a martial arts school that is affiliated with a nationally recognized martial arts association as this increases your chances of getting the best training possible with minimal administrative or professional issues. These associations, which include the United States Martial Arts Federation and the United States Martial Arts Association, typically have certain codes of conduct and professional standards expected of their member clubs or schools. They also organize events, training, and other activities to help develop their member clubs and create a connected martial art community.
The cost of getting martial art training ranges between $50 - $500. The exact cost is typically determined by several factors, including your location and the frequency of training. For example, part-time training sessions averagely cost between $50 - $100, while full-time training sessions can cost between $100 and $300. Part-time training sessions typically span two or three days a week, while full-time training sessions can span seven days a week. Similarly, martial art schools in more populated areas are typically more expensive than schools in less populated areas.
Before signing up with a martial art school, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that the training session expenses are within your budget. These include:
- Properly considering your training frequency: Although paying for part-time training sessions may initially appear cheaper, it can eventually become less economical, depending on your training frequency. For example, if you pay for part-time training sessions and later decide to increase your training to five days a week, you may need to pay additional fees since part-time training sessions are typically for two or three days a week. With time these additional fees can increase your overall expenses and end up costing you more than simply paying for full-time training sessions in the first place. As such, determining your training frequency before enrolling in a martial art school is critical so that you may appropriately budget for the costs.
- Taking up discount offers: Martial art schools occasionally provide discounts to their members. Note that these discounts vary by school. For example, some schools may offer discounts on uniforms, while others may offer discounts on family memberships. Inquiring about discounts offered by your preferred martial arts schools and taking advantage of these discounts where available can help you keep your martial arts training costs within your budget.
In addition to the standard fees for joining a martial arts school, there may be other expenses incidental to your martial arts training. These expenses include:
- Accessories fees: Learning martial arts requires particular materials or accessories such as uniforms, sparring gears, and belts. If the cost of these materials is not covered under your enrollment fees, then you may have to pay for them out of pocket.
Administrative fees: Martial arts associations, such as the United States Martial Arts Federation and the United States Martial Arts Association, often provide opportunities, like competitions and programs, for registered members to improve their skills and knowledge. However, in some cases, membership in these associations may be required before martial arts students can be eligible for, and maximize these opportunities. This usually requires the payment of membership fees as well as other fees like application and registration for the programs and competitions, all of which typically constitute additional expenses.
Finally, other miscellaneous expenses, such as fees for refreshments or cleaning the martial arts studio, may be requested by some martial arts schools. Before signing up with a martial arts school, it is a good idea to view their membership requirements or responsibilities to be aware of any miscellaneous fees besides the required fees for registration. Membership requirements or responsibilities for martial arts schools are typically found on their registration or enrollment forms. If you have any questions about the membership responsibilities or if they are not on the registration form, you should ask the school's administrator or officials for clarification.
Martial arts can be complex and being trained by an incompetent instructor can negatively affect your learning process and also put you at risk of injuries when sparring. Therefore, it is important to find out who will be handling your training and make sure that this instructor is qualified. Martial arts schools typically have several martial arts instructors, and some of these instructors specialize in teaching a specific type of martial arts. Accordingly, if you wish to focus on learning a specific martial art, you may be trained by a particular group of instructors. However, if you intend to learn more than one type of martial arts, then you may be taught by different instructors at intervals. Regardless, it is crucial to ensure that any instructor handling your training sessions is competent and has the necessary skill set peculiar to the martial art you are learning. You can find out about an instructor's level of competence by making inquiries with the martial arts school or contacting current and previous students of the instructor. Also, before concluding any agreements with a martial art school, it is vital to ensure the school has satisfied any legal requirements in your state of residence. You can verify the compliance status of a martial arts school by contacting your state's consumer protection agency.
There are an estimated 417,100 recreation workers across the United States participating in and giving instructions on various activities, including martial arts. For martial arts instructors, the typical entry-level educational qualification is a high school diploma or its equivalent. Besides their educational qualifications, martial arts instructors also develop their skill sets and knowledge of their specialized type of martial arts by taking advantage of events, competitions, and programs organized by credible associations like the United States Martial Arts Federation and the United States Martial Arts Association. Instructors also register for professional training sessions organized by such organizations and obtain certifications if available. These certifications typically indicate that its holder has undergone additional training in a particular type of martial art and has gained improved expertise in this specific martial art. Finally, consistent practice and continuous training are other avenues through which martial arts instructors enhance their skill sets and expertise.
Before finalizing agreements to join a martial arts school, you should ask for references. Essentially, references are appraisals of a school's service delivery from previous members or visitors. It gives a good idea of the level of competence of the school's instructors, the school's professionalism, and other important considerations such as the conduciveness of the martial arts studio. Therefore, you should ideally ask the school for references from current members, previous members, and visitors.
Besides asking for references, you can also find reviews of martial art schools on review-specific websites like Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google Review and the information on these websites can assist you in making decisions and can also be used to evaluate different martial arts schools. Finally, you can ask friends and family members to suggest a good martial arts school near you. However, also ensure to ask any referred martial arts school for references from members and visitors.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Although there are no age restrictions to learning martial arts, the ideal period for a person to begin martial arts training is during their formative years, between the ages of 5 and 16. There are fewer distractions, responsibilities, or pressures during this period, and the body is still in its developmental phase. Accordingly, it will be easier to focus more on learning a martial art, have a more consistent practice routine, and train the body to align with the necessary skill sets.
Some of the martial arts that are considered easy to learn include:
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
- Kickboxing (Muay Thai)
- Krav Maga
While these martial arts may be considered easy to learn, it is crucial to mention that your interests will also determine how easy you find them. If you are more interested in kickboxing than judo, you are likely to find kickboxing easier to learn than judo.
Finding a martial art that is right for you largely depends on your preferences or interests. For example, Brazilian jiu-jitsu focuses on enhancing your self-defense skills, while judo trains you to observe your environment and take advantage of your opponent's strengths or weaknesses. A person interested in learning self-defense through martial arts is likely to choose Brazilian jiu-jitsu over judo and other martial arts like sumo. Therefore, the martial art that focuses on your area of interest will be the right martial art for you. If you are unsure about your interests or the martial art that focuses on them, you can seek advice from a martial arts instructor near you.
Martial arts help prevent bullying, particularly among children, through several ways that include:
- Being a confidence booster: Martial arts generally boosts a person's confidence and self-esteem. A person with improved confidence or self-esteem is typically less of a target for bullies. In situations where such a person is still the target of bullies, their improved confidence and self-esteem can also help them stand their ground.
- Making a person stronger: Martial arts training sessions involve several drills that discipline the body and mind. These drills typically include workout sessions, exercises, and other fitness routines. Eventually, these drills make a person stronger and less prone to bullying as bullies generally avoid strong or physically fit people.
- Teaching self-defense: Almost all martial arts teach an element of self-defense in their training routines. Accordingly, most martial artists have basic knowledge of how to defend themselves in a fight, which helps against bullying.
Flexibility is an important attribute needed for learning martial arts. While it is not necessary across all martial arts, it is still an advantage. As a result, while persons who are not highly flexible can still participate in martial arts, some martial arts techniques may be difficult for them to grasp or execute, slowing down their martial arts development.
A black belt in martial arts signifies that a person has achieved competent skill and experience after years of practice and commitment. However, the amount of training, requirements, and years needed to get a black belt differs by martial art. Due to the average amount of years required, taekwondo and judo black belts are regarded as the easiest to obtain. To obtain a taekwondo black belt, a person needs between three and five years, while the average time it takes to achieve a black belt in judo is between three and six years. Other martial arts typically require more years of practice and participation. For example, it takes almost ten years to obtain a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Ideally, you should attend a martial arts class two or three times a week. On your free days, you can engage in exercises or workout sessions. Note that while consistent practice is vital for your martial arts development, you should not overtrain as this can cause injuries or extreme muscle soreness. Also, ensure to eat healthily and get adequate rest.
Yes, it is possible to compete in martial arts competitions. If you are interested in doing this, then you should indicate this interest with your martial arts school or instructor so they can assist you with the registration procedures and keep you informed on any available tournaments that will be suitable for you.
Although it is possible to learn more than one type of martial art concurrently, it is not ideal to do so. Learning multiple martial arts at once can be very time-consuming and physically demanding. Doing this also splits your focus, particularly if the different types of martial arts do not have similar techniques. As a result, you are likely to spend more time than usual learning the techniques of each martial art.
Sumo is generally considered to be one of, if not the most, useless type of martial arts. This consideration is based on several factors, one of which is the size of sumo wrestlers. Sumo requires a significant amount of weight to participate in and some sumo wrestlers weigh as much as 400 pounds. Due to this weight requirement, sumo is not as widely practiced as other types of martial arts, especially considering the fact that many people learn martial arts to stay fit. Also, sumo primarily involves pushing your opponent to unbalance them and make them fall. However, this method of fighting is impractical in real-life fighting situations, which in turn means that sumo does not offer much in terms of self-defense either. Accordingly, the poor self-defense skills and absence of fitness associated with sumo, as well as other reasons, such as its restricted techniques, result in it being considered a useless martial art.