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Choosing a Martial Art
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Martial Arts

Choosing a martial arts school doesn't have to be complicated. The steps below will guide you through the process from researching to signing up.

  1. Decide why you want to take martial arts training.
  2. Choose a style. There are several different types of martial arts. Some of the more popular styles are
    • Stand-up styles place a lot of focus on punching, kicking, and blocking.
    • Ground Fighting or Grappling Styles have a large focus on the "wrestling" aspect of combat.
      • Brazilian Jujitsu
      • Shooto or shoot fighting
      • Sambo
      • Greco-Roman Wrestling
    • Throwing styles are styles that primarily start from a standup position but utilize throws, trips, locks and other means to disrupt the balance of an opponent.
    • Weapons based styles focus the majority of their practice on the use of one or more weapons.
      • Kali
      • Iado
      • Kendo
    • Low impact or Meditative Styles are heavily focused on breathing, internal energy, stress relief and a low impact form of martial arts training and exercise.
      • Tai Chi
      • Ba Gua
      • Chi Gong based style
  3. Determine what type of school will best suit you. The most common types of schools are:
    • Fitness Facilities
      • Focus primarily on fitness and offer many different classes and programs.
      • Most fitness facilities play techno or dance music during the class sessions
    • Family Facilities
      • Usually teach one core style.
      • Have children as a large percentage of their student body.
    • Full Contact
      • Focus on full contact fighting in the style of UFC, Pride, K1 and other "no holds barred" competitions.
      • Teach one style or be a mixed martial arts school that teaches multiple styles.
      • Most likely be more focused on basics, drills and fighting combinations than forms or weapons.
      • Majority adult male student body.
      • Hard core schools.
    • Competition
      • Resemble the fitness or family schools but with they do some fighting.
      • Medium contact sparring takes place during practice. Fighting takes place during open tourneys or kickboxing.
      • Emphasis on empty hand and weapons routines. All students are not required to compete.
    • Traditional
      • Concentrate on one core system and work it to perfection.
  4. Start searching for a school
    • Ask friends and family for suggestions
    • Visit schools to talk to an instructor and get an impression.
  5. Schedule introductory lessons
    • Call the schools that you are interested in and ask for introductory lessons.
    • Introductory lessons usually last for one week and can range from $20 to $30.
  6. Ask about the costs
    • registration fees
    • cost of uniform and competitions
    • monthly fees
    • testing fees
    • organization memberships
    • required fundraising

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