There is a saying….
“Pay peanuts… you get monkeys!”
While paying peanuts for a service sounds enticing nobody wants a “monkey” repairing the brakes on their car ...and you definitely don't want a monkey teaching you or your loved ones a Martial Art!
As an adult this could lead to personal injury and lost time from work (who will pay the bills then?).
With children (and this applies to all sports; soccer, football and other sports too) the risks can be far greater, possibly leading to permanent joint or structural damage that may adversely affect that child later in life and rob them of opportunities.
I suppose when choosing a martial art school for your family there is nothing like a referral from someone you know... but what does that person giving the referral really know about martial arts or even that particular style or Instructor you are being referred to?
If they are currently training in a school, it cannot get much better than that. If they are happy and enjoying the training then you should ask them the following questions to see if their likes and dislikes match yours.
Failing that; say you have not received any referrals, it is advisable to look for the following:
· Look at schools that have been running for some time (this does not mean a good choice will not be made by joining a new school!) …..
· Look for a martial art that has affiliations ie. professional industry associations, international recognition & certification (& don't accept verbal confirmation). As there is no regulatory board or Martial Arts Industry governing body in Australia THIS IS A MUST DO, regardless of how familiar the name of the martial art may seem, after all they all sound the same don’t they?
· Ask to view the Black Belt & Instructor’s Certificates, if they are hesitant to show them off it may be because they have never sat an instructor course.
. Black Belt Certificates are NOT and should not be considered a licence to teach - ask to view their instructor certificate.
· If the instructor is promoting double testing, this should be looked at with caution - after all how can you pass something you have not yet learnt? That would be like getting great marks in maths and because of that passing English too?
While following the steps above will not guarantee a good choice it does provide you with something to go on. How am I qualified to offer this advice?… I have over 25 years formal experience in the martial arts both here in Australia and overseas, running schools & early in the first 7 years of my career I trained as a guest with so many different styles and instructors that it hurts to even think about counting them… ! ; )