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Picking a School
The following article was originally published in the Fall of 1994 in "Fighting Woman News", and later used without permission by "The Karate Voice". It remains COPYRIGHT Peter M. Hiltz, and may not be used without written permission. Send me an email; we'll talk.

How to Chose a Martial Arts School
Peter M. Hiltz

Anyone who has ever journeyed into the martial arts has faced the challenge of finding a good school and instructor.

We take college courses with some confidence that the material will be as promised in the catalog, but martial arts classes do not come with the same guarantee. As beginners, we don't know the difference between styles. Is one school's punch better than another's? Will I walk around bruised and battered? While some would consider a child's karate an activity like little league, fun for the child but eventually to be left behind, the adult student looks at the choices from a different viewpoint. The first questions I would ask are 'Why are you going to study the martial arts?' and 'What do you want to learn?'

I took a survey in the school where I teach karatedo asking the students why they were studying. The answers were surprising: the men wanted to learn to fight, the kids wanted to get blackbelts, and the women wanted to learn self-defense and get some exercise. Wanting to learn self-defense is very different from wanting to learn to fight or get a black belt.

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