A good martial arts instructor is hard to find. But if you aren’t too picky, you can save literally hours of time by picking a bad instructor instead. This simple four-step plan will keep you on the wrong track!
An unhappy disciple of Rex Kwon Do
- Do some martial arts “research” in books and on the Internet. Believe everything you read. The authors cannot possibly be wrong; some are famous. Do not ask any live human beings for guidance. Their real-world experience and nuanced advice will only complicate the situation.
- Choose a style of martial arts that you think you would be good at. Avoid any activity that might expose your weaknesses. After all, martial arts are for looking good in public, not for fighting and definitely not for personal growth and self-improvement!
- Use the phone book to select a local school that teaches your preferred style. You don’t need to evaluate the instructor, or watch a class. You already know all about it; you researched this, remember? (However, if you do see a class that doesn’t match your expectations, feel free to tell the instructor they are wrong. Suggest a list of books or websites for them to read.)
- Inspect the school’s marketing materials to decide why you want to train there. Improve health? Sounds good! Self-defense? Sure, why not? Don’t start with a list of your own training goals. Creating such a list requires introspection, honesty, and courage. You can save a few minutes by using someone else’s list.
Follow these steps to start your martial arts training as soon as possible. Hajime!
(Or, if starting well is more important than starting now, read my other articles on choosing a good instructor!)
Note: This article was submitted to Darren Rowse’s ‘How-To’ Group Writing Project. More information at
Ha ha ha. Our list is up as well if you’d like to check it out!!
“Believe everything you read.” Such good advice!
Funny you should post this, though, as I’ve been considering martial arts for a variety of reasons. I’ll be back to read your article on choosing a good instructor.
(Found your post through ProBlogger)
Just moved to MA and am looking for a new instructor. Perfect timing!
My how to is up.
Graham, your site is very interesting. I hope to spend some time there, when I have some time to spend 😉
i like your wristbands
Ha ha. I LOVE that scene in Napoleon Dynamite. But then, I’ve had my black belt in Rex Kwon Do since 1997.
I’ve got my own (non-funny) guide to picking a school: http://www.kyokushinblog.com/?p=56