Master D here with Denda Academy of Martial Arts. Finding the right martial arts school for your child and for your family can be overwhelming. One size does NOT fit all.
Here are some key points to consider when looking for a martial arts school for your child:
- Look for a school that is well established and has a good reputation online and in the community. You can ask other parents or do research online to find out more about the school’s reputation. Check out their social media pages and see what other parents are saying. Reviews are a great way to get a feel for the culture of the academy.
- Observe a class before enrolling your child. This will give you a good idea of the teaching style, the atmosphere of the school, and how your child interacts with the instructors. This is the MOST critical tip because you don’t know what you don’t know. Most parents just go with the first place that comes up online or is closeby. This can be a big mistake. Most schools offer a free class to try out and see if it’s a good fit. Denda Academy offers a free class for this purpose. It’s definitely worth the time to shop around to find the best fit moving forward.
- Make sure the instructors are qualified and have a good track record of teaching children. Just because someone is good at martial arts doesn’t mean they are good instructors and can relate to kids. They should have experience working with children, and should be able to create a positive and safe learning environment for your child. All of our awesome instructors at Denda Academy are “home grown.” They are adults that have been with us since they were kids. They know the ins and outs of our programs and are amazing with the kids. (Check out our reviews to see what parents say about our instructors).
- Ask about about any life skills and self development parts of their curriculum. Many martial arts schools claim to teach life skills but you never hear about it on the mats. Martial arts is much more than kicking and punching. It’s about overcoming physical and mental obstacles and challenges and taking the lessons learned out of the dojo and applying it into the world in their everyday lives. Denda Academy focuses on not only great martial arts, but we spend a section of each class that we call a “mat chat” where we talk about confidence building, bullying, becoming focussed, respectful and listening to parents the first time they are asked to do a task. This is the parent’s favorite part of the class.
- Look for a school that emphasizes discipline and respect. They all say they do, but you’ll know when you see a class in person. Martial arts can be a great way to teach children discipline and respect, so it’s important to find a school that values these qualities. Some schools are very military-like and some on the other end of the spectrum are almost like a daycare, where kids just run wild and there is no structure or discipline. We fall right in the middle of these two groups. We expect and teach focus, discipline and excellence, but also make the experience fun and rewarding so that the student will want to come back and continue to progress. Our class motto is “Do your best, try your hardest, and have fun!”
- Pay attention to the class size. Smaller classes will allow your child to receive more individualized instruction, which is important for a child’s growth and development. Just because a school is packed with students doesn’t mean that your student will get the attention they need and deserve.
- Watch out for martial arts schools that require long term contracts! This is a big red flag for parents. Most schools require a 6 month to 1 year contract. This means that if 4 year old little Jonny doesn’t like doing martial arts after 3 months, you’ll be stuck paying the monthly tuition until your entire contract is fulfilled. This was a disaster for many parents that were under long term contracts during the pandemic. At Denda Academy we are strictly a month to month school with a 30 day notice to cancel. Simple as that. We know that if a child is benefiting from our program and seeing improvement at school and at home, they will continue without the need of a contract holding the parents hostage.
- Cost is also an important factor to consider, but don’t let cost alone be your deciding factor. *Pro tip: If a school won’t tell you tuition pricing over the phone, RUN the other way! Ask about monthly tuition, testing fees, training gear costs, and special event fees for example. Some schools make you come into their office to talk pricing once your child has already tried a class. This is a big red flag! If they do this, they are hiding something. Transparency is everything. Why enroll your child into a program that isn’t transparent and untrustworthy from the get go. At Denda Academy we explain all costs up front before you even decide to try a free class. It’s a win/win for everyone. Give us a call and see if this is true. 🙂
- Watch out for any schools that promise quick results or unrealistic expectations. Real martial arts training takes time and dedication, and a good school will be realistic about what your child can expect to achieve.
- Make sure the classes are age appropriate. Some martial arts schools have all ages from 4 years old to adults training together. At Denda Academy we have separate classes for 4-5 year olds, 6-12 year olds class, and teens ages 13-19.
Hopefully this will give you some basic ideas of what to look for and what to avoid when searching for a martial arts school for your family. This will help ensure that your child will learn and grow into a better version of themselves through martial arts.
If you’d like you can optin to our website to signup for a FREE introductory class to see if we’re a good fit for your family. No pressure, no BS.