Listen Grasshopper…You Gotta Know Yourself

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Which Class do I Choose?

1. Introduction

Hi everyone, today let’s talk about knowing what you want out of a martial arts class. Many people join a class only to train for awhile and then become frustrated. Inevitably they quit and state the class wasn’t good or that it wasn’t what they were looking for. However, this dilemma can be avoided by having simple self-awareness and having clearly defined goals. This is extremely important because it can save you a lot of time, energy and money. To have the best martial arts experience you need to know if you’re looking for a sport, traditional training or primarily self-defense.

2. What are your goals?

When you decide to join a class you need to know what benefits you’re looking to get out of it. If you’re looking to get in better shape and physical fitness perhaps a combat sport is best. In a combat sport you can learn skills that have an application to self-defense while being regulated by rules. In addition, due to the class format you can get in great physical shape. Or you might be looking for an art which focuses on the history of a certain culture. Therefore, it would be best for you to join a traditional martial arts class. There you can focus on learning about the culture of the martial art while gaining flexibility and physical attributes.

Furthermore if you’re goal is to learn self-defense you need to join a reputable self-defense school. The focus should be mainly on teaching how to develop the mental and physical skills to survive an attack. I’ve outlined the benefits that these basic categories of martial arts offer. The problem is that most people are looking for a class that will boost their fitness but they go to a traditional martial class. Or they’re looking for a class that is focused on teaching self-defense and they join a combat sport. This is problematic because while a traditional martial arts class can get you in better shape it’s not the main focus. Furthermore a combat sport has good application to self-defense but it typically doesn’t cover the full amount of situations a civilian will find themselves in on the street. Therefore it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for.

In addition, is many cases people will join a school looking for multiple things. This is natural and totally understandable. For example, they’ll join a self-defense class looking for good strategies to deal with violent assaults. Also they’ll want to get in better shape and develop physical fitness. This can problematic because remember these categories of martial arts have different strengths and weaknesses. So while a self-defense class can get you in better shape that shouldn’t be the main reason you’re training there. A combat sport might focus on history and culture but that’s not the main focus of the training. Therefore it’s good to have multiple reasons to train at a certain place but your main reason must match with the focus of the school.

3. Conclusion

Here I’ve outlined a strategy to maximize your time in a martial arts class. In general be as clear as possible about what you’re looking for. Learn as much as possible about the school that you’re looking for and analyze whether it’s a combat sport, traditional martial art or a self-defense class. Then ask yourself which one am I looking for and I promise you will not regret the experience!

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