Which martial art should I study?
How do I choose a school?
Should children study martial arts?
Rankings/Color Belt Systems
Are all martial arts spiritual, or religious?
How is training at a Christian school different and why is it important?
All Schools are not created equal!
Carefully evaluate any prospective school to ensure you make the best decision. Avoid "hard-sell" tactics, or pressure to make any decision quickly. If you visit a school and see five year-old black belts, it is a strong indication that the school is more interested in making their students simply feel good, than in teaching quality martial arts. Can a five year old begin to understand what a black belt really is? Many schools have lowered their standards for belt ranks in order to retain students.
Choosing the martial arts school that will best meet your needs takes time and careful evaluation of several factors. One of the most important elements to evaluate is the instructor/schools qualifications. Other factors you will want to consider are the facility and its location, prices, etc. Personal factors to evaluate include attitude, facility environment and comfort level. Some people have found it helpful to keep a chart or list of what each school offers, and the costs, in order to compare all options. Click here for a printable comparison chart.
Instructor experience is important. Ask how many years they have been studying, as well as teaching. Find out where the instructors trained, under whom, and for how long. A qualified, competent instructor will have many years of experience, and a martial arts lineage you can easily trace. Do not trust a school or instructor who can't provide this information. There is no impartial sanctioning body for martial arts schools, so anyone could open a school and conduct classes. While higher education outside of the martial arts (college, graduate school, etc.) is not necessary, it may make a difference in how the instructor conducts classes, and what situations they are equipped to handle.
Martial arts schools come and go very quickly, so be sure to find out how long the school has been in business. Unfortunately, many new schools facing the difficulties of getting started, fail and close within the first year. If you signed a contract, your money is gone along with the failed business (see more on contracts below).
At the Academy of Fighting Arts, the combined experience of our black belt staff exceeds 150 years. Many of our instructors have completed college degree programs. We have been a continuous business operation in Lee's Summit since 1983.
Carefully consider the building itself. Safety and cleanliness should be prime concerns for any reputable martial arts school. Is the school clean? Does the facility appear to have enough space for workouts to be efficient and safe? Can parents and other spectators see the workout areas? If you are not allowed to watch classes, you might not want to invest your time and money. Without seeing a class you will not be able to get a good feel for the school. Avoid ï¿½schedulingï¿½ a time to watch a class; you should be able to walk in and observe any time a class is going on. Also don't necessarily be impressed by a huge number of trophies. They may indicate a very successful competitive school (if that is an aspect you are interested in); however, keep in mind they could have been purchased simply for show.
Location may be of some consideration when locating a martial arts school, although the quality of instruction should be the primary criteria. An exceptional school may be well worth the drive. If all other things are equal, however, determine if the school is conveniently located to your home or work. Also note the availability of parking, and building accessibility.
All classes at the Academy of Fighting Arts are ï¿½open doorï¿½. Visitors may observe our classes at any time, without any pressure to ï¿½sign upï¿½. We operate in a 6000 sq. ft. building conveniently located with easy access from Highways 50, I-470, or 291 in Lee's Summit. Click here for map.
Is the martial arts school taking new students? If not, you may want to ask how long you must wait.
The Academy of Fighting Arts accepts new students apporximately every three weeks. Students new to the martial arts start in our month-long introductory class. Students with previous martial arts training may begin working out with us at any time. Belt rank for students with prior experience will be determined after a period of evaluation by our black belt instructors. While we cannot guarantee that our federation will recognize a previous rank, neither do we force students to start completely over. Check out our current class schedule.
Does the martial arts school require any long-term contracts? If so, are there provisions for early termination in case of non-compatibility, or job relocation? A contract could obligate you to continue to pay, whether or not you actually attend the classes. Another popular marketing scheme is to sell the prospective student a ï¿½Black Belt Programï¿½, or package. For a set price (usually paid in advance) this type of contract promises training up to, and including Black Belt. No qualified school or instructor can guarantee that any student will make Black Belt. There are too many factors involved. Unless your goal is to simply buy ranks in a martial art and not truly develop yourself as a martial artist, you will want to avoid these situations.
The Academy of Fighting Arts does not require contracts. Fees are collected on a month-to-month basis. However, for those that wish to pay for longer periods of time, discounts are available. These incentives are purely financial, completely optional, and do not in any way ensure advancement in rank. Contact us for more details.
When considering a martial arts school, check to make sure they carry liability insurance for each student. In the unlikely event of an injury due to the school's negligence, you need to know that you will not be required to incur the resulting expenses.
The Academy of Fighting Arts carries all applicable insurance policies, and ensures their good standing at all times.
This is an important element to be clear about. It is impossible to state here what a reasonable price should be, since the benefits offered, the quality of instruction, and the length of the classes are all variables to consider. Here are a few tips:
Always investigate what other fees may be involved besides the tuition. Find out what equipment may be required (uniform, protective pads, etc.), and what that cost will be. Are you free to purchase your equipment anywhere? Be leery of any school requiring you to purchase equipment only from them.
Find out if the school charges a fee for promotions. If they do, ask how much it costs to test for each belt rank, and how many ranks there are between white belt and black belt. Some schools add extra ranks and/or tips in between to increase the number of test fees they can charge.
The Academy of Fighting Arts has eight belt ranks between white belt and black belt for the adults. We have 13 ranks in our children's programs, but the test fees for the kids tests are 1/2 the cost of the adult tests. For our current program prices, please feel free to contact us.
For some instructors this is their sole income, while others teach after another primary job. In either case, the costs of operating a school, insurance, and equipment can be extremely high. The best way to determine if a school's prices are reasonable is to compare the total cost for the services they offer to that of other local schools. Keep in mind the length of the classes when making comparisons. A school charging less, may only have classes 30 - 45 minutes long.
At the Academy of Fighting Arts, our beginner classes are one full hour, and our intermediate and advanced classes are an hour and a half.
Seeking more information about classes? Private instruction/personal training? Martial arts birthday parties? Please email us at: email@example.com
Trapped in a school you're not happy with but you're paid up on a contract? Bring a copy of your contract in, and you can train for FREE at the Academy for the duration of your time. No strings attached!
T-shirt days are a great opportunity for students to have a "cool" workout wearing an ACADEMY t-shirt. These are available for purchase starting around $10 in our Pro Shop. Please see Dawn behind the counter for more information.