what national/international associations are affiliated
with the club? are they reputable?
There is ALOT to
be said about a person that goes about illicit means to fool
people into thinking they have credentials that they do not
have. None of it is good.
are many Internet sites out there that you can simply buy
rank from. Yes the sites may look very nice but make sure
you really read what is being said. If they do not teach the
Art, the school is centered around, or sells rank to people
from Arts they are not qualified to Instruct themselves,
that should be the first clue. There are people
out there that may be able to fight and have learned through
the school of hard knocks about what works, but is it the
safest and most efficient way? Wouldn't they be a better
Instructor if they were led down the right path themselves?
of certificates on the wall, or just one doesn't make a
difference, what matters is WHO SIGNED the certificate.
The certifying officials are the ones that you really should
be able to research easily. If they don't wish to show
you their diplomas but are still asking for money this
should raise a big red flag in your head.
hard work is a Big investment.. Money and time wise. To
receive a ranking certificate or diploma that is not
recognized anywhere else and is only good to cover the
hole in the wall may not be what you are after. After all
you wouldn't go to a doctor that received his degree from
the Janitor would you?
- do you have confidence
that the instructor has something worthwhile to teach you?
This should be after you have verified the
Instructors Credentials. If he has learned from good
qualified instructors he should be able to pass it on to
is not always the case though. There are and will
always be students that "just don't get it". They
may get up to a certain point, but still not have the last
piece of the puzzle that ties it all together. You may wish
to give the school a chance, but if you still feel like
leaving make sure you tell them why.
- are the classes fun?
should always be one of the MAIN deciding factors. If its a
burden to go to then you probably wont stick it out when
things get difficult and your frustrated at having a hard
time with something.
a look around you, do the students/ Instructors interact
pleasantly, and look like they want to be there?
- do you think you can
learn from the instructor's teaching style? (or are you at
least willing to give it a chance?)
everyone can get along with the Different teaching styles
that are out there. Just because someone is reputed to be
the best doesn't mean that you can learn a thing from them.
Especially if your mind is focusing on how you don't care
for the presentation of the material.
look for kids/families that have "grown up" with
should be your best clue to the abilities of the Instructor.
The long term students hold the visual key to where you can
expect to be in a similar amount of time. The sempai's
attitude, and actions towards the Instructor are all
there old students that still maintain contact with the
Instructors even though they have moved away or are
do you think the instructor will be able to help you to
achieve your personal goals?
this is subjective, but something to seriously think about.
If the Instructor is focusing in a different manner
than you are wanting to head, Think Twice.
do you have something to give to the club?
this is extremely important. If you feel that you will not
be able to contribute to the learning environment, for any
reason then you should definitely not go there. To
elaborate on this; If you cant be serious about learning,
you will be a distraction. If you only want to test yourself
and not progress any further, you will be a distraction to
others again.. things of this nature.
am not talking about being able to bring technical knowledge
to the table. Rather the ability to learn, and help others
in their learning process.
- what is the etiquette of the dojo? Can you live with their
schools are fully traditional and require you to do a lot of
bowing, Semi Traditional usually only bows once, and then
some schools don't bow at all.
code has been another big issue. Bare feet or are socks
allowed on the mats? This can be a really big issue if you
see a student has nasty feet and isn't made to wear anything
covering them such as socks or stockings to protect you from
where you will eventually end up landing.
-Do they want you to sign a contract?
this may not be a bad thing, make sure you read it and your
not stuck paying for stuff your not going to use.
look for hidden costs, such as an abundance of testing
fee's, mandatory seminars, and tournaments that also cost.
It can get out of control at times and take the fun out of
things when you cant afford to participate, or eat to be
able to satisfy your contract.
-Are they still continuing to learn and grow themselves or
have they hit their Plateau or peak?
I consider this matter to be of such importance that if I
were looking for a new senior to teach me, one of the first
things I ask is "Who do you train under?"
I can tell
you of some of the looks of complete disgust this had gotten
me in many "MCDojo's" and gyms.
do you mean, I'm a master! I don't train under anyone; I
Maybe they teach some other ignorant soul. But you aren't
answer might be something along the lines of "Well I go
off to a mountain where my master lives in another country,
and I train alone with him in secret. "
The senior who has a teacher that he can't produce or to
whom he's not willing to introduce to his students is a
walking advertisement for bad budo. A real senior who
is your teacher will be happy to have you train with his
seniors when the opportunity presents itself. He'll probably
invite, you to attend seminars or training sessions with
others who are senior to him.
sets the pace. He leads by example. He is not afraid to
admit there are things he doesn't know. He makes it very
clear that while he is the teacher and he is in charge, he
is still in the process of learning, too. The second
prerequisite I would insist upon in accepting a senior as a
teacher would be the assurance that not only is he setting
the pace, he is also going in a direction where I want to