Questions to ask
IntroHere are some questions to ask when evaluating a martial arts school.
About school itself
- Is the head instructor a full-time or part-time instructor/owner?
- How long has the school been in business? How long does it expect to be open for business?
- To what organization is the school affiliated?
- Does school use no-contact, light-contact, or full contact sparring?
- Does school teach traditional or sport style taekwondo?
- Does school teach practical self-defense techniques?
- Does school teach ground fighting/grappling? What type?
- Does the school have mats for use in throws or falls?
- What is the cost of classes?
- What is the total cost of all required sparring equipment?
- What is the cost of tournaments, camps, etc?
- What other training equipment is required to be purchased, such as uniforms, target pads, re-breakable boards, weapons, etc.?
- Must all equipment be bought through from the school?
- Must I sign a contract? (Beware of hidden costs, get full disclosure before you sign any contract.)
- May I have a copy to review before I sign it?
- How long is the contract for?
- Who owns the contract. the school or an outside agency?
- What do I get for the money?
- Are payments made to a third party?
- What/who may cancel the contract?
- What if I am sick or on vacation?
- What if I am injured and cannot train?
- What are the class hours?
- Are instructors nationally certified through a recognized organization?
- Are all classes taught by a certified instructor?
- Are instructors First Aid and CPR qualified?
- Is the instruction given to a group or by private lessons?
- Is private instruction available at an extra cost?
- Do you use youth instructors?
- Are minor instructors used during adult classes?
- How many classes must I attend each week?
- How many classes may I attend each week?
- What type of sparring is used?
- What level of contact is used?
- How much sparring is required?
- What safety requirements are used during sparring?
- Is kicking to the head allowed, in class or in competition?
- Is punching to the head allowed, in class or in competition?
Rank testing requirements
- Do you charge rank testing fees?
- What are the fees?
- What if a student does not pass the test?
- Do you have written requirements for each rank test?
- Is attendance at tournaments, camps, or seminars required for promotion.
- Is free-sparring required for rank tests?
- Is board breaking required for rank tests?
- How often are rank tests conducted?
- Do you award black belts to youths? If yes, starting at what age?
- What is the average time to earn a black belt?