How to choose the BEST Martial Arts School for YOU!

How do you choose?  Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Hapkido, Jui Jitsu……it can all be a little overwhelming.  There is certainly no lack of martial arts schools out there.  If you are in a big city, there is literally one on every corner.  However, not all martial arts schools are created equal.  It is important to do your research before committing to any school.  You’ll be happy you did.  This is especially true when children are involved.  Choosing the wrong school can turn the child off the sport forever.  With that said, there are many reputable schools out there that practice what they preach and have an excellent program in place.  Here are a few tips when looking for a martial arts school.

1) Decide what you would like to gain from learning martial arts.  Are you to improve your physical fitness?  To learn Self Defence?  Would ySummit Martial Arts Sparringou like to compete in Tournaments? Are you interested in the philosophy/character building part of martial arts?  Or go the long haul and get your black belt? These are all important considerations when deciding on a school. Writing down your goals can help you tremendously when searching for the right school.  When you call/email for information, have these ideas in mind and ask questions.  It is important to know this up front before committing.

2) Shop Around.  Look at a number of different schools in your area, if possible.  If the school offers a free trial class, Interest and Committmentgo check it out.  Was it fun and enjoyable for you? Also, check out reviews online.  What are people saying about the school?  Do they participate in social media – check out their pages.  The school that most closely aligns with your goals and values is your best bet.

3)  Find a qualified instructor.  Take the time to read about this person’s credentials.  Ask questions:  how long have they been teaching?  How long have they trained in the martial arts?  How often does the head instructor teach? Just because the head instructor is an accomplished martial artist themselves, it does not mean they are a good teacher.  A great instructor takes time to explain why and how the techniques they are teaching are important.  Moreover, how those techniques can be applied in real life situations.   One key point is to make sure the instructors correct improper technique.  This is especially true in the case of children.  If you are going to pay for someone to teach you, make sure they teach you right the first time.  Sometimes paying a little more or driving 5 minutes longer are worth it.  You come away being a better and more well rounded martial artist.  Quality instruction is worth it.

allow yourself

4)  Goal Setting.  A good instructor invests in YOU and is interested in YOUR goals.
Watch a class, is the instructor motivating?  Or preaching? Sit down, talk about your goals, ask questions.  Find out if they have a written curriculum. You deserve the best instruction available.

5)  Some final things to consider:  take a look at class size – is the class size capped? what is the student to teacher ratio?  Do they use student assistants?  Do they have age appropriate classes?  Take a look at the students in the class.  Are there a number of intermediate and high ranking belts?  This may indicate that the school motivates students to stay. If the students are all beginners, that may say something too. Or are there an unusually high number of black belts?  This could speak volumes about the program.

These are some general tips on how to choose the BEST school for you and your family.  The RIGHT school is out there – do your research, be diligent, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  It’s your money.  It’s your time and effort.  You deserve to get the most out of your martial arts education.  It’s a great sport for the entire family.

Summit Martial Arts – Our Year in Review

SummSummit Martial Arts Logoit Martial Arts had an amazing year! It was a year of growth, progress and success, both at tournaments and in the dojang. We started the 2014 tournament season with a bang! In September, Summit Martial Arts students Marcuz, Mikko and Aidan represented Team Canada at the 2014 TAFISA World Martial Arts Games in Richmond, British Columbia. Our instructor Mr. Chernichen served as Team Canada coach. Before heading off to the Olympic Oval in Richmond, the boys were featured on Global News talking about 2014 TAFISA World Martial Arts Gamestheir preparation for the Games. The boys did an amazing job bringing home 4 golds, 2 silver and 1 bronze for Team Canada in Bo Staff, Korean Forms and Sparring. We all watched the live feed sitting on the edges of our seats. It was a very proud moment watching the boys step on to the podium representing Team Canada and our school. All their hard work and dedication paid off!

2014 Kicks TournamentNext up was the Kicks Tournament on November 29, 2014. Summit Martial Arts had students in every age category from 6 to 14! And the GRAND total for the day was – 15 Medal Winners!!! 7 – Gold medal wins (Team Forms, Forms (various belt levels) Ages 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-16 and Sparring Age 14-16) 4 – Silver medal wins (Sparring -various belt levels – Ages 10-11, Ages 12-13) 4 – Bronze medal wins (Weapons Forms, Forms – various belts – ages 6-7, 8-9, Sparring Ages 10-11). Congratulations Angelo, Aidan, Marcuz, Mikko, Brody, Arianna, Kassidy and Max. We were so proud of the way everyone represented our school – both during competition and on the side lines. While winning medals is a wonderful thing, the level of sportsmanlike conduct is what was really impressive!

The 2014/2015 season saw a number of belt promotions. At Summit Martial Arts, we Summit Martial Arts Belt Test - June 2015take our belt promotions seriously. It is not enough to simply do a set amount of classes before you can test. Each student is evaluated to ensure they are properly prepared to test for their next belt. A student is then invited to grade when THEY are ready. Each student’s martial arts journey is unique and so is their progress. We do not believe in cookie cutter belt tests. We adhere to a generation’s old, rigorous standard for our belt promotions. Our tests are NOT easy. Students are tested both physically and mentally. This truly brings out the best in each student and shows a strength of character and will. Our students showed their tenacity and dedication to the sport – practising at home on their forms and push up/sit up requirements. All the sweat and sore muscles were worth it – knowing each and every student has EARNED the belt around their waist. Student’s regularly comment on the deep satisfaction they feel when receiving one of our belts!

Summit Martial Arts Christmas Party 2014Our SMA Christmas Party was a celebration for all!  Master Morris presented students with the “Most Improved Awards” in various categories and the “Best Sportsmanship Award”.  The youngest members of our Summit family had fun at the craft table, personalizing their own white belts to take home.  There was glitter everywhere!  Everyone enjoyed the parade of dishes that lined the wall at the Shepard Community Centre.  The night ended with good music and a LOT of dancing.  A great time was had by all – we can’t wait until next year!!

Tae Kwon Do Class at Summit Martial ArtsOn April 1, 2015, we moved in to our new location. All the Summit Martial Arts family pulled together to help get our mats down, paint and clean our new home. We were up and running in no time. Thank you to all the parents and students who came out to help. We couldn’t have done it without you!

PMA Spring Challenge - Summit Martial ArtsAt the end of April, Summit Martial Arts attended the PMA Spring Challenge in Calgary. We had 10 students compete in age categories 6 through 13 for forms and sparring as well as team and weapons forms. Summit students came home with 11 Gold Medal Wins, 10 Silver Medals, and 3 Bronze Medals. Congratulations to Angelo, Aidan, Marcuz, Mikko, Brody, Coban, Jonas, Arianna, Kassidy and Chaney! We are proud of each and every one of you.

Shuswap Open Tournament - Summit Martial Arts 2015Our last tournament of the season was the Shuswap Open Tournament on June 6, 2015. SMA students travelled the 6 hour drive to BC with their families to compete. We had 8 students compete from ages 6 through 14 in forms and sparring. Summit competed in Weapons forms and had 2 Teams compete in the Team Form division – Summit Junior and Senior. We are proud to say we came home with Grand Champion, 11 Gold Medal Wins, 8 Silver and 2 Bronze. The Summit Team celebrated with some much needed rest and relaxation at the Lake! What a great day for everyone!

In the months to come, we are looking forward to our 2nd Annual Beach BBQ and our upcoming Black Belt Test in September. The past year has been more than we could ask for. Our Summit family has made us proud in so many ways – both inside and outside the dojang. We could not ask for anything more. You have all been a pleasure to train with.

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Our Summit Kids - Summit Martial Arts Calgary Summit Martial Arts in Calgary - 2015