As we’ve talked about before, you can’t trust your child to just any karate school or martial arts teacher. The stakes are too high, and unfortunately, sex offenders sometimes end up working with children. That’s unbelievably scary.

The same concern applies to you, your safety, and comfort. Even though you’re an adult, you need to be able to trust and feel safe in any learning environment.

So, what can you do to make sure you’re in a safe place where you or your child is able to learn skills and progress? We talked about things to look for once you’re at the school. Now we have some suggestions to help you decide which school to try out.

Ask for Recommendations

To start, ask around for recommendations. Word of mouth is the number one best way to find a great martial arts school because recommendations are trustworthy. Ask around to see if anyone you know has experience with any programs in the Columbus, Ohio or surrounding areas. The list of people to ask includes your coworkers, neighbors, and your children’s teachers.

Consider Their Online Presence

Next, evaluate any potential school or program by their online presence. Do they have both a website and a Facebook page? Does the website let you see the school’s class schedule? What about published blogs or other helpful information? The more established a school’s online presence, the longer they’ve probably been in business. While that in itself isn’t a sign of a good martial arts school, it does indicate that the school is run professionally and in a modern capacity.

 Read the Reviews

Once you’re online, read the Google and Facebook reviews of any school you’re interested in trying out. Schools should have a nearly perfect record of online reviews. Of course, from time to time a business will get an unfair review. But make sure the school you’re considering has far more good reviews than bad.

Also, pay attention to what the reviews say. Look for thoughtful reviews with meaningful information. If a review is only one or two words and looks insincere, you might be right in wondering if the review was paid for.

Take Advantage of a Free Trial

Good programs usually offer a free trial class to help you make up your mind. Pick a program that offers this opportunity, so you can see in person what you think of the school.

Look for a Safe and Welcoming Environment

Once you arrive at the school, pay attention to the way the instructors interact with the students. Great programs have teachers who know their student’s names and set the stage for a safe and secure learning environment.

Talk to other students and parents as they’re coming in and leaving the school. Ask them how long they’ve been taking classes there and if they’d recommend it. If you get a concerning answer or a bad feeling, ask for further clarification.

Once you find a school you like, use our earlier post for tips on evaluating a program once you’re there as a student. (Hint: a good program will have experienced and credentialed instructors who genuinely care about you or your child)

 If you would like to talk to me about our program or you have questions about finding a good program, please let me know.

Until next time,

Shihan Rodger Pyle