A monthly newsletter for students and friends of Kicks Martial Arts for Women
|Inside this issue:
Choosing a Martial Arts School
CardioKicks Fitness Tip
Cool Link of the Month
|Located at the Heiter Community Center • 100 North
Fifth Street • Lewisburg, PA 17837
Martial Arts School
Women's Martial Arts Federation Guidelines for choosing a school that's right
for you. Reprinted
from the NWMAF web site.
One of the most frequent questions we get is "How do I pick a good martial arts school?", followed closely by "What style is best for me?" We will have more information on different martial arts styles in the future; for now, we'll concentrate more on finding a good school. This is an important decision, as you will probably infer from the length of this answer and the amount of "up-front" time we recommend you invest! Once you've found the right school, though, you'll realize that the time was well worth spending.
The first step in picking a style and school is to ask yourself a series of questions about what you want from your training experience:
Next, consider any limitations that might narrow the range of possible schools. Can you only train in the evenings? Do you need on-site day care? Do you want to be able to train in the same classes as your children? How far can you realistically travel? How much can you afford to spend on training?
Once you've got those nailed down, it's time to start checking out the schools in your area. If you're a beginner, it's generally less important to focus on a particular style than it is to focus on your overall goals - they can often be met by any number of individual styles. Make a list of the schools in your area and prepare to spend a bit of time on the phone. Ask for descriptions of the style(s) taught, the structure of the curriculum, the cost of training and any additional fees (uniforms, required equipment, testing fees), and whether or not long-term contracts are required. Don’t be put off if the person you speak with requests that you take a trial class before discussing fees – that’s a common practice in this business. Ask also about the qualifications of the instructors - how long they've trained, how long they've been teaching, the extent to which junior belts are involved in instruction. Be sure to make your own goals very clear as well and listen carefully to how your needs are addressed.
Based on what you hear, set up trial classes in several schools (3 is a good number to start with). If you can attend two classes at each school, that's great. If not, take the time to at least observe a variety of classes to be sure you're getting the complete picture. While you're there, observe and ask a lot of questions. Talk to the instructors, the other students, and parents whose children train there. And spend some time just "feeling" the environment. All these things are important. As you check out the schools, here are some specific things to look for:
Most students seem to find that it really doesn't take long to figure out which school is right for them, based on a combination of these factors and their own "gut" feeling.
Finally, here are a few miscellaneous caveats that may help:
Certificates don't guarantee quality. A huge number of organizations offer "certification" of rank. Many are legitimate, conferring rank based on real accomplishment and sound criteria; others can simply be bought. Unless you already know something about the organization(s) conferring certification, pay more attention to what you see and hear than what you see on someone's wall. Of course, it's perfectly reasonable to ask what those certificates mean and where they come from!
Martial arts training is not necessarily the same as self defense training. Although all martial arts were originally developed as systems of defense, the degree to which practical self defense techniques are integrated into the formal curriculum varies widely among schools. So if self defense is your primary interest, make sure you find out exactly how a school's curriculum will help you meet that goal.
"Masters" may know a lot, but they can't make your decision for you. Don't let a school owner/head instructor tell you what you need or want!
So, that’s about it! Good luck with your quest, and let us know how it turned out
There will be no classes on July 13th and 15th so that students may prepare to attend this year's Special Training.
The next rank test will be held on August 7th at 2:00 PM. Good luck to all those who are testing. You can check out Kicks' test photos by clicking here
Strong Circles - Self, Community,
July 15-18, 2004
Special Training (ST) is the NWMAF's flagship event -- a four-day, all-women festival of martial arts training and related activities. Featuring some of the best women martial arts instructors in the world, the camp offers training and networking opportunities to women of all ages, styles, and levels of martial arts expertise in a supportive, energizing environment.
In addition to martial art classes, ST features workshops on topics ranging from teaching children to healing arts; a world-class demonstration of martial arts and self-defense skills; and plenty of time to sing, dance, and celebrate!
Cool Link of the Month
Bulletin from the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
This OPDV Bulletin attempts to address some of the
many issues connected with that old question. It is the strong opinion
of the authors that while we can - and repeatedly do - answer this question,
it is the wrong question to be asking. It is a classic example of victim-blaming.
Think about this: domestic violence is the only crime - other than sexual
assault - that is somehow viewed as the victim's fault...
We'd love to hear from you!
Please send us your comments, feedback and suggestions.