How to find a good Martial Arts Instructor!

Every year I do a martial arts demonstration at the Japan Festival, and ever year someone comes up to me and says they want to take classes, and when I tell them I teach in Katy, they then ask me if I can recommend someone that’s closer to them. Well, that’s exactly what this video is about.  How to choose a martial arts school that’s right for you.

First of all, let me give you some back story…I traveled all the way to Japan to learn Aikido.  I was there from 1991 to the end of 1997, and my sole purpose in being there was to study Aikido. I would commute 3 hours a day just to take classes at the world headquarters in Tokyo.  Yea, I had to get a job, and I did meet the woman of my dreams and had 3 kids while I was there, but the fact is, I was there to do Aikido. I found the best teacher in the world. I mean, I have never seen anyone even come close to the level he had reached, the interesting thing is that when I met him, he only had a handful of students.  Not thousands, he was a nobody that command the highest respect at hombu dojo. When I saw him and felt what he could do, I was sold. That was the Aikido I wanted to learn.

So, when someone asks me to recommend an instructor, Wow, that is really hard to do because the only instructor I could ever recommend is Kato, Hiroshi and he’s no longer with us….

So then, how do you find a good instructor…  I have to admit that even though Kato sensei was the best at Aikido, and anyone could take classes from him, very, very few people did.  Why’s that? Because the simple fact is that a good instructor for me, isn’t necessarily a good instructor for you. Honbu dojo has thousands of students.  I remember training there one day and there were literally over 200 people on the mat, you didn’t even have room to fall! And Kato Sensei wasn’t teaching! It was someone else.

Here are the three factors you should look for when trying to find a good school:

  1. When you walk in the school, do you like the way it feels.
  2. When you meet the instructor for the first time, did you get a good first impression.
  3. Do you enjoy the structure of the lesson.

That’s it.  So I do recommend trying out a few classes before you join, unless the instructor doesn’t allow it, but that might be something you like, who knows…

What’s good for you might not be what’s good for me and vice versa.  It’s really all about you and how you feel about the school and the instructor.   It’s always good to do your homework, read reviews and interview other students, but in the end it’s really about aligning your vision and goals with the instructor and the school.

I wish you all the luck in the world, and if you ever find yourself in Katy and want to try out a class, visit my website for more information.

Each and every master, regardless of the era or the place, heard the call and attained harmony with heaven and earth. There are many paths leading to the top of Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit – love.

-Morihei Ueshiba
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