How To Choose A Mixed Martial Arts Academy
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a great way to stay fit and build confidence. However, its increase in popularity has resulted in a plethora of irreparable gyms. Here's a guide to help you ensure you find a quality gym that's also a great fit for you.
Find An Academy
Finding an academy is the first step. Check your local phone book or Google local academies. Read online reviews or check online forums to see what people are saying about the academy and instructors.
How far are you willing to travel to practice MMA? Don't choose a gym that is an hour away if you won’t realistically drive that far on a weekly basis. Luckily, MMA is a popular sport with academies all over the country.
Check the accreditations of the school and instructor. You will want to learn from people who are qualified to teach MMA. Some instructors will often have experience with more traditional martial arts, such as Tae Kwan Doe, but they should also have MMA experience. Try to stick to academies that have a proven competition team and instructors with real world experience in their specialized disciplines.
Once you've determined that the school is reputable, check the class schedule to make sure the classes work with your lifestyle. It is common for martial arts academies to offer different types of classes. Some academies will have women's only classes, classes that focus on self-defense, classes that focus on competition and sparring classes. Some instructors may also offer individual instruction. Pick an academy that offers whatever you are looking for.
The average cost of Mixed Marital Arts instruction is between $120 and $300 a month. Private lessons can cost even more, up to $100 an hour. If you are unsure about an academy, ask about a free trial. Many academies or gyms offer a specified number of free classes, so you can try which class is a best fit for you.
If the academy you are looking at doesn't offer a free trial, the instructors may allow you to at least observe a class first hand. This will allow you to see if the style of teaching is right for you. When the class is finished, talk to some students to see how much they like the academy. Use this as a way to see if the academy attracts the kind of people you are comfortable training with.
If your schedule or budget doesn't allow for a long-term class, a seminar might be a better choice. Many academies offer day or weekend long MMA seminars.
One of the best tests of an instructor's qualifications is how well they answer your questions. If an instructor is unwilling to answer questions about their qualifications, they are will likely by unwilling to answer questions during class.
Make note of how respectful the students are to each other. Good instructors encourage and enforce respect between partners.