When looking for a Karate School to train in, there are many choices. Since the first martial-arts movie and karate inspired kids TV programs, clubs and schools have sprung up all over. The only problem is there is no regulation of such clubs. Anyone can rent a space and call themself a master, and the general public would not know. Once you decide or just feel curious if karate is a match for you, a good first step is to go to the location and watch a class.
Investigate as many karate schools as possible. Always sit and watch a class first and if the instructor won’t allow you to do this, be cautious. You want to see how a class is run. Does it have a structure? Is the instructor respected? Is there a sense of calm and a feeling of respect for the student as well as the teacher. Does the teacher instill boundaries of safety, discipline and good karate technique? Before or after the class, ask questions of the instructor and also talk with the students. You might ask about fees, injuries, how many classes to attend a week, grading (how to know when to move to the next level) and the belt system (how often and the cost), affiliation to a karate organization etc. This is a start but in our karate school we want you to do more than just ask. This will be covered in Part two.