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Warriors of the Sword

Tips for Choosing a Martial Art School

If you do not live close enough to train with us, then I hope this page will be helpful to you.

There are so many martial arts styles and schools available, where should you train?  Which style is the best?  What should you be looking for in a martial arts school?

See below for some tips and recommendations from my experience.

Tips for Choosing a Martial Art School Below:

  • Christianity - The integrity of my faith is absolutely CRITICAL to me.  When choosing a martial arts school, it is very important to know where the instructors are coming from.  The approach of the instructors WILL BE expressed in the classes.  If the instructor is a devout Buddhist, Hindu or other, classes will be taught from that perspective.

  • The Instructor(s) - The style is not nearly as important as the instructor (especially the head instructor).  You will want to learn as much as you can about the Senior Instructor.  Obtaining advanced martial arts ranks can be a snare to some people.  It can tend towards arrogance.  A good martial arts instructor will be humble.  Remember, there are many people who are capable of performing very well, but some are not able to teach.

  • Instructor's Rank - Be careful of "Self-Promoters".  I knew of a young Brown Belt in Korea who moved to the United States and six months later was a Fourth Degree Black Belt!  I also knew of a Second Degree Black Belt who promoted himself to Eighth Degree after purchasing the school from his instructor.  Again, find out as much about the Instructor as you can.  Remember...

    Those with mediocre skills can impress those who have none.

  • Contracts - AVOID long-term contracts.  Especially early in your martial arts training.  Many businesses push the benefits of their "Black Belt Program", "Life-time Memberships" or other expensive contracts.  Remember, the vast majority of people who start working out in the martial arts don't last long.  These long-term contracts rarely have any refund policies.

    I want to stress, some of these contracts might be truly a "good deal" after you are convinced that you are going to train with this instructor for a long time.  Once you have found your martial arts "home", then look into longer-term payment options.

    In any case, be sure that you... READ THE CONTRACT!

  • Payment Policies - You will want to inquire about the terms and conditions of your contract.  Of course you want to know of your payment options, but you should also inquire about non-payment policies.  Will the martial arts school send your account into collections?  Will they stop letting you workout until your payments are caught up?  While few plan to become delinquent, difficult situations may arise.  These are things you will want to know.

  • Costs - Inquire about the various fees and costs involved in training.  Some costs other than the class tuition may include: registration fees; uniforms and patches; competitions; maintenance fees; testing fees; membership fees; fundraising involvements and others.  Ask about purchasing training equipment.  Some schools mandate that equipment be purchased from them.  This is often more costly than buying the same equipment from other sources.

  • Watch Classes - Any school that will not allow you to randomly watch a class, is a school to be leery of.  Many schools have "viewing areas" or windows into the main workout room to allow interested people to watch classes.  I would be careful of "scheduled" times when you are permitted to watch a class.  With few exceptions, there should be no reason that you should not be able to walk into a school and observe the class in session.

  • Referrals - Family and friends that have experience are a great place to begin looking for a martial arts club.  Ask several people for suggestions.  After receiving suggestions, follow the other guidelines available.  Find out from the people that you ask, how long they have been training.  Ask how much they are paying.  Ask them about long-term contracts, etc.

  • Facilities - Check out the schools facilities.  They should be clean and sanitary.

  • Use the Internet - With the availability of information on-line, you can normally find out a wealth of information with a little research.

Another thing to consider is rank claims of the head instructor.  Below is a "time in rank" chart with reasonable time frames per rank for most styles.  These are estimates and can vary from style to style, and this chart assumes training under qualified instructors.


Approximate Years Training

First Degree Black Belt

4 - 5 years

Second Degree Black Belt

7 years

Third Degree Black Belt

10 years

Fourth Degree Black Belt

14 years

Fifth Degree Black Belt

19 years

Sixth Degree Black Belt

25 years

Seventh Degree Black Belt

32 years

Eighth Degree Black Belt

40 years

Ninth Degree Black Belt

49 years

Tenth Degree Black Belt

59 years

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Donations will be made to ChristLife, Inc. ChristLife is the umbrella ministry covering of the Warriors of the Sword.  ChristLife, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.  See bottom of this page for details.

Donations by check or money order:  make payable to ChristLife, Inc.
Please mail donations to: 
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Our Niagara Falls chapter is located at the Niagara Community Church
10500 Cayuga Dr - PO Box 199 - Niagara Falls, NY 14304-0199
Senior Instructor:  Mr. Robert W. Dallmann - Godan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
Email:  robert@spreadsheetpower.com  -  Phone:  716-622-7320

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Copyright - Robert W. Dallmann - 2009 - 2018 - All rights reserved.
An outreach of ChristLife, Inc.

ChristLife, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Contributions to the work of this ministry are deductible for income tax purposes. Receipts are sent upon request.
ChristLife, Inc. - PO Box 1033 - Niagara Falls, NY 14304
Phone: 716.622.7320

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