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Old 10-20-2008, 07:33 AM   #1
George Nesrallah
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How to find a good MA school?

Hi everyone. I am really interested in taking Krav Maga, but I am unsure as to going about finding the best school in my area (Ottawa, Canada). There are a few places which teach it, but how can I tell which is the best one? I take bjj, and I already knew of my school, which has a great reputation, churns out awesome fighters, and they have a lot of word of mouth so it was easy to choose them. However I have heard nothing for Krav Maga. So basically, in your opinions what would be the best way to find a good school?

Thanks for any advice. Have a great day.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:35 AM   #2
Andrew Thompson
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Re: How to find a good MA school?

http://www.kravmaga.com/ontario.asp (WFS link to Krav Maga Worldwide)

Krav Maga is such dynamic, intense, and fun training. You should definitely check it out.

As with checking out any new training (martial arts, Krav Maga, etc..) the most important factor is the instructor.

Go watch some classes, talk to the instructor, watch how the instructor interacts with the students, watch how the students interact with each other.

Observe how the instructor transfers knowledge to the student. Are they truly teaching, or just leading class?

Have fun!
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:55 PM   #3
Casey Raiford
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Re: How to find a good MA school?

Search the phone book, the internet and ask people you know. Things I generally would recommend avoiding:

- Rainbow belts and brightly colored gi's.
- any martial art that has the owner's name in the style (e.g. Shinto-Shaulin-Frank Johnson-ryu)
- any school that won't let you watch an entire class start to finish from the back of the room/dojo
- schools that require a contract
- schools with a ton of trophies in the window (that's just me, no offense to anybody)

Go watch a few classes and get a feel for the places that look good to you. See who's serious and who's more of an oddly-dressed motivational speaker. Decide what you are looking for, is it grappling, striking, pressure techniques, offensive/defensive? Talk to the instructors/masters/sensei/whatever. You'll probably know what's right for you when you see it.
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:17 PM   #4
Yael Grauer
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Re: How to find a good MA school?

What's wrong with brightly colored gis? Or contracts, for that matter?
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:02 PM   #5
David Bott
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Re: How to find a good MA school?

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Originally Posted by Yael Grauer View Post
What's wrong with brightly colored gis? Or contracts, for that matter?

They tend to mean it's a McDojo. Especially the contracts. A club that has to lock you into a financial agreement in order to keep you there is usually a: Only in it for the money, b: not very good as people are attending classes because they have to.

The brightly coloured Gi thing I also agree with (actually I agree with everything from that list)... to me it just shows pretentiousness. Like one club I saw at our national seminar (In Australia) who had not only different coloured belts (which I'm not overly opposed to) but different coloured uniforms, which would mean when you grade you have to buy a whole new uniform! Add to the that the millions of badges, camo epilets (on a bright orange uniform in one case) and some big badge on the back reading "Kimono's war" (isn't a Kimono a robe?) and it just looks terrible... plus they weren't that good of a school anyway

Last edited by David Bott : 10-31-2008 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Terrible typing
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:22 AM   #6
Yael Grauer
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Re: How to find a good MA school?

I strongly disagree. There are a lot of reputable martial arts gyms (and regular gyms, for that matter) that ask people to sign contracts for a variety of reasons. And people's gi color says very little about their attitude or personality or the quality of their instruction.
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:59 PM   #7
David Bott
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Re: How to find a good MA school?

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Originally Posted by Yael Grauer View Post
I strongly disagree. There are a lot of reputable martial arts gyms (and regular gyms, for that matter) that ask people to sign contracts for a variety of reasons. And people's gi color says very little about their attitude or personality or the quality of their instruction.
I guess that's the beauty of free speech... people are allowed to express different opinions
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:27 AM   #8
Alan Pagle
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Re: How to find a good MA school?

dave - while i agree with the examples you give, they are too small a sample to apply to all gyms that have colorful gi's or contracts. At our Gym, Mod Com MMA, you can have a contract for 6 or 12 months and pay less, or pay month to month for a little more. Our members choose what works for them, but why shouldn't we reward people who can make a commitment? The colored gi thing - making people BUY a new and allowing people to express themselves are 2 very different things. Lily - 1 of the owners of our Gym (2nd degree black belt in Judo and brown belt in BJJ) has green, pink, purple, blue and orange gi's. She also is the owner of catfight gear, and makes custom gi's, for women (shameless plug here, available on line)
I think allowing people to express themselves with their gi is great....like the eamples you gave...I can pick the fools from far away and avoid them
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:48 PM   #9
James lee
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Re: How to find a good MA school?

i don't care if they wear pajamas and it requires a 2 year contract... that has nothing to do with the quality of the instruction. It ALL comes down to the instructors of the school. You can be at a gym own by GSP but if the particular instructor is not a good teacher... its no good. Also realize that a person can be an amazing fighter, Martial artist, athlete, etc.. that doesn't mean he can teach well. its 2 very different skills. When you find the person or the school with an instructor that has both of those qualities, you should take a longer look.

bottom line is.. go in and take a free class and see if what/how they teach you makes sense to you and works for you... unless you really have something against wearing pajamas.

good luck!
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Last edited by James lee : 11-08-2008 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:21 PM   #10
Patrick Janes
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Re: How to find a good MA school?

great (free) article from becca borawski in the CF journal that speaks of, among other things, choosing a martial arts instructor/school. the article includes some reasoning behind why the necessity of a contract may not be such a bad thing, for both the student and the instructor (link w.f.s):

Getting Started in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
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