There are several things to consider when determining if a taekwondo school is good.
A good taekwondo school should have knowledgeable and experienced instructors, a well-structured curriculum, a positive and supportive atmosphere, and a focus on safety and proper training.
To tell if a taekwondo school is good enough and actually, what you need, the best thing you can do is observe their classes, especially classes consisting of higher-ranked students.
Now, here is how to tell if a taekwondo school is good for you.
The Atmosphere at Training is Friendly
A friendly atmosphere is very common in martial arts gyms. That is if they are any good.
There’s a common misconception that martial arts and its practitioners are aggressive and hostile, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Taekwondo teaches you how to defend yourself in a do-or-die situation, but you should never use your skills to the detriment of others, especially not if you’re the aggressor.
If you get into a school and feel a bad vibe, you might want to look for another school.
Some “instructors” are bullies, and they teach their practitioners to be aggressive bullies as well.
One time, I came to a new gym since I moved to another city, and in the first three training sessions, every practitioner came at me like I was their worst enemy.
What’s even worse, the instructor encouraged them to “pick on the new guy.”
That’s not a healthy environment to train in martial arts.
Every martial art requires focus, dedication, and respect, but most of all, it requires encouragement and help from fellow practitioners.
If you feel a hostile atmosphere in a gym, if you don’t see any smiles or see the practitioners and the instructor have an aggressive instead of a friendly attitude, it’s time to search for another school.
The School Teaches Respect, Control, and Discipline
Taekwondo requires self-control, respect, and discipline especially after you leave the gym. However, that respect and control start inside the gym.
The only place where you should be aggressive when learning the art is in training and competition.
If the school encourages aggressive behavior outside of that (for instance, being a bully among less-skilled practitioners), steer away from that school and find a new one.
In the school I mentioned earlier, the instructor never preached respect and self-control to his practitioners because he believed “you need to have anger” if you want to be successful.
That’s not true. Guys were sparring, and it turned ugly pretty quickly because they were taught they aren’t friends but rather a competition.
If you can’t control yourself and your skills, then taekwondo and indeed any other martial arts aren’t for you.
When you learn how to fight, your skills become a weapon. You should never use it to the detriment of others.
If you get to a school and see that the instructor preaches respect and self-control, and if you see that the practitioners share mutual respect towards one another or the teacher, you got yourself a keeper.
Class Size and Atmosphere
The class size and atmosphere of the school are important factors to consider.
A good taekwondo school should have a positive and supportive atmosphere, and classes should not be overcrowded to ensure individual attention and proper training.
Safety should be a top priority in any martial arts school. Make sure the school has proper safety equipment and procedures in place to prevent injuries.
Where does the instructor get his curriculum from? Is it some mass-marketed pre-packaged material he bought on the internet or is it something he created based on his own knowledge and training?
A good taekwondo school should have a well-structured curriculum that covers all aspects of martial art, including physical techniques, philosophy, and history.
The cost of classes should be reasonable and competitive compared to other martial arts schools in the area.
The Instructor Is Dedicated and Experienced
So, the most important thing you want out of your instructor is that they’re dedicated to what they do.
Look into the qualifications and credentials of the instructors at the school.
A good taekwondo school will have instructors who have extensive experience and training in the style of taekwondo they are teaching.
If they just stand around in training, give you drills, and then talk to somebody instead of watching what the team is doing, they aren’t a good instructor.
Even if they have all the martial arts experience in the world, that doesn’t make them good instructors if they don’t have the will and passion for transferring that experience and knowledge to you.
Also, depending on what style of taekwondo the school is, check and see if the instructor is not only certified, but in the case of WT / Kukkiwon style schools has the “Right to recommend” for DAN promotion, and holds a Kukkiwon Certificate.
The reputation of the School
Check the reputation of the Taekwondo School in the community.
Look for reviews and feedback from current and former students, as well as from other martial arts schools or organizations.
If the reviews are positive, then you are on the right track.
You Can Feel That You Are Improving
You can only make your observation on this if you are already a student in the school (or have at least signed up for the free trial).
Improvement takes some time, so it might be hard to judge a school quickly based on your improvement.
However, if you’re in a gym for some time now and still feel like you’re not improving, you should look for another gym.
To determine if you have improved or not, it’s not enough to learn new techniques, you also need to be able to utilize them in combat.
So, put on some sparring gloves, and square off against another practitioner.
If you feel like you still get hit more often than you hit them or that you can’t utilize any new technique you’ve learned for a long time, it might be time for a new gym.
Even if your instructor is dedicated and willing to help, that doesn’t mean they have the required skills to take you to the next level.
So, if you see a lack of improvement over time, the school you’re in isn’t that good.
Choosing the right school of taekwondo is important if you are to maintain an ongoing interest in the art while continuing to grow as a human being.
Therefore, your enrollment in a school should never be taken lightly.
Hi, my name is Godwin. I am a passionate martial artist with black belts in Taekwondo and Karate. I have over 15 years of martial art experience. I created this platform to enable me to help you learn martial art the right way.