Aside from choosing your college and spouse, picking a martial arts gym could rank highly on your list of life decisions.
After all, a bad first experience might discourage you from ever training again, while a great first impression could lead to a lifelong love of martial arts and set you off on a meaningful journey. That journey could even lead you to the ONE Championship Circle.
This article will help you pick a martial arts gym near you, so that you can increase your chances of having a positive first experience.
Think About Your Goals
When it comes to looking for a martial arts gym near you, the first thing to consider is what type of martial art you want to train in and at what level of intensity.
Your options will probably vary from disciplines like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, mixed martial arts, or Muay Thai.
Once you pick the martial art that will get you closest to your goals, you can start looking for a gym that teaches the discipline.
Vet The Gym And Coaches
When you’ve decided on a few gyms, check out their websites, read reviews, or talk to other people who train at those gyms.
The feedback you receive will help you decide if the gym and its coaches are right for you. The last thing you want is to sign up for a martial arts gym, only to later find out that your style of learning is not in line with its style of teaching.
With some due diligence, you may find yourself learning under someone like #1-ranked strawweight Muay Thai contender Josh “Timebomb” Tonna.
That said, gyms and coaches aren’t the only things you should vet — you should also drop in for a free trial and get to know the other students.
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Check Out The Vibe
Truth be told, you may fall in love with training in martial arts and find yourself spending more time at training facilities than you do at home, but this will only be the case if you feel like the gym, its coaches, and the students are like a second family.
You can generally pick up on the vibe at a gym by taking a free trial. During the class, look around and see how the students interact with each other, and the type of relationships between the coaches and students.
Do they get along like an extended family? Or is there distance between them? You may like either vibe depending on your own preferences, but be sure that the gym’s atmosphere is something you can find yourself thriving in.
Consider The Location
Now that you’ve narrowed down your choices to just a few gyms, or perhaps one, consider how convenient it will be for you to travel to that gym and make it on time for classes.
After all, it’s not like you’re ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy, who could train and live in a world-class gym.
If you live in a congested area and have to drive to the gym after work, will traffic slow you down and force you to show up late? Is the gym so far away that you’d spend more time driving there than training on the mats?
These are questions you have to weigh if you feel the gym will be of real value to you. Only then can you commit to long-term training.
Get Real About Commitments
You want to avoid signing up for a year-long contract at a gym if you have any chance of stopping after a few months while still being charged.
If the gym only offers classes to people who are willing to sign up for a one-year contract, ask yourself if you really can commit to that much time. If not, it may be better to look for a training center that lets you pay by the month.
Either way, you have to be honest with yourself and not overstretch your energy levels or your budget. Once you consider all of these factors, you can truly find a great martial arts gym near you.