Are mixed martial arts the best martial art? Are
kung fu lessons superior to karate? What about internal styles verses
external styles, or hard as opposed to soft? Wondering how
to find and recognize a really good martial arts school, club, center, instructor, coach, or training program? There are four basic types
of martial art schools:
There is overlap within these four types. For example, fitness is a component in all arts to a certain degree. A person trained in authentic and effective fighting arts will have many of the skills helpful for mixed martial arts competition. He will additionally have ingrained or instinctive reactions to situations that would disqualify him if they were to manifest in the ring or octagon. These responses would cause injury, maiming, or even the death of his mma competitor.
- Schools offering
lessons in effective self defense or combat
- Those teaching sport,
including points sparring, Muay Thai
and Mixed Martial Arts or UFC competition training. These traditional and mixed martial arts have competition rules
prohibiting attacks to vulnerable
areas of the body. This type of school can often be recognized by the
trophies on display at the school,
- Schools offering fitness workouts, or health promoting arts,
theatrical arts schools which focus primarily on
brick breaking, forms training and exhibitions, acrobatics
A mixed martial artist could be a devastating opponent in a real altercation due to his skills, size and conditioning, but he will likely be unaccustomed to using or defending against tactics that are banned from competition, but commonly used in a street fight or attack.
The mixed martial artist could be unprepared for the uncontrolled, unpredictable, life and death competition that may be forced upon him unexpectedly, under conditions he does not anticipate or have experience with.
Uneven, treacherous ground, obstacles, poor lighting, multiple opponents, and weapons could cause him to hesitate, exercise bad judgment, or execute poorly at a time when split second reactions are needed. The physiological and emotional effects of the stresses of defending against an earnest attempt to take one's life or cause serious, permanent injury are very different from those of possibly being beaten or humiliated in the octagon with a referee nearby. It's just not the same when you can tap out at any time.
Once you have decided upon your personal goals and have
determined which type of school will best help you reach those goals, it
is time to start visiting and evaluating schools. Questions you should
have in mind are:
- Is the instructor's kung fu (or other art) any
good? Is there evidence that he possesses impressive skills
and abilities? Are there practical, realistic, combative applications for what is being taught?
- Can the instructor teach? Does he know
what good martial art practice looks like, can he see what a student
may be doing wrong and devise drills or exercises that will help the
student confront and solve the problem? Will he be doing the teaching
himself? If not, how skilled is the assistant instructor?
- Is the training both realistic and safe?
A variety of drills should be used to create realistic training and
compel the student to continually develop new and improved skills that
will work in real life situations. This should be balanced by a
controlled environment and precautions with the goal of
eliminating unnecessary injuries, which in turn, interfere with
- What are the other students like? Are
they helpful and courteous? Are they eager and ambitious? Are they
making good use of the class time? Do they and will you quickly develop
skills? Martial arts training takes time and effort but you should not
spend years without improvement, expecting to some day suddenly possess
- Is the owner a good business person?
Will he be around next year? Are his business systems and practices
sound, fair and ethical?
- Do the instructors and students appear honorable and of good character? You become what you do and who you associate with. Look for honest, industrious, self-disciplined and helpful people, as well as skilled martial artists.
- Are there hidden costs such as fees for
testing, certificates or belts in order to advance in rank, or
additional registration or membership fees which may not be revealed up
front? What is the cost of uniforms, weapons or
gear you will need to purchase in order to participate, as well as the
time and transportation costs involved in traveling to and from the
- How many 60 minute hours per week of class time
you will actually have access to? Most important of all, what will you take with
you each day as you leave the class?
At Allan Lawson's Fighting Arts, LLC, a Phoenix, AZ area martial arts school, the primary focus is on
fighting skills development and techniques that will not fail you
when you need them, with a complimentary focus on fitness
training and your health. You will participate in training and receive
lessons in tested and proven combat arts including Kung Fu San
Soo, Jeet Kune Do, and Escrima.
With your membership at Allan Lawson's Fighting Arts, LLC
you will enjoy the following benefits:
results (with your cooperation),
best martial arts fitness training
- Stress relief,
- Optimal mental
function and capacity,
- Leadership and life skills development,
group and private
and cooperative training
- Video enhanced
Training - Minimum Age 13
At Allan Lawson's Fighting Arts,
LLC there is a spirit of cooperation. Whatever you
can do to improve your training partner's skills, will improve your
training and make you better as well. We will pull each other up.
Excellence in Martial Arts and Fitness Training
Integrative Functional Conditioning SM ALFA TM
Phoenix, Arizona Kung Fu
San Soo, Jeet Kune Do, Escrima