Allan Lawson's Fighting Arts, LLC                      -Since 1999   Holy Spirit                                                       

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) - How to Choose a Martial Art School
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Are mixed martial arts the best martial art?  Are kung fu lessons superior to classes in 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:

  1. Schools offering lessons in effective self defense or combat arts,
  2. 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,
  3. Schools offering  fitness workouts, or health promoting arts,
  4. Demonstration or theatrical arts schools which focus primarily on teaching board or brick breaking, forms training and exhibitions, acrobatics and other stunts.
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.  

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:
  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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 training.
  4. 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 in class without improvement, expecting to some day suddenly possess miraculous abilities.
  5. Is the owner a good business person?  Will he be around next year?  Are his business systems and practices sound, fair and ethical?
  6. 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.
  7. 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 school location.
  8. 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 of instruction 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:

  • Fast results (with your cooperation),
  • Reliable, combative self defense skills,
  • The best martial arts fitness training available,
  • Stress relief,
  • Optimal mental function and capacity,
  • Improved concentration and self-discipline,
  • Increased confidence,
  • Leadership and life skills development,
  • Plenty of class time,
  • Small group and private coaching,
  • Semi-private setting,
  • Individually tailored programs,
  • Motivated and cooperative training partners,
  • Video enhanced training,
  • Adult 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
 Since 1999

    Integrative Functional Conditioning SM     ALFA TM

Phoenix, Arizona Kung Fu San Soo, Jeet Kune Do, Escrima

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