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What to Expect on Your 1st Day of Martial Arts


Everyone is a bit nervous on their first day of trying out martial arts, so no, you’re not alone here. Your first day of martial arts is a lot like a first date. There’s a lot of tension and you’re aware of every little move you make, but when you look back on it a year later it really isn’t that big of a deal. Just try to get a feel for the school, the instructor and the other students and see how comfortable you are.

The key is to remember that the class and the instructor truly do want you to succeed. But before they begin to really teach you, they need to be sure you’re a good fit for the school and the school is a good fit for you. If this balance isn’t there, then everyone is wasting their time.

Don’t expect to learn too much. Most schools will have about a 30 minute session with a very high-level explanation of techniques and some physical fitness (pushups, sit-ups, etc.).

When I say a high-level explanation of techniques, I’m referring to basic punches and kicks. If you pick up on these quickly, there may be time for a couple of combinations as well. Don’t expect to have any physical contact with other students, in fact, you shouldn’t have any physical contact with other students. If you’re put into an uncomfortable situation on your first day (taking kicks from another student that you’re not prepared for), then you know the school probably isn’t a good fit for you.

There’s really no set “agenda” for a student’s first day. The instructor is using these basic techniques to evaluate incoming students to see what areas they may need help in and to find the class that will best suit them.

At the end of your first class you should have a good “gut feeling” about the school in general. If you’re petrified after one 30 minute session, you may want to try another school. But if the school makes you excited to come back again, then you can be pretty certain you’ve found a great fit.

Now that those first day jitters are out of the way, you can begin to work on getting your first belt.