Choosing the Best Karate School for You\nMartial arts began in the United States in the 1940s and since then, North America has begun to recognize the importance of physical fitness and self-defense that can be learned from martial arts. As martial arts films became more and more popular in the United States, tournaments and karate associations became more popular as well.\nBut, you don’t need to be a famous film star or the Karate Kid to learn karate with a true master. There is a very good chance that your local town or city has a karate dojo just a few minutes drive from your house. But please take caution when choosing a karate school! Not every school is the same. Many karate academies do not teach the art properly. Good karate schools keep a clean dojo and feature pictures of karate masters, not martial arts celebrities.\nWhen choosing a school:\nTalk to the instructor personally Inquire about the style they teach and its history Ask to observe a few classes and the students You will quickly see whether or not the students are happy and successful versus being a band of hooligans who are only looking to fight. The students should also be a shining example of ‘reverence.’ They should value their dojo, their instructor, and their training. Are the students sloppy in the attire? Are they late to class? Does the instructor inspire the students to want better or just constantly berate them?\nInstructors should have no problem sharing their story with you as well as the origin of their style of karate. Their expertise and wisdom should be seen in class not only with how they speak, but also how they act. Is the instructor asking the students to do high roundhouse kicks when the instructor looks like they are in terrible shape? Are they doing a sloppy form or kata and then yelling at the students when they do it incorrectly?\nMost importantly, don’t feel pressured to sign up at a school. If the instructor is trying to pressure you to sign up for six months or a year, without ever trying a class, run away! Also, if the instructor demands that you buy a lot of expensive martial arts equipment right when you join, this should also be a warning sign. A good instructor will provide you with a low cost student karate gi or include it as a part of your membership. Also, they should give you plenty of options for buying karate sparring gloves, karate headgear, and other protective martial arts equipment.