No matter what type of martial art you choose, you can only benefit from it. Not just because you will learn how to defend yourself, but it develops you both mentally and physically.
But, there are so many martial arts out there, so picking the one is not easy. There are many factors that you should keep in mind. But, I think the following infographic is going to be a useful help.
Ask this questions before starting:
What do I want to develop? What and I interested in? What am I already good at?
You should know exactly why do you want to start a martial art, but also know your limits.
For example, if you want to burn fat and have better endurance boxing and kickboxing are both ideal for those.
If you prefer punches, go with boxing. If you prefer kicking, go with karate and others.
Also, keep in mind that there are hard and soft style martial arts.
How far is the school?
I do not recommend you a school that is far away from you. If you have to travel 1-2 hours to get there, sooner or later you will find it too complicated and tiring.
So, look around in your city first and find classes that you may be not so interested in yet, but give it a try.
Are there online courses?
It is a fact that the best way to learn a martial art is to have a coach who you can train with. But, if a particular class is far away you alternatively you can check out online courses.
The advantage of the online learning is that you can train at your own tempo and whenever you want. You just need a good punching bag and a few other things to practice.
What do I know about the school and the instructor?
If you find a school that seems to be suitable for you, do not rush with paying the membership. Watch a few training, search for other people’s opinion and obviously use the free lessons.
If you feel that the instructor is under-motivated and he just wants to get over the lesson, it is a bad sign.
Another bad sign is when they tell you that you are going to get a black belt in 1-2 years. You should know it is impossible.
Finally, be careful with the contracts, if it is too long, over 2 years or more, it is a bad sign for sure.
Will I have enough time to train?
To develop steadily, you should have 2-3 training per a week. Learning something new and getting results require dedication.