Over the years I have heard many different debates on what is the best martial art to study. Is karate better than aikido? Is krav maga more realistic than Taekwondo? People looking for karate lessons will ask what makes one style of karate better than the next one, or “what should I be looking for in a martial arts style”. “Simple”, I say to them. The answer is the “dojo environment”!

You see, it doesn’t matter what style of martial art that you study, If the environment of the school or dojo doesn’t promote a healthy environment in which one can grow and learn, the student will likely fail in reaching their goals.

The word Dojo means, “the place where you learn the way of karate”. Even though karate is very much an individual journey, the dojo environment and your dojo mates will have a great influence on how well you do in your Karate journey!

The dojo mates at any dojo should, in my opinion, far surpass any type of coaching that you would get in any professional gym or sport activity. Your dojo mates want you to get better, not only because he or she cares about you as a person, but they also know if you get better they will get better!

If the head instructor of any school or dojo can’t tell you with 100% confidence that his or her dojo has the greatest environment to learn and grow in, politely say thank you for your time and move on to the next dojo.

In my experience, there are very few places that match the positive attitude and environment that the dojo provides.

So, when looking for a martial arts style to study, these two things should be at the top of your list:

  • Is the teacher a person that you feel has your best interest in mind?
  • Is the dojo environment positive and healthy?
  • Train often, train hard, train because it’s good for you!

Maine Sensei