Thursday, January 14, 2010

Martial arts for free or cheap

Following up on the cost of martial arts classes...

There are a ton of people in the martial arts/self defense space with a lot of knowledge who still want to teach, but don't have their own schools with a storefront. They teach often on a non-regular basis, out of their garages or backyards and with little concern for money, some to get extra money on the side. Some of my best instructors have taught me for free or cheaper than if I went to an actual 'school'.

Usually these guys are serious about what they train. They're not doing it for money and are doing it usually to spread their knowledge. They're interested in other people who are serious about training too. You have to go in with the mindset that you really truly want to learn something.


Seek people out on craigslist in the community section. I recommend both browsing and posting. When posting, just be honest about what you want to train. I personally found one very good instructor this way in Austin, TX.

Your own network

Also, ask your current martial arts contacts. Lots of people in the martial arts world have been doing what they're doing for awhile and likely know people who teach or would be willing to teach for free or cheap. One of the guys I learned the most about Kali from I found in Springfield, IL this way.


Groups like ARMA and the SCA teach/train in a group atmosphere. I've met other small martial arts groups that train this way too.

Don't do any of what I just said

I really don't recommend you do this until you've been studying at least one art for a little while and kind of know what you're getting into and what you should be looking for. I highly recommend you do not start this way. You need to understand the space first and you need to get at least some very basic safety instruction from undoubtedly-qualified people. You should know how things are supposed to feel, otherwise you won't be able to assess for yourself just what is safe and what is not and who is an asshole instructor and who is not.

Again, be vigilant and verify credentials all you can - it will save you.

7 comments: said...

A great follow on article. It is easy for people to find others who also want to train for cheap/free.

Most of the time, even if one was to ask his fellow class mate at the gym/dojo for some extra practice, they will say yes.

I would also highly reccomend that people start training on there own, especially if they dont usually. Solo training will allow one to train what they want, at the pace they want, and will help one develop there own specific way of doing things. People may be saying that grappling can not be done on there own, however, grappling drills can be done solo, and a good heavy bag can be used to practise some techniques such as sweeps, transitions, hold downs etc.

Roland Beauregard said...

Here is another idea. Most of the schools I have attended are run on a low budget. That means they do not have a lot of money to pay for services. I have trained at several schools where I traded services for training. These services include school promotion, web development, and school maintenance. Training me for free is cheaper then paying for the services. Just make sure you deliver what you promise. It will be appreciated.

Chris J said...

Place I train at, have been doing it since the late 60s, at a city ran community center. We have ebs and flows in how many students we have, in the current age of the McDojo's we don't get many students.

But those we do get, tend to do really really well at the few Tournies we go to, and out shine students from other schools when they transfer (moved, etc) in or out.

Anonymous said...

A great resource for inexpensive or free training is

Ronald said...

I believe there are so many people interested in learning martial arts but they are limited in resources so they cannot afford to train professionally. That is why I am so glad if there is free training being offered in some places that caters to them.

Anonymous said...

Like myself always want to enter the martial arts school and i really like martial arts even when i was young. But those are too expensive that my parents don't want to waste money like that for me to train martial arts. I hope they have free place to train.

How To Learn Karate said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing this to us. This adds more info on how to learn martial arts.

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