Things to look for in a great martial arts instructor and gym.

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How to Identify a great Instructor or Coach that will teach you effectively.

We always hear of MMA and Martial Arts trainers popping up all over the place. I wanted to provide you with some tips when looking for a Martial Arts Instructor and a Martial Arts training facility.

There are a lot of great sales people out there! Guys and Girls who ‘talk the talk’ and will tell you everything you want to hear. It is easy to spot these people if you ask the right questions and here are some points that you can investigate on your own.

I do want to make this clear, DO NOT GO TO THEM WITH THIS LIST OF QUESTIONS! Good instructors will be honest and tell you the truth, however, if you are looking at training under them then I would recommend not to be so brazen as it may appear disrespectful.

Firstly, Actions speak louder than words!Can they actually demonstrate what they are asking you to do. I have seen ‘Instructors’ that can barely demonstrate or explain the details of a technique they are teaching. That is your first warning sign, however, if you are new to Martial Arts you wont be able to tell as much.

Does the Instructor have good communication skills? This one is really simple as well! If your instructor cant communicate effectively then you cannot expect any type of solid training.

Who has your instructor learnt from and legitimately trained with? It is an important question. There are some great Coaches and Instructors out there who have self taught and developed techniques and methods on their own but they do have a base in Martial Arts and a base that exceeds a few years. The source of Knowledge is important, if the instructor was given poor knowledge or unrelated knowledge then knowledge transfer to the student will be poor. It has a trickle down effect.I would like to mention that being a sparring partner to fighters, attending a few hour seminar or holding pads does not make that person a great instructor or Coach either.

Have they trained any other fighters or athletes? Another great question is to find out have they trained anyone from scratch. This will tell you if firstly there methods and training have been tested and proven and secondly, can they transfer their knowledge and experience. Remember a good sales person can market themselves to fighters and competitors to join them, but creating an athlete requires time, dedication, knowledge and experience. All these elements a fraud could not provide.

Do they have competition experience? This doesn’t define an Instructor as there are many great instructors who have limited competition experience, however it does provide an edge in the Coaching game.The instructor doesn’t have to be Full contact MMA or be a former UFC fighter but you would like to know they have some competitive experience nonetheless. If you are looking for an MMA instructor, if they have experience in competitive fights in MMA, Boxing or Kickboxing or in Tournaments such as BJJ, Wrestling, Judo, or Sambo. Then you know they have done the work and put in the required effort to compete and know how it feels to work hard, push themselves and have demonstrated solid technique and foundation that will hopefully relate and be passed through to your training.

Does the instructor focus on his own development and the students development? You want an instructor who is constantly evolving and developing as well. This will ensure you will always develop as well. You don’t want an instructor who isn’t around frequently coaching you or seems to be in it for their own ego or reputation.

Match up your requirements for learning to that of your potential instructors history or background!  If you are looking for an MMA instructor then a Karate instructor would not be the most ideal option. It’s a matter of matching your needs with their experience.

At the end of the day, if you are looking for a great Martial Arts School and specifically an MMA or combat orientated Gym, Then it is about the Coaches and training partners in the gym. A Gym can have all the fanciest and latest equipment but it always comes down to the knowledge, experience, motivation and focus they can give you.

Here are some Martial Arts Gym’s I would recommend in Sydney that meets the criteria of great coaching  (in no particular order).


-Martial Arts Development- Of course I would recommend us! ????

-Cabra Kai in Cabramatta  (BJJ and MMA)

-Lions Den Sydney in Kingsgrove‎ (BJJ and MMA)

-Southern MMA- Wollongong (MMA,Sambo and Wrestling)

-Southern Cross Jiu Jitsu Academy in Cronulla (BJJ)

-Platinum (Kickboxing)

-Full Force Muay Thai Gym in (Muay Thai)

-Sinosic and Perosh Martial (BJJ and MMA)

-Evolution Wrestling Academy  (Wrestling)

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