How to Find the Right Teacher in Martial Arts

It goes without saying that not all non dual teacher and that is probably multiplied to the nth degree in the martial arts which doesn’t allow for standardization to quite the same degree as other subjects might. There are of course ongoing attempts at standardization and classification but the martial arts are still very much of a melting pot and one is often left wondering who is teaching what and where did it come from.

Enter the beginner…

Given this prodigious output of styles and teachers, how is a beginner, who knows virtually nothing about the martial arts… how is such a person to find the right teacher?

And is that the right question?

Maybe there is no “right” teacher. Maybe the right teacher for me is not the right teacher for you.

So it can get a bit complicated…

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Questions such as these simply do not arise for most people. They join their neighborhood club, pay their fees, get graded a few times, get a nice colored belt maybe even a trophy or two, tell their friends they are a brown belt in such and such a style and… that is all they want. And I’m not here to argue with that, but…

If you’re real serious, if martial arts is your reason for living, you will need to find the Right Teacher and that means that you will have to do some serious searching. Both internally and externally.


Because the Right Teacher will not appear miraculously on the horizon when you first decide to be the next Bruce Lee. And so, almost by default, beginners tends to think of their first teacher as THE RIGHT TEACHER! Which is understandable because they don’t know any better. They have nothing to compare their first teacher to, so the first teacher is THE BEST. The beginner is totally convinced of that.

However, as time moves on the beginner may begin to experience some disquiet. Some things don’t add up. The first teacher may be a bit overweight, or not as fit as he could be. Maybe he doesn’t answer questions satisfactorily… but hey! nobody’s perfect and all things considered the first teacher is still The Best, and that’s all there is to it, right? Nonetheless there is talk… there is talk of another teacher down the road who is (blasphemy!) even better. The beginner puts all those preposterous notions aside of course, but..

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