How to Tell If Your Martial Arts Instructor is Legit

The martial arts are very popular these days and it seems like more and more dojos are springing up all over the place. When choosing a martial arts school, many people turn to the instructor bios to find out their background. Many will make great claims about their experience, but how do you know if it’s all legit? Here are 2 things you should do a little research on about instructors you’re considering training under:

1. Training background. Most instructors will list their training backgrounds on their websites. It is a good sign if they list their past instructors, dojos at which they trained, as well as organizations with which they’re affiliated. If so, do a Google search of all of these items, looking for references of the instructor or their dojo in relation to them. If the instructor doesn’t make any reference to any of these things in their bios, ask them specifically about them so you can look them up. Anyone can list a bunch of martial arts they’ve trained in, people they’ve trained under or claim a certain rank, but if you can find no evidence to support their claims whatsoever, you might question the instructor’s legitimacy.

2. Competitive record. If an instructor claims to have won competitions or ring fights of any kind or to have coached or represented fighters, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding evidence of the fact online. A quick search of their name and martial art (ex. “louis sargeant boxing”) should yield a number of results related to their competitive background. If you’re specifically questioning a boxer’s professional record, you can easily look it up at This site lists all the details you can imagine about professional fighters, managers, specific fights, etc. in the International boxing world.

There are a lot of hacks out there who don’t have the expertise or backgrounds they claim. Protect yourself by doing a bit of research before choosing a martial arts school.

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