FAQ: Frequently Asked Question

Harrow Martial Arts aims to answer all your questions. Below you will find those often asked, but if you need an answer to a question that's not here, please feel free to email us or call us on 07759 438779. The FAQ aims to answer questions related to Harrow Martial Arts rather than general questions on martial arts


Questions & Answers

Why Martial Arts as opposed to Aerobics?

Martial arts offers all the benefits of Aerobics & similar types of exercise but has many other benefits above & beyond what an Aerobics class can offer. These benefits include self defence, discipline, confidence, self esteem, co-ordination, technical expertise etc. Plus for those who want it Harrow Martial Arts offers competitions at all levels, brilliant seminars & above all, Instructors that care about their students first & foremost.

Why Harrow Martial Arts, as opposed to other martial art classes?

Not only does Harrow Martial Arts offer quality & expert instruction in Martial Arts & all its related areas (Self Defence & Fitness), but we also offer the best value for money. Our classes are 1.5 to 2 hours long (often longer) for less fees than you`d pay at other schools. So you get much more, for much less.

Is Taekwon-do a martial art suitable for women?

Yes, Taekwon-do is a suitable martial art for both men & women as it utilizes kinetic energy (the energy of movement) rather than brute force. That, combined with the precision, timing & focus you learn through training create a powerful force that anyone can use, no matter what the size or gender.

I don't fancy Traditional Martial Arts, what can you offer?

For those that don't really fancy our superb Traditional Martial Arts training, we offer quality fitness classes and world recognized self defence courses, based on martial arts training, but without the traditional trappings, suitable for anyone.

I fancy doing a bit of each, how can you help?

With our different options you can select to train at only that which you desire or you schedule allows. For example, you may want to do some Traditional Martial Arts & extra fitness or just a Fitness class & Self Defence! We cater for it all.

Don't you teach Self Defence as part of the Traditional Martial Arts training?

Indeed we do, all Taekwon-do students learn a special self protection syllabus as part of their standard training.

So what's the difference between the Self Defence classes & the Self Defence taught in the Taekwon-do classes?

The Self Defence only classes are geared towards the general public and suitable to those with either normal or low fitness levels and no previous martial arts experience. The Self Defence taught as part of the Taekwon-do classes can be little more in depth as they are geared towards practicing martial artists. Both types do the job and benefit the students immensely.

Will practicing Taekwon-do get me fit as well?

Indeed it will. Not only will it get you fit, it will tone your body & help you lose weight

So what's the difference between fitness in the Taekwon-do & the Fitness only classes?

The difference is the level of intensity & self discipline expected of students. For example, Taekwon-do students cannot just take a break whenever they want, whereas those in the Fitness classes can. However, even in the Fitness only we will still push you hard, but only if you ask us too, as they are meant to be fun as well as rewarding.

What is Combat Fitness?

Combat Fitness is based on martial arts training, in order to get you fit. This can be pad work, bag work, aerobic & anaerobic exercise, flexibility work, circuit training etc. But it doesn't involve fighting, sparring or traditional type exercises like patterns (forms/kata) and training is a lot more relaxed. Plus its a lot of fun.

Is Combat Fitness like Tae-Bo or Cardio Karate?

No, there is no music for a start and training is based on actual combat techniques & training rather than simply dancing about. There will of course be similarities in some area, but Combat Fitness will increase areas that Tae-Bo & Cardio Karate can`t. For example, consistant training will increase not only your stamina & overall fitness levels, but technique, reflexes & power levels as well.

Do you do trial classes?

Yes, in both Taekwon-do and Fitness we offer trial classes, allowing you to see if you like it first. Unfortunately, as the Self Defence courses are 'monthly' we cannot offer trial classes, but as they are cheap anyway, you wouldn't lose much even if you didn't like them or feel they were of benefit, which we sincerely doubt. In fact many train regularly for refreshers & further practice.

What should I wear?

For trial classes in Taekwon-do, Self Defence courses & Combat Fitness simply wear tracksuits, jogging bottoms, T-shirts etc. Eventually, in Taekwon-do you will have to wear a dobok (uniform), but you are not required to get one straight away. For Fitness & Self Defence you continue in what ever you feel comfortable wearing.

How do you pay for training?


Do you have to sign a contract like many schools ask you to?

No, we don't believe contracts are conductive or necessary and we have a great system in place to ensure your training fees are kept low, both now & in the future (details when you attend classes, but trust us, you`ll love it).

Can I pay per lesson?

No, unfortunately, past trials have shown us that accepting payment per lessons not only takes up a large amount of lesson time, but actually increases training fees for those who want to train a lot. For example, the average lesson fee per class is £6, so someone training twice a week will end up paying £54, where as at Harrow Martial Arts its a lot cheaper (see the fee schedule).

Just quickly, how do you compare to other local schools on price?

Local Karate Club: Classes are twice a week for an hour & a half & cost £5, whether adult or junior. It is run in a drinking club! The instructor is a blue belt with less than 2 years experience (in learning not even teaching) & they have no equipment at all! Membership to this club costs £80.
Local WTF Taekwon-do Club: £75 per month, 45 minute classes & 3 year contracts
Local ITF Taekwon-do Club: £45 per month for 2 x 45 minute classes
Note also: None of the above classes are even close to being as well equipped as we are!

How do I compare the quality of Harrow Martial Arts & other martial arts clubs?

Unfortunately, many people (especially parents) sign up for classes at the first school they visit. But quality varies wildly. We invite you to firstly try out our classes and compare our students to others (as the students are the real measure of quality within a martial arts school).

Feel free to contact those on the testimonials page as these are real instructors and students you would actually train along side, not just non-contactable names on a web site.

Finally, if visiting other school don't sign anything until you have made comparisons. Don't be fooled by special intro offers etc, as you may regret it later.

I'm not very fit, can I still learn martial arts?

Yes, your fitness will improve not matter what your starting level. You may ache a bit after your first few classes, but this is just your body adjusting and will eventually fade. If you are worried (or have a medical condition) you should consult your doctor prior to commencement of training.

Am I too old to learn martial arts?

No, contary to popular beliefs, their is no age limit to when people can start training. Many believe if you don't start training at 5 years old its too late, but that's not true. The average age people start martial arts is actually 21. However, it is not set in stone and we have students who have started at over 50 years old before & enjoy it immensely.

What age can children start?

Children can start at Harrow Martial Arts at age 5. However, all children start on approval. This means that we monitor then and see if they can cope as not all children can manage the hour and a half lessons we offer for children, when so young. Its not an indicator of the child's ability, just a fact of life and as we want your child to get the best out of their training, then if this is the case, we may ask you to bring them back in six months instead.

Be warned though, unlike many martial art classes that claim 'Children' classes that are usually 45 minutes of running around, with very little actual martial arts training or discipline, classes at Harrow Martial Arts are proper Martial Arts Classes, just for young people. They are fun, but disciplined properly. Feel free to ask any of our parents what they think of our children's classes.

I'm not all that flexible, and have been told Taekwon-do involves mostly high kicking techniques, is this the case?

This is a popular myth, but incorrect. Though Taekwon-do is famous for is beautiful and powerful array of kicking techniques, Taekwon-do includes many other 'non-kicking' techniques as well. From hand strikes, to joint locks to throws and close quarter combat techniques, in fact kicking is just one part of the system, but often overly emphasised for publicity etc. As for flexibility, you dont have to be flexible to begin with, as flexibility training is included, but even the most non-flexible person can practise Taekwon-do because of the myriad of other techniques involved and we teach you to utilise what you have, to your advantage as well, as all students are different.

Is that the Taekwon-do I've seen in the Olympics?

No, there are different styles of Taekwon-do, the most popular two are ITF and WTF. ITF tends to concentrate more on technical, traditional and self defence training and WTF on the sport sparring side. ITF does have a sport side as well for those that want it, but ITF Style sparring is different from WTF. Please see the Traditional section for more information.

Where can I find more information on Taekwon-do?

Please visit the Rayners Lane Taekwon-do Academy web site for in depth information on Taekwon-do and the Traditional side of Harrow Martial Arts. Please click here to view it.

Where can I find more information on martial arts in general?

About.com has a good martial arts FAQ. Please click here to view it

I have more questions?

For any other questions you may have, please feel free to contact us by calling 07759 438779 or emailing info@harrowmartialarts.com.

To ask is a moments shame, not to ask, and remain ignorant is a life long shame - Tao Te Ching