- Martial History
Does the art have a good martial history? This means that the art has been tried, tested and proven effective by old and new alike. If you are looking for an art which will protect your life, then it should have a history wherein its practioners were able to save lives, protected oneself, family and land. Who were its practitioners? Any notable personalities involved?
- Efficiency and Realism
Is the art comprehensible? Does it require grandiose and magnificent moves one needed to perfect in 10 years before one can apply it? Does the art provide realistic survival means and techniques in the field of battle? Am I being taught only an aspect of fighting or will it cover all ranges including the use of weapons?
- Qualified Instructor
Is the teacher qualified to teach? What is the teacher's martial resume? What is the character? Who are the ones allowed to teach?
- Promotes Good Values/Character
Does it only promote violence? Will immersing oneself in the art make you a better person physically, intellectually and spiritually? Will it enable me to help myself and then my fellowman?
- System of Progression
Is there a good solid base for progression? What will one be able to achieve in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years? Do they have a hierarchical system based on skill level or based on how much one can pay?
- Techniques vs. Principles
Is there a curriculum to the system? Am I being given final movements or building blocks for me to develop my move? Am I being allowed to express myself in the movement or am I limited?
- Self-defense vs. Self Preservation?
Am I being taught to defend myself or to keep myself alive? Will this extend to others as well or be only limited to myself? Does the art promote good health, good living and success in everything that I do?