How to Join & FAQs

Thinking about joining our martial arts school in Stanwood, WA?

Scroll down for answers to common questions that new students (and parents) often have when looking for a martial arts program.

What’s the procedure for joining?

If you’re interested in joining NWSMA, send us an email to make an appointment for a free trial class. (Our instructors work full time so this is the fastest way for us to get back to you!)

After you’ve tried a class, our enrollment process is pretty informal:

  1. Paperwork (registration, 2 waivers)
  2. Payment (1-time enrollment fee + tuition)
  3. Receive your uniform, belt, and manual
  4. Begin training!


What are the benefits of martial arts training?

  • learning self-defense skills
  • increased self-confidence & self-esteem
  • staying active & losing weight
  • improving strength and conditioning
  • increasing coordination & flexibility
  • improving mental focus & memory
  • harmony between mind, body, and spirit
  • internal strength & peace
  • managing stress through exercise
  • increased energy levels
  • learning progressively (in steps) in a structured and disciplined environment
  • earning a black belt!

Do you have classes for children under 7?

We do not accept students under 5. Prospective students ages 5 & 6 must come in for a free trial class. We will evaluate their ability to learn in our class environment. We reserve the right to ask 5 and 6 year olds to wait until they are older to train with us.

Do you have classes for adults? 

Not specifically, but all adults are always welcome in our intermediate/advanced classes. Even if there are youth present in any class, we teach in a way that ensures a challenge for upper belts, older teens, and adults. We assign more challenging exercises to adults. We often break up into small groups so that older students get teaching tailored to adult learning styles.

It is beneficial for all of our students to have a variety of people in our classes. Youth n need to experience practicing self-defense on different-sized partners. Plus, family members can take class together. We believe martial arts should be a fun family activity!

Do I have to sign a payment contract?

No way! Some martial arts schools require payment contracts, but NWSMA doesn’t believe in them. We understand that life happens, and sometimes you need a month off for soccer, baseball, or financial reasons. Like any other sports program, we do require all students or their guardians to sign a waiver.

Will martial arts training take away from my child’s focus on schoolwork?

Absolutely not. We like NWSMA students to make a long-term commitment to martial arts, but we also teach that schoolwork and family obligations are a first priority. In fact, we see many students improve their grades after starting a martial arts program. Martial arts helps students improve their focus, motivation, sense of responsibility, and self-discipline.

Will martial arts make my child violent?

Absolutely not. Martial arts has never endorsed violence. In our program, we emphasize self-defense and non-instigation. We aim first to improve posture and self-confidence, which often de-escalates bullying before it starts. We then teach students how to defend themselves. Our philosophy is that force is only to be used if all other options have been exhausted and only if their physical safety is in immediate and serious danger.

My child has mild ADD, dyslexia, etc. Or, I’m an adult with limitations. Can they/I still take martial arts?

The answer is probably yes. NWSMA instructors have experience accommodating many different needs, from ADD to students with partial blindness. Contact us to talk about your specific needs and what accommodations might be needed.

As for adult students with limitations, we once had a great grandma train with us for several years. What an inspiration! Staying active is important, and we welcome anyone who wants to work on their fitness. Tell us about your concerns, and we’ll help you find alternatives to aggravating activities.

How safe is martial arts?

The risk of injury in martial arts is no higher than in any other sport or exercise program. We take safety very seriously, but as you all know, accidents can occur. NWSMA instructors are very conscious of all types of potential injury, and spend time teaching correct basic motion to prevent repetitive stress injuries. We include warm-ups and stretching in every class. We also require students to exercise good control during partner drills and sparring, and wear proper protection gear for sparring.

You teach so many types of martial arts, how do I pick one?

Talk to us! Read about Karate and Tae Kwon Do and see which one might appeal to you. TKD’s focus on leg strength would make a great complement to soccer or dance, and Karate’s focus on hand techniques is great for tennis and baseball players. Arnis is taught to all students, because it focuses on street defense and is a good complement to traditional martial arts.

Any of our programs can meet your needs, so don’t hesitate to call or come in to see us today!

If you have more questions, please send us an email! We look forward to helping you meet your goals~