Many people have done some form of training in the martial arts, however, many people quit before they discover the true values of the martial arts or experience the real essence of the arts.
Let's face it, most schools are dependent on large classes to pay the overhead and this leads to babysitting a lot of students that should not be in these classes. With this going on and the lack of experience from some instructors, the real students are trapped in the curriculum and never discover the full potential of their art.
Aside from the life skills like confidence and discipline gained from the martial arts, it is after-all a form of self defense and combat art form. Today's instructors are teaching out-dated techniques and exercises that will get their students killed in the real world but are easy to teach and retain students with.
When I set out to start my school I made a promise to myself that I would never cater to the business or quantity over quality of students. I hated the fact that schools were promoting a 3rd degree Black Belt at the age of 9 and 10! A Black Belt will never be awarded from me without knowing that the student has a high standard of actual combat skills.
My student learn all areas of combat and have been doing so before MMA became the sport it is today.
If your art does not cover all ranges of combat such as kicking, punching, trapping, throwing, grappling, short range and long range weapons then ask yourself honestly if the art is for fitness or real self defense.