Everybody has, at one time or another, considered a study of the martial arts. They see the Bruce Lee movies, they hear the crime horror stories, and they realize knowing something like Karate or Kung Fu is a good thing.
The question becomes, then, do you study Karate or Kung Fu? Or Aikido or jujitsu or kenpo or taekwondo or…the choices can actually be a bit overwhelming. So chekc out the following video, then let’s go through a few arts and consider what the correct decision is going to be.
Karate is constructed of powerful kicks and punches. The training tends to be regimented, and you will be expected to sweat. Depending on the style of karate you choose, you may end up studying such things as jointlocks, throws, and so on.
There is a large variety of kung fu styles. There are styles which focus on close quarter combat, like Wing Chun, and there are styles like Shaolin which allow for more space and arm swinging techniques. There are very combative methods, like Preying Mantis, and there are esoteric and athletic methods, like Monkey style, Drunken style, or even the Drunken Monkey Style.
Most people usually start studying at nearby strip malls, and these locations often showcase Chinese Kenpo Karate. Chinese Kenpo is a tournament oriented style with an immense range of one on one self defense techniques. The difficult thing here is to ascertain whether the instructor is more focused on the street, or on tournaments.
Another art one will see in strip malls is Taekwondo. Taekwondo advocates a variety of kicks. This is an excellent strategy which keeps attackers away, and gives a tremendous work out. There is usually an emphasis on sparring in some taekwondo dojangs.
If one wishes to study more peaceful methods, one should look into Aikido. Aikdio means ‘the way of harmony in the spirit,’ and it concentrates on circular movements which harmonize with the incoming force. This is an art where it becomes obvious that one must truly conquer oneself before attempting to conquer another.
Another peaceful art is Tai Chi Chuan. Tai Chi is slow moving, good for old people, but possessed of some of the wickedest self defense moves you will ever see. Mind you, being slow moving, it sometimes takes a while to reach the level of effective self defense.
Speaking of functional self defense moves, one should consider Krav Maga. Krav Maga was developed not just for street use, but for use in actual combat. It is technique heavy, and one of the most useful arts one can study.
The last martial art we will consider, though there are more that one will come across and should look up on their own, is jujitsu. Jujitsu has a classical history, but most of it is heavily related these days to such things as Ultimate Fighting Championships, Mixed Martial Arts, and venues of that sort. This is an extremely useful martial art on the street, though one should always try to avoid going to the ground in any confrontation, as this presents an opportunity for an attacker’s friends to wade in, there could be sharp objects on the ground, and so on.
As I said, there are many other martial arts one should look at when selecting the fighting discipline that is right for them. In the end, there are as many arts as there are individuals teaching them. Which study of martial arts you pursue is going to be up to you.