Everybody has thought about a study of the martial arts. They see the Jackie Chan flicks, they hear the crime horror tales, and they know that if they knew something like Karate or Kung Fu they would be in better shape if they got attacked.
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 let’s go through a few arts and consider what the correct decision is going to be.
Karate is built up of powerful kicks and punches. The training tends to be regimented, and you will be expected to sweat much and a lot. Depending on the style of karate you end up with, you may end up studying such things as jointlocks, throws, and so on.
Kung Fu is a mixed bag. There are styles which focus on close in fighting, 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 odd and acrobatic 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 come across in corner malls is Taekwondo. Taekwondo advocates a rather large variety of kicks. This is an excellent strategy which keeps attackers back, and gives one a tremendous work out. There is usually an emphasis on sparring in many taekwondo training halls.
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 and harmonious art one can think about is Tai Chi Chuan. Tai Chi is slow moving, good for elders, but possessed of some of the finest self defense tricks. Mind you, being slow moving, it can take one a while to get to the level of good self defense.
Speaking of functional self defense moves, one should look into the Israeli Krav Maga. Krav Maga was designed not just for defense on the street, but for use in actual combat. It is filled with realistic tricks, 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, is jujitsu. Jujitsu has a history going back centuries, but most of it is now related to Ultimate Fighting Championships, Mixed Martial Arts, and venues of that sort. This is an extremely practical martial art, though one should always try to avoid wrestling types move on the street, 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 can examine when selecting the fighting discipline that is right for them. In the end, there are as many arts as there are individuals advocating them. Which study of martial arts a person chooses is up to the person.