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Choosing a style

Martial arts are for everyone, but not every martial art is for everyone.  Invest the time to review what it is you are after before investing your time and money.


 

Things to Consider

People often group all martial arts together, and then start looking at which place is closer to an apartment or lowest price.  Most people wouldn't mix up boxing, wrestling, or fencing, but those are examples of combative (martial) arts.  The difference between other arts can be even more diverse.  Do not make the common mistake that all classes are the same. They will have different strategies and practice and condition in different ways.
 

You should consider what you are really after in the end, and then decide what system will get you there.

 

Careful With Labels

Just like the term "martial arts" particular styles can have hundreds of variations.  Investigate the school you are considering to truly understand what version of the style they cover.

 

Know What You Want

Have a visual of what you want in the end.  What physical ability do you want in the end?  Is this covered at all in the style you are considering?  Is it briefly introduced, or is it a focus of the style?

 

Understand What Training Will Be

People often focus so hard on their dream of final ability, they forget to consider the type of practice that will get them there.  If you want to be the worlds best grappler, but can't stand rolling on the ground with people, you need to determine if you will overcome this obstacle.

 

You don't have to be born ready to master a art, you can learn.  Phobias do not have to lock you out from your dream, you can overcome them.  You just need to understand the challenge you are accepting.  Decide if the end goals is worth pushing yourself with this challenge.    

 

Remember Thou Art Mortal

A famous expression said to remind Roman Caesar's to be humble.  This is sound advice for martial arts practitioners as well.  If your imagination is saturated with images of becoming bulletproof or flying in some movie fashion you need to take a step back and understand what you will really get from this training.  You can stretch your normal abilities in a list of impressive ways, but you will not become superhuman.

 

This lesson in humility is also important to see in instructors.  If the instructors portray themselves as unstoppable masters of any form of combat, let them know their talents are wasted and they should spend all of their time protecting the world.  Then, do not walk, but run out the door.  If the instructor understands they have advanced areas of knowledge in a particular form of combat that could help mitigate risk, consider if you would benefit from that skill.