Health & Energy: How to choose a martial arts school

Everyone should take martial arts. The question is... Which combination works for you?
Many people do not know that there are different types of martial arts, or different ways of teaching them.  As training in the martial arts has been described as the biggest decision people have made for themselves and their children, I strongly urge you to make an educated choice.
Method: Hard vs. Soft
  • Hard styles are "hard' because they focus on the joining of objects through speedpower andstrength.  Often times they will put emphasis on sparring.
  • Soft styles are "soft" because they focus on the manipulation of pre-joined objects through redirection leverage.
Development: Internal vs External
  • Internal styles are "internal" because they focus upon breathing meditation techniques, and often incorporate flowing movements and skeletal alignments.
  • External styles are "external" because they focus more upon cardiovascular development and strength training.
Mindset: Competitive vs Cooperative
  • Competitive schools will often have "fight teams" and focus on winning/losingcompetitions andtrophies.  (Sport application)
  • Cooperative schools will focus on helping each other trainimprovement of self esteem and aptitude.  (Self defense application)
All of the above examples can, of course, be merged together.  There can be hard and soft styles, internal and external focus etc.  The important thing, is to find your perfect mix, or have a professional help you find it.

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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