Which Martial Art is Best?

This is a very popular question among people wanting to get started in martial arts but don’t really know the difference between all the styles out there. Now before anyone can HONESTLY answer this question for you, you have to understand exactly what you’re looking for in a martial art. There are many reasons to get involved in the martial arts, and when you start asking yourself exactly what you want, then you can narrow down the different options for picking a style that is perfect for you.

Martial Arts for Self Defense

Any martial art can claim that it is the best for self defense, but ultimately it is up to the school and the instructor to provide a quality program. First off, look and see if a particular school offers a self-defense course that is separate from their regular classes. Even if it’s just a 6-8 week session or occasional seminars, these are excellent because they are FOCUSED on self defense, whereas a regular martial arts class can bounce from traditional martial arts, to workouts, to competition technique, to self defense. If your class is 1 hour long and covers all 4 aspects in 1 class, how much time do you really spend in a particular subject? 15 minutes? If you’re lucky and the class is evenly balanced. Bottom line, look for a school that offers a dedicated self defense program outside of the regular classes. Often times, you will take the short time you spend in regular class and tie it in to what you are doing in your focused class, or vice versa. Tiger Kwon’s has just finished week 3 of our 6 week self defense course, and it’s been a great session so far.

Martial Arts for Physical Fitness

If your only goal is getting in shape, then you’re looking for a class that is DEDICATED to workouts. You also want to find a school or gym that offers these classes on a consistent basis – at least 2-3 times a week. For example, Tiger Kwon’s offers a Kickboxing class 3 nights a week IN ADDITION to the regular classes. Why do you need the specific workout class as opposed to a regular martial arts class? Well, as mentioned before, you need focus on a particular aspect in order to get the most out of your workouts. Your body also needs consistency and intensity. Regular martial arts classes with 15-20 minutes of conditioning are great for getting started and shedding a few pounds, but for real results, you need a longer, more intense workout than you would get in a class that is focused more on technique than conditioning.

Competitive or Sport Martial Arts

Here we are looking at someone who is going for the medals. Again, you want to find a school that has a class or team dedicated to competition. If you just want to enter some local tournaments and bring home a silver or bronze medal, you can stick to regular class. But if you want to go for the gold at the state, regional or national level, a dedicated team, class or training camp will help you get there.  Tiger Kwon’s just finished up session 2 of our World Champ Sparring Camp, and we had great results in and out of class. Almost every martial art offers a form of competition, (Karate, Judo, kickboxing, etc.) but one of the most popular competitive martial arts in the world is Taekwondo, with the most practitioners worldwide, and currently the only martial art in the Olympic Games.

So you may be thinking by now, just how does this answer your question. Well, the art is primarily irrelevant. Who am I to say one art is better than another? That would be completely biased. It is up to the instructor to be able to teach in a practical manner that students can understand, the school to provide a focused program, and the student to know exactly what to look for in a school, in a program, and in themselves. It all comes down to evaluating your own goal and taking steps toward accomplishing that goal. Let me know what your goals are, and hopefully I can point you in the right direction.

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