There are many key factors and choices to make when deciding what martial arts school to attend. There are many different arts to choose from such as, Judo, Aikido or Taekwondo. Then within each art there are traditional and modern schools. Finally, out of those schools there are harder or softer disciplines that the master instills onto the student.
There are many different types of martial arts and it seems that the number continually grows. There are many established arts that have been around for decades and many even centuries. Judo is an art that employs leveraging your opponent’s weight and energy in order to throw or slam them onto the ground. Tai Chi is a very graceful and meditative art that is excellent for improving coordination. Then there is Aikido which involves redirecting the enemy’s aggressive energy into joint locks and submission moves.
Some of the more poplar ones are Kung Fu, Taekwondo and Karate. One of the most popular is Kung Fu. It is an art that patterns its fighting styles after the way animals fight and defend themselves. Taekwondo is art that stresses self-defense. The moves are 80% kicks and great coordination and strength is developed through the practice of this art. Karate is an art with the same principles as Taekwondo but not as many kicks and footwork.
After researching and deciding which art best fits your needs there are a couple of other factors for you. One is whether or not the school is traditional or modern. Traditional schools focus more on the basics of the art. They stress discipline and the movements are more rigid and formal. Modern schools are less focused on the basics and employ more exciting movements. These schools appear to have less discipline yet more energy.
The final factor is if the school is a hard or soft school. This is something that is mainly determined by the art that is taught. A hard school has more physical contact and increased strength conditioning. Soft schools stress less physical contact. Softer schools are the better choice for children and those not seeking the contact. Adults and athletes may enjoy a more physical art and school. Kenpo and Judo are examples of hard arts and Tai Chi is a soft one. The other arts vary from hard to soft depending on the master’s focus.
When choosing your school take the time and do the research. Do not settle for the first school you come across. Go to all the ones that you can find and see for yourself which are the best for you. Pay attention to the attention given to the students from the instructors, how safety is stressed and the school’s reputation. Most schools offer trial lessons or trial periods, if they do take full advantage. No matter which art you choose, remember not all improvements come overnight.