• That's a question that only you can answer, maybe with a little help of your physician (in determining whether you should practice martial arts at all). While some people advocate that "my style fits any individual", it is very debatable if any single individual would adapt to *any* style. It depends heavily on your objectives, but remember, these may change with time. Many people who begin martial arts training strictly to learn self-defense become quite interested in other aspects as their training progresses. (a) What are you looking for? For instance, if you are looking for "on the street" self-defense training Taiji or Kendo might not be your first choice. Some choices: Jujutsu, Hapkido, some Gongfus, Karate, Ken(m)po, Baguazhang, Tang Soo Do, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Ninjutsu, Kali/Escrima/Arnis, Silat, or Xingyiquan. If you are looking for meditation and philosophy Western Boxing is probably a poor choice as well. Some choices: most Gongfus, Aikido, Taiji, Kendo, Kenjutsu, or Iaido. If you are looking for a sport and competition, Shaolin Long Fist would probably be a bad choice. Some choices: Fencing, some Karates/Gongfus, Judo, Boxing, Kendo, Tae Kwon Do, Savate, or Shuaijiao. If you are looking for intense body conditioning and muscle development, Aikido is probably not the style for you. Some choices: some Okinawan Karates, Judo, some Gongfus, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Capoeira. Now these are general guides - in truth any art can be taught in a manner which promotes any of these things - Taiji masters have competed, some Aikido schools have rigorous workouts associated with the class, etc. The way to find out is to look at three things, only one of which is directly linked to the style. - -The basics of the style (what does it teach, what is it used for) - -The skill and the teaching style of the teacher - -The purpose and the logistics of the school. See Section (5) "How do I choose a school" for the answers to the last two questions. Also remember that more "complete" arts (ones with more techniques) naturally require longer periods of time for a practitioner to achieve a given level of proficiency. This is neither good nor bad; there are good points on both sides of the debate. This is simply another facet to account for in your decision. (b) Advice of many experienced Martial Artists here on NetLand coincide in the point of "go, read, look around, ask---then decide". As above the teacher and the school have as much to do with what you will learn as the style. Check out the styles in your area. Go see some classes of the different styles and see what interests you and what you think you would stick with. (c) Many people change from one style to another. While this is a common practice, accepted as a means of development, it is known that the first style is normally the one that leaves the base, the more profound "marks". Try to choose a style that suits your needs and at the same time offers you a kind of "challenge" to go on learning.
  • What do you want to get out of it and what are you willing to do? Every art will give you something, I would submit that most will just give you a good workout though. Taekwondo will teach you to do all sorts of cool looking kicks, but you won't be able to use them for self-defense, so if you are looking to learn self-defense, don't look here. Karate will teach you all sorts of techniques, you will know every possible way you can block a given punch, but you try thinking this out when someone is trying to punch you, they will do their own attacks and won't care for what you know how to counter. Ju-Jitsu is great... if your opponent will follow you to the ground, I promise you if you fall over and think I'm going to follow you down, you're quite mistakened, and if you think that joint-locks and submission holds are going to win you fights, then I hope you run into the kind of person that would let you put them in one. Tai chi is the art for you, if you don't care about fighting and seek inner peace, meditating will make you calm and after 20 years of repeating those slow movements you might be able to devine a way to use it for self-defense, but maybe not. Animal Kung Fu arts are great... if you happen to be the animal that the art is teaching about. Praying Mantis kung fu would be the coolest if you were a praying mantis, but if you are human like me, maybe you should learn to fight like one Moral of the story, you have to learn to accept the short commings of most every mainstream martial arts, they are either undertrained, poorly trained, or they are in it for the money and don't care whether or not they are trained. You need to find in the art what you want to get out of it. It's not going to be easy to find a martial art that will really teach you how to defend yourself like the name "Martial Art" would imply that they would.
  • What you study is not as important as who teaches it, and what the classes are Western Boxing will teach you nothing but punching. However, the training is excellent and there isn't a whole lot of difference between gyms, because there isn't as much "style" in boxing, although, like all fighting methods, does have a system behind it. As well, you will become very good at punching. Many of the asian styles are more difficult to endose. The main reason is that many of them are modified popularisms of the legitimate art (i.e. the techniques taughts are not the same as the original techniques) There are also issues with control. For example, Karate is extremely popular, yet Karate essentially comes from two small cities (which are now one bigger city) and is one of the most popular asian martial arts around. This change occured in less than 60 years, and in many cases it's very difficult to find any good self-defense, or even fitness, from most dojos, simply because it is so diluted. As well, orthodox Karate would have, for example, made use of a wide variety of training equipment to improve grappling, punching, and kicking. Now, the only thing retained are the Kata (which are more numerous since its popularity rose) which do not involve any real contact, nor can they teach techniques without knowledge of grappling, punching, and kicking techniques by the instructor.
  • Aikido. It is elegant in that it uses the other person's energy against them. Meaning that if you fight an aikido master, you're just beating yourself up. They do quick little movements and before you know it, you're face down on the floor.
  • I do not think one art can encompass all the essentials. It has to be an amalgam of several styles and systems. I think the best martial art is one that can adapt to any system or style. It must contain all the elements of internal power generation. It must be center line conscious; but be able to work on the outside and inside and work well with hidden applications and floating equalizers. It must respect all teachings and skill levels, yet not limit itself to parameters. It must be both gaseous and liquid and able to create keys for any gate. Finally, It must be able to evolve spiritually.
  • You have to choose from what is available and what you wish to accomplish. Tai chi is good for overall fitness, but not for defense. Tai kwan do requires lot of practice and agility. It has vulnerabilities and it difficult to learn. Overall, if you dedicate yourself, Kung Fu, a favorite of Bruce Lee, encompasses many of the useful skill of most of the martial arts. If you like weapons, and have years to train, go to ninja school. If you can find one. Many YMCA, YWCA facilities and Women centers teach short term self defense moves which are useful, if practiced. These courses cover the basics only, but that is often enough. In any skill, MA requires regular training so that your body responds and not your mind. Years of breaks and bruises are the price you pay. I have found training to have many rewards, But I've been hurt more often in training than from the "mugging" than has never come.!
  • I don't think any one martial art is the best. They all have their own weaknesses and strengths. To me, one would have to learn multiple martial arts to be well rounded. Just studying one martial art has it's advantage in that you grow to be adept in it but studying many martial arts gives you different ways to defend yourself and different ways to approach the way to defend yourself. Learning and practicing one martial art is not enough. The best martial art is the one you develop when you've learned all of them and encompassed them in yourself.
  • Another person cannot answer that for you, you have to pick the martial art that relates with who you are and the one you like. e.g. if i was aggressive and energetic i would pick boxing, if i was muscular and technical i would pick chinese kenpo.
  • Well you know my opinions. But if you are wanting to expand your knowledge of martial arts, I would choose one or more of the following: Kempo Karate Jutsu, Bushido, Karate, Judo, and Kendo (all of wich I have taken and am currently studying). I would also suggest Tai Kwan Do and Aikido as well.
  • There are so many martial arts out there to study. It's a big world out there! The main thing to consider is "what are you looking to get out if it?" After that one can divide them into primarily sporting and primarily non-sporting. Then, armed and unarmed. I used to study Filipino martial arts, but it was mostly focused on unarmed combat with a bit of weapons training. It was definitely non-sporting. Now I study Historical European Martial Arts, focusing mostly on German Longsword and Italian Rapier. I've also started Sword & Buckler as taught in the manual MS. I.33. All primarily armed, and definitely non-sporting. However, all sword arts have a large amount of grappling, and knife fighting has huge amount of grappling, due to the range involved. But that's just me. I'm not interested in scoring points in a tournament, but maybe you are. Maybe you're interested in self-defence, in which case a military combatives course would be great if you can find it. If you're interested in competing, then TKD, Karate, Kendo, Wrestling, Western Sport Fencing, Judo, Boxing, MMA, and the like are all good choices. Good luck in your search. I hope you find something that resonates with you.
  • I personally like Fencing.
  • I suggest you think less about the style name and seek out the teacher with the most skill instead. Learning from a true grand master will do more for your abilities than learning from a lower level teacher regardless of the style. For example, if there are 10 different schools in your area being run by 5 masters at 2nd Dan, 3 by masters at 3rd Dan, 1 by a master at 4th Dan, and 1 by a master at 5th Dan ... first check them out to verify they are real and not frauds, then go to the 5th Dan, he'll be the better teacher and you will learn more faster than at the other schools ... would you study math from a high school drop out or a Ph.D. proffessor??? There is of course the possibility that the highest ranking teacher will only offer lessons in a style you dislike ... so factor in yourself ... do you prefer to stay back and kick, or block in a way that lets you in close to grapple ... are you short & wide or tall & thin ... are you super strong or not, are you agile and flexible ... what sort of things do you prefer ... factor this in and then pick the best teacher that teaches the type of style you prefer. And then there is your time frame ... do you want to only learn for a short 3 or 4 years or a long 5 or more decades??? TKD and Judo are both scaled down versions of their parent arts and are fairly quick and fairly easy to learn ... whereas Ninjitsu, Tibetan Vin Tsun, and Tai Chi Chuan do not cut any corners and are very deep and take a great deal of time to learn ALL of the many aspects to them. Learning how to combine all of these aspects often takes longer than the lifespan of the student. So, first consider what you want with much more detail ... what are you willing to put in (2 hours once a week or 15 hours per day every day for example) and what are you trying to get out of it ... simple self defense is one thing, but becoming the next grand master is something else. Do you want to play sporting games of tag for points and trophies ... try TKD, boxing, Muay Thai, or any of the tournement Karate styles. If you are a cop or security guard who needs to capture and subdue without actually harming (too much) ... try Aikido or Jujitsu. If you are a soldier going into a war zone, or a spy, or work for an organized crime group, you may wish to consider some of the truly deadly martial arts such as HwrangDo, or Ninjitsu. If you are a doctor, ambulance, life guard, or other rescue person with an interest in healing not harming, try Tai Chi Chuan or Wing Chun (Vin Tsun) ... many of the Chinese Kung Fus include herbalogy and internal controls for your improved health. The list of maybees is very long and not every art is for everyone. You will have to ask yourself which ones, or which teachers are NOT for you ... a process of elimination should shorten the list and help you to pick one and get started. ... keep your mind even sharper than you keep your sword!
  • It all depends on what you want to achieve. They're all good physically and all have benefits such as developing reflexes and flexibility and all are great for discipline. The best, would be to go check out some classes from varuios styles and ask if you can stay and watch, many dojos allow it, then you can see what's more for you and I would also suggest to visit more than one place of each style because different Senseis have different approaches to how they teach.
  • It depends on what you wish to study, I myself would recommend jujitsu first..then kobuto for the added fun of getting to play with the "toys" weaponry
  • To have fun and look really good while you do it, try regional capoeira. It is such a blast. Plus the music, acrobatics, dance and culture really add to it all to just make you feel good. Kempo, Jiu Jitsu or Jeet Kune Do are wonderful for practical applications. I was a kempo student for 3 years, and have been a capoeirista for the last year. I also really want to learn Ba Gua, Black Python Kung Fu, Jiu Jitsu and Drunken Boxing.
  • If you're looking for a martial art specifically designed for self-defense, nothing beats Krav Maga.
  • For something fun & friendly, probably Tae Kwon Do. It depends on what kinda stuff you like.
  • Jiu-jitsu: It is the most practical, and allows moves for close quarters; because in real situations, blokes just 'close in', Man!
  • Traditional Wing Chun.
  • ... yes ... check my profile ... Judo & Jujitsu Aikido Ninjitsu Tai Chi & Tai Chi Chuan Vin Tsun Kuen

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