How Do You Know Which Martial Arts Style Is Right For You?
Written by Gary Edwards Head MMA coach at Laurel Mountain MMA, North Carolina.
I’ve always been curious how or why someone chooses a particular martial art for themselves to study. What are the influences behind a student’s decision to walk in the front door and sign up for classes? Do you drive down the road and pick the first school you see? These days, a five mile drive around a suburban neighborhood can pique all kinds of curiosity. Tae-Kwondo, Kung-Fu, Tai-Chi, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Krav-Maga, and Jiu-Jitsu are just a few of the options available…so how do you choose?
Are you influenced by TV? Old Bruce Lee movies? Watching the UFC? Martial Arts magazines? Does a friend study a particular art and informs you of the benefits? Are you attracted to a spiritual form over a more physical full contact art?
I’m also very curious if students try out a few styles of martial arts before settling in on the art form that suits their needs best. When I was a kid, I left many schools because I didn’t like the instructor or the level of instruction. Sometimes I would go a few years without training because I couldn’t find quality teachers in my town that kept me focused and challenged. A big pet peeve of mine while attending a martial arts school was the absence of the head instructor. It never made sense when the higher level belts would teach class while the instructor either hung out in his office or sometimes didn’t show up at all. In my opinion, the success of a traditional martial art school depends on the quality and consistency of instruction.
Why did you choose the particular martial art you study today or have studied in the past?