What’s the best martial art style to learn?
This is a common question I get asked on a weekly basis and it should not be taken lightly, to some of us who have dedicated our lives to the practice of martial arts, we sometimes forget what a daunting task it is just to choose a martial art and to start learning and practising it.
Let’s look at it in a little more detail, if you don’t know and what I should point out at this stage is if you think you are going to master any martial art then I have some disappointing news for you, It is never going to happen. After 46 years training in the martial arts perfection does not exist, it will always be perfect in its imperfections, a bridge too far but that is not to say that you cannot become competent. For me I always look for ‘’Progression and not perfection’’ In my martial arts I am always trying to do it better than last time working on my weaknesses instead of strengths. It took me five years just to get some sort of understanding why footwork was so important, even then Master Enoeda shouted to me at a karate training session ‘’More Footwork needed, very bad’’ in his demanding enthusiastic way. (Anyone who has trained and studied with Master Enoeda will know what I mean)
So the question was what’s the best martial art style to learn? For me the question should be reversed to what type of person are you dealing with and what are their motivation and personality for wanting to learn martial arts.
If someone wants to learn to fight then boxing or Thai boxing would be a good place to start having said that, it would serve no purpose to help the student if he/she was the type of person who felt uncomfortable when taking repeated blows to the face and body, after a few hits their confidence would drain away quickly and they would give up, not achieving their objective. So we have to look at the person we are dealing with, do they have a quiet yin energy and if this is so maybe they should study Aikido, if they like competition then maybe MMA would be a safe bet. So for me it is matching the person to the art and not just saying you should do this martial art because it is more effective. Do you just want to build some confidence, keep fit or have a social evening? These are all valid reasons and at the end of the day you have to research what is near to you and what you are prepared to do to learn and achieve your goals.
I will just leave you with a thought.
‘‘Preserving tradition is not the same thing as refusing to change; rather, it is from the ongoing search for perfection that traditions emerge.’’
By GM Angelo