In this next blog series, we’re going to be taking a look at how to choose the martial art that’s right for you. People are often confused when it comes to choosing a martial art. There are so many options, so many martial art schools, so many different styles of martial art.

So, in the coming videos, we’re going to discuss the various things that we think are important in choosing a martial art. So that you get the most out of your martial arts training for yourself, or for your child…and that you end up getting the results that you’re after.

So with that in mind, the number one thing that you need to be focused on when choosing a martial art is what your goals are.

What outcomes do you want to receive from your training? This is probably the most obvious, but yet the most overlooked part of choosing a martial art. Why? Because most people choose a martial art based upon preconceived ideas, videos they’ve watched on YouTube like this, what’s popular or trendy, what they see on TV, what their friends do, et cetera, et cetera.

Having an idea of what you want from your training, or for your child’s training, is really important. This is the one factor that will determine if you get the results that you are looking for. I’ll give you an example. I have three children, my youngest is a boy and my girls are in their young teens and late teens.

As a parent, I’m looking for physical skills in a martial art which are going to give them really effective self defence. Now, effective self defence is not something that will work for a 100 kilo guy in MMA or something like that, as opposed to something that might work for my ten year old son.

So, when I’m thinking about martial arts for my children, and the physical outcomes. I’m looking for self defence as one of those outcomes. There’s many others and we’ll talk about those as well. But first is self defence, and appropriate self defence for their size, for their age. Then being real realistic about the outcomes that each martial art will give.

For instance, I don’t want my teenage daughters learning wrestling or jiu jitsu as their first line of self defence. As a father, I can’t imagine my daughter using jiu jitsu, brazilian jiu jitsu or judo. I did judo myself and I love judo. But I can’t imagine my small teenage daughter being able to use any of those styles effectively against someone who is much bigger and stronger than her in a self defence situation.

And then again. She may need self defence against someone at school who is around her size or age as well. And in that situation, I don’t want her using something that’s going to really hurt the person that she’s defending herself against.

So, obviously, I’m a little bit biased because we teach kung fu in the way we teach it and we want to have a range of techniques that go from passive and defensive all the way through to the most serious techniques, which would only be used in really serious self defence situations.

For instance, striking your eyes, throat or groin. Now, you as a parent may be looking for something quite different for that.

You may be looking for coordination, and maybe the sport side of it, the competitive side of it. So you might like a taekwondo school or a karate sports school, even MMA, or a boxing gym that focuses on competing. So if you’re looking for that style of training for your child, then you need to find a school which will give you those benefits, and outline a way in which you can progress towards competing and the different rules and techniques that can be used in that competitive environment.

So the physical benefits, concepts, and outcomes don’t only stop with self defence. Of course, in any style there’s different ways of moving there’s flexibility, coordination, balance, agility. Everything that goes into creating really good movement patterning is also an essential in my opinion, as an outcome for physical skills. So you have to really think about what you want to achieve out of your training on the physical skill side. And of course there will be other benfits such as mental and emotional skills as well.

There’s spirituality that goes into some martial styles and training as well. So have a think about the outcomes that you want for yourself, what training style you would like to see and how you would like to develop as a student, or for your child as a student, and what are the true physical outcomes that you want for your child.

And then go about finding a martial art style and then a martial art school which delivers those outcomes.

So firstly, have a think, write down the physical outcomes that you’re looking for, and then we’ll go into the next video and talk about the different styles and schools.