Often the martial art we choose to practice is based upon what we have available around us. Not everyone has a Wing Chun studio nearby. Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu and Krav Maga are just now beginning to be available in major metropolitan regions. For the longest time, in the United States at least, the choices were down to a couple of forms of Karate or Taekwondo.
Now that we live in a world where some selection of different schools is possible, how do we determine which one is best for our purposes?
In this article, we will attempt to address the core of how to determine if a martial art is right for you.
- Ideal outcome
- Actual commitment
- Habitual practice
Why Having An Ideal Outcome Is Important
The ideal outcome is what you hope to achieve based upon realistic expectations. If you hope to become the next Bruce Lee, either you are making a life-long commitment to a goal, or you are being unrealistic with yourself.
The ideal outcome should be where you envision yourself and your capabilities. For some, it’s merely being able to be confident and have a feeling of safety knowing that if confronted with force, you have the means to protect yourself.
For others that work in a security-related field, it may not just be relegated to pure defense. Security professionals don’t always have the option for a speedy retreat and are instead stuck standing their ground in a bad situation. For them, it may be to neutralize and subdue an attacker as fast as possible.
And lastly, there is the person who has a family and wants to ensure that, if necessary, he or she can defend the family with as much force as necessary to ensure their survival.
Here’s a truth: it doesn’t matter what particular school of martial art you practice. The intent and practice of that art is everything.
Actual Commitment Versus Perceived Commitment
You can tell yourself you will practice a form of martial arts every single day and you may mean it. However, practice will show the truth of this. You can tell yourself and everyone around you that you practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu every single day. If you do not actually practice with the intent of mastering that form and bettering yourself, those words are worth less than the air you exhaled them with.
Identify how much time you can really guarantee to the practice of a martial art. Realistic. If you want only to make it once a week, so be it. Just stick to it. It’s better to stick to a commitment of practicing once a week than to haphazardly practice it every once in awhile.
Habitual Practice Is Key
Every martial art begins with the basics. The reason why instructors show you the basics and reinforce those basics before moving on to advanced techniques is that without mastering the basics, everything else is irregular. It is entirely possible for you to memorize a very fancy system of footwork and execute it reasonably well in front of an instructor. It is quite another thing to know that footwork and movement so well you can intimately blend it into your actual body’s mechanics when facing a person who intends you great harm.
It is far better to have turned basic movements into a rote habit than it is to have some fancy show lightly memorized but impractical in actual use.