SHOPPING FOR MARTIAL ART INSTRUCTION
I can appreciate the considerable difficulty and confusion encountered by someone attempting to decipher their options as to choosing which style of martial art may be best for them. There are so many different styles to choose from. An unwise decision could mean a big waste of time, money, effort and being sentenced to mediocrity with no chance for parole.
Some people are attracted to the modern approach which is to practice a combination of disciplines concurrently. They refer to this as mixed martial arts [MMA]. In my earlier years of training I eagerly pursued this path for a while.
Superficially you're under the impression that you are acquiring more useful knowledge. As I encountered more masterful instruction I realized the value of picking a really good system, a very good teacher, being a good student
and reaching a high level of proficiency. It's the subtleties, the finer points of a good system, that account for its functionality and grants you genuine expertise. There may be a few people in the world with nothing to do but train all day every day, who are able to approach a mastery of more than one system. But overwhelmingly, players who try to tackle more that one system will never function
optimally at any. I had a neighbor who boasted that he had many trade skills. He claimed that he was skilled at carpentry, plastering, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning. He could plaster well, he was average at carpentry. I'd hire
him for that. But as far as the other jobs, I believe that I'd rather pay him not to do them.
A good martial art will challenge you. Not just your muscle strength but mainly your finer senses of awareness of balance, timing, motion, angles, forces, distance and energy. Developing these internal aspects should improve all of
your endeavors and efforts in anything that you do. But they are also top tools for controlling combat.
Having studied a few different arts myself I know full well that some arts have much more to offer you than others. People could and did concoct various styles however they though fit. But then as in any field, a genius comes along
and out does everyone else with something astoundingly deep, beautiful and effective. This is where the word "ART" fits in, you see, although it is used far too generously these days.
So unless you know what you are looking for and how to recognize it you won't be well prepared to get your self into the best situation.People don't tend to see the whole picture, the full impact and ramifications of the different paths available to them.
Many people are not on the most beneficial path for them but, such is life. I just wanted to make you think about your direction. I see so many people 2-3-4 years of training but down the wrong road. The further they go the longer
the way back to get back on the right road.
But if people don't come to see me then I can't help them.