What ‘Style’ do you do? Is a question often asked when one is discovered to be a training martial artist. Well, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter, martial arts can be divided into systems, and then even further into ‘styles’. So a system would relate to the likes of Kung Fu, Karate, TaeKwonDo etc. Then broken down even further, i.e. Wing Chun, Hung Gar, (Kung Fu), or Shotokan, Shukokai, Wado Ryu, (Karate), and so on. The martial arts come from all over Asia, From Vietnam, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand and again many more countries.
So, what’s in a style?? Well there are both external styles and internal, the external base heavily on physical power, strength, striking movements, these are referred to as ‘hard styles’. Internal, ‘styles’, base themselves upon breathing and internal health such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Hsing-I, often referred to as ‘soft styles’. They all however, develop physical dexterity, balance and physical co-ordination. They all benefit us not only just physical health but also mental wellbeing. By developing a focus onto the ‘NOW’ bringing our minds to the present and not drifting the mind past or future. You could actually say they are all in a fashion a form of meditation in movement.
We at the Blade Martial Arts Academy call our system Freestyle Karate and Kickboxing, for the purpose that this is typically what we do, however, within our unique system we teach forms of Karate, Hapkido, Tang Soo Do, Aikido, Krav Maga and Kickboxing. All of which are typically ‘hard styles’, although we integrate the softer side with breathing techniques and flowing movements or techniques.
Hapkido and Aikido, have similarities as these incorporate techniques like joint locks and joint manipulation via bio-mechanics and using the opponents energy against them. Hapkido has a major difference as striking is involved. Hapkido is from Korea, and incorporates many kicks and strikes as well as throws and also weapons.
Karate / Tang Soo Do – Tang Soo Do is Korean Karate, however, it also uses influences from Chinese Kung Fu, it is a great style with many kicks developing strong and powerful legs, allowing the practitioner to kick from any angle, also Tang Soo Do is the forerunner of Taekwondo (which was initially a name change only). Karate or Tang Soo Do, both offer the ability to build a strong defence and emphasis is on striking with hands, feet, elbows and knees.
Krav Maga – is in simple terms a combination of many of the martial arts, from Judo, Karate and even Thai Boxing, however, simplified to suit a more urban setting. This system is taught to the Israeli military.
Kickboxing – was developed late on and named as such around 1975, from sport full contact Karate. A combination of Boxing and any other kicking martial art, Karate, Taekwondo etc. Footwork and body movement here is key. Often trained for ring fighting it is also used on the mats and can be used in self defence.