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Is There A Best Martial Arts Style

? Essay, Research Paper Everything in today?s society is very fast-paced. No one these days has any time to do anything unless it is done within a few minutes to an hour. Technology is trying to make all things simpler for people, even with getting people into shape. Enhanced weight training machines are more used now than free weights, dietary supplements are used to artificially increase a person?s health, and certain drinks these days enhance muscle and athletic performance.

? Essay, Research Paper

Everything in today?s society is very fast-paced. No one these days has any time to do anything unless it is done within a few minutes to an hour. Technology is trying to make all things simpler for people, even with getting people into shape. Enhanced weight training machines are more used now than free weights, dietary supplements are used to artificially increase a person?s health, and certain drinks these days enhance muscle and athletic performance. Even in the martial arts world many changes are being undertaken. People these days look for a fast and sometimes easy style to learn, but what they do not understand is that these styles cannot be taught overnight. It takes years of hard work and practice to become good that these styles. Many martial arts instructors these days are trying to appeal to the people of this time era by teaching their students in only a few months techniques and conditioning methods that would take years and years to learn. In our fast paced world not that many people have the time or even want to give the effort to learn the true or traditional styles of the martial arts. Styles like Kung Fu and Swai Chaio are styles that take years to learn to be used effectively, and if practiced too fast, the consequences are that the person practicing will not gain the strength and power that those styles are very well known for. Other styles like Jiu Jitsu are very different. These styles are very easy to learn in the short run and are very effective in certain situations, but what they gain in that, they lack in other areas. In this day and age of fast-paced life styles, no martial arts style would be the best because most of the styles take too long to learn.

Kung Fu is probably one of the most well known martial arts styles in the world today. With all its very flashy kicks and techniques, this style has a lot of things going for it. There are more than two thousand different kung fu styles in the world. Many of them are styles that have been taken from the traditional Shaolin Kung Fu systems of fighting (Gutman 22). The styles range from all different kinds of fighting techniques. In certain Kung Fu styles students only practice grappling and ground fighting which uses chokeholds, joint locks and the use of pressure points to stop an opponent or attacker. In others the students only practice hand techniques such as Wing Chung, which is a style mainly used for punching. Wing Chung is also the basis of a lot of different martial arts. There are also other styles that mainly use kicking techniques, and then there are the styles that use everything in their arsenal: kicking, punching and grappling (Washington).

Kung Fu also has a lot of benefits for the person who practices it. Many benefits are in health. Practicing kung fu increases strength mentally, physically, and spiritually (Gutman 45). The mental health comes from all the discipline. In traditional kung fu systems ?the person practicing is very much forced to be perfect in everything that they do or they will not be able to move on to the next level of their training?(Washington). The benefits of practicing kung fu are often unheard of by people who are not martial arts students. ?Kung fu masters are so physically fit that they can shatter inch thick pieces of solid steel with their head or bare hands.? Some of the people who have mastered kung fu have also been able to withstand injury from being cut by three people pushing a razor sharp sword on the person?s stomach or spear that is being thrown at them (Metil 33). The spiritual part of kung fu comes from the kung fu style itself. Grandmaster George Washington explains that this is because ?the person practicing is not just another person practicing a fighting style, that person IS the style? and ?the person understands that only within a person will find peace in life.? Kung fu is also known for all its fluid movements, which come mostly from animal styles of fighting, such as the crane, monkey, praying mantis, and tiger. Each of the styles has its different characteristics, which has advantages over different situations.

Grappling is a form of ground fighting that combines wrestling, joint locks and chokeholds has made it big in the martial arts world, and ?Jiu Jitsu is the top grappling style out there today.? Jiu Jitsu is an art that uses mostly wrestling techniques with joint locks, chokeholds and even some pressure points. ?It is not a flashy type of style, but it is very effective in one-on-one battles?(Capalad). This style is a very easy style to learn, but it also takes time to master its techniques due to the fact that there are hundreds or maybe even thousands of different ways to apply each technique in Jiu Jitsu. Most of the techniques just take time or the right opportunity to apply them on an opponent. This is also a very good style for people who are small but fairly strong because the students are not matching power against power just endurance and knowledge(Gracie).

Swai Chaio is Chinese a martial art that is over two thousand years old. The techniques in Swai Chaio are mainly throws and joint locks. The difference between this style and other grappling styles is that the techniques in Swai Chaio are mainly done while still standing(Crompton 55). The joint locks are applied while the opponent is knocked off balance by some kind of strike. A lot of the throws are assisted with locking the legs of the opponent using the student?s legs to do the locking. Students of this style have very strong leg muscles because of the extensive training with weights, pulleys, and some of the training the students do require them to tie a two inch thick piece of wood to their ankle and upper thigh and then try to break it by extending the leg(Washington). The students do that kind of training to condition leg muscles so that when the techniques are applied to a real person, that person will end up with a broken leg(Reid).

Learning martial arts takes a lot of time, hard work and patients. Some of the styles can take years to learn, and some of the styles do not, but those styles are harder to master. To master a style means to know every little detail about every move in that particular style, and to know every variation to those moves. To master a style the student also must know all the training techniques by heart(Riber 55).

Kung Fu is a style that can take years and years to master(Chin, Goh). Sometimes a person will spend their whole life trying to master this style and not even succeed in mastering kung fu(Gutman 33). One of the main reasons that it takes years to learn kung fu is because there are over two thousand different styles in this martial art(Gutman 12). Each style has its own different kind of training methods and learning ten or twenty different styles can be very hard to do, but trying to completely master those same styles is almost impossible. It is almost impossible to master so many different styles because in just one style of kung fu there are thousands of different techniques, and variations to the very same techniques to master(Washington).

In kung fu there are sets that help the students remember all of the techniques learned in their style. Sets are a series of movements used to remember the techniques in a particular style. These sets can range from ten movements up to or over a hundred different movements(Gutman 40). The sets in kung fu are made so that it strengthens the person?s body that practices it over a long period of time. This can take months and sometimes years(Washington).

Jiu Jitsu is a style that is fairly easy to learn. In just a few shorts sessions with a master instructor a person can get some knowledge on how this martial art works(Reid).

In Jiu Jitsu students learn techniques one at a time. The instructor teaches like this so that the students can learn all the variations to the techniques. To completely figure out how each move can be applied takes a lot of hard work and time. There are not that many moves or techniques in Jiu Jitsu, but what makes this style hard to learn is that each move has so many ways in applying them(Capalad). ?There are so many ways in doing each move, and the only way to learn how to apply them is to practice with another person?(Capalad).

Training in Jiu Jitsu takes time to do also. Students have to do many different endurance and cardiovascular exercises to stay in shape. The students also have to do drills that condition the body so that when the student gets thrown down to the ground they do not get hurt. If practiced correctly, over time the student can get thrown very hard and fast without getting hurt at all(Reid 88).

The style Swai Chaio is a style that takes years to learn. The techniques of Swai Chaio are not hard to learn it is the training in the style that takes so long. The Swai Chaio training methods help condition the body for hard impacts to the ground and also condition the body to become stronger against someone?s kicks and punches(Williams 37). Most of the conditioning in this style takes years to do so that the body will get used to the harsh training and throwing. Learning these methods of training over a period of years is good, but if the time were shortened to only a few months, it would be bad for the body of the person who is practicing it(Washington).

Each of these fighting styles has a good side and a bad side to them. The good side of kung fu is that there are many different styles to choose from to practice. That is also a bad part of the kung fu system because a person can not master all the styles in kung fu because there are just too many of them(Gutman 15). Kung Fu also has training methods that help the body stay stronger as the person who practices it ages over the years(Riber 67). The down side of practicing Kung Fu is that it takes years to learn. Sometimes people die and still never get to learn everything single thing in the style they have been learning.

Jiu Jitsu has very few bad things going against it, except that there are not many punching or kicking techniques, and that Jiu Jitsu is a style that is only really effective in a fight against a single person(Capalad). If a student of Jiu Jitsu got into a fight with more than one person and tried to use grappling techniques the student would not do too well(Crompton 123). Jiu Jitsu also dose not have that many techniques to use. This limits the students of this style to only use specific joint locks and chokeholds(Capalad).

Swai Chaio has a few bad things about it. The only real good part of this martial art its that it is very effective if the person who is practicing it knows how to use the techniques correctly. Swai Chaio is one of those martial arts styles that can take years to learn, and the training is so hard that students sometimes cry because it is too much to handle. Swai Chaio practices are also very painful to the students. Usually in traditional Swai Chaio training at least one student in the class gets a broken bone, gets knocked out, or just gets hurt somehow. This mostly happens only because the students are careless in what they are doing but accidents happen(Washington).

The martial arts are a very complicated subject to talk about because nobody really knows everything about it. It is very hard to try to figure out which style is the best in our time because of how fast the traditional styles are being replaced by newly made up styles. The only real conclusion that can be said is that in this world at this time there is no best martial art.

Capalad, Jerome. Personal interview: Jiu Jitsu.

Crompton, Jay. The Complete Martial Arts. New York: McGraw- Hill, 1998.

Gutman, Bill. Kung Fu. Minneapolis: Capstone, 1995.

Metil, Townsend. The Story of Karate. Minneapolis: Lerner,1995.

Riber, Chin. The Martial Arts. New York: Harper & Row, 1996.

Washington, Sifu George. Personal interview: Kung Fu.

Capalad, Jerome. Personal interview: Jiu Jitsu.

Crompton, Jay. The Complete Martial Arts. New York: McGraw- Hill, 1998.

Gutman, Bill. Kung Fu. Minneapolis: Capstone, 1995.

Metil, Townsend. The Story of Karate. Minneapolis: Lerner,1995.

Riber, Chin. The Martial Arts. New York: Harper & Row, 1996.

Washington, Sifu George. Personal interview: Kung Fu.

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