Monday, April 23, 2018

Practice the Martial Art You Like

Lou Schuler
Regarding exercise, certified strength and conditioning specialist Lou Schuler wrote in his book The New Rules of Lifting that what matters most is for people to

1. Do something
2. Do something they like
3. The rest is just details

I agree, and have the same philosophy when it comes to martial arts. You are more likely to practice and therefore get better at an art that comes naturally to and that you really like than an art you don’t like as much or aren’t as naturally inclined towards. (This is a big part of why I’m vastly better at Kali than BJJ.) 

For example, let’s assume you want to take up a striking art. You take a few classes in both
Muay Thai and Taekwondo. For whatever reason, you find you enjoy Taekwondo and don’t care for Muay Thai. Maybe it’s the art itself, maybe it’s the instructor, maybe it’s the vibe of the school. However, your UFC-addled buddy tells you should stick with Muay Thai because it’s been “proven in the ring” and is more useful for self-defense. Leaving aside whether or not that is true, signing up for Muay Thai classes won’t do you any good if you skip practice because you don’t like it. Being a consistent student of Taekwondo is better than being an inconsistent student of Muay Thai.

Don't get me wrong... It's good to challenge yourself and try things (including martial arts) that are outside of your comfort zone. I'm thankful for the time I spent earning my BJJ purple belt. But it's important to have a base core to work off of. It serves as your foundation. In my case, that foundation is built on Filipino martial arts. I came to that foundation by going through a period of trying different  martial styles and seeing what clicked. Kali is, simply put, the martial art I enjoy practicing the most.