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Which Martial Arts Discipline Is Best For You?

Which Martial Arts Discipline is Best for You?

Updated on January 7th, 2020 at 07:41 am

Martial arts have been studied in many forms since ancient times.  The original martial arts were developed as combat techniques in the ancient civilizations of Korea, Japan, and China, but they were much more than just a combat style.  Those who engaged in these ancient forms of martial arts viewed them as a code of honor and a discipline that aligned their body, mind, and spirit in perfect harmony.

Martial arts disciplines have undergone many changes since ancient times as they have been passed through many generations and been embraced by different cultures, resulting in the martial arts disciplines as we know them today.  However, there is one thing that has remained constant; the martial arts are a way of life and those who train and study in this way of life will experience the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits that will help them in every aspect of their lives. The primary goal of any martial arts practice is to create Harmony within the practitioner which permeates their environment.

Which Martial Arts Discipline is Best for Me?

The study of martial arts is a deeply personal pursuit that can bring you real physical, mental, and emotional benefits.  Many people who are new to martial arts may feel overwhelmed by the variety of disciplines you can choose to study.  Each discipline differs in style and technique and requires different physical abilities.

It is important to consider your interests when deciding which martial arts classes to take, but also consider your physical abilities and your personal goals.  No matter which martial arts discipline you choose to study, you will experience the physical, mental, and emotional benefits when you put in the time and the training to pursuing the art.

Martial Arts is More than Physical Activity

Regardless of which martial art you choose to study, it is important to understand the basic principles found in every discipline.  Martial arts are more than a physical activity; they develop the mind and spirit which affects character, confidence, and self-discipline.  Aligning your mind, body, and spirit through martial arts training will bring harmony to your life that will benefit you everywhere, including in your business, family and social interactions.

It is also important to understand that martial arts teach the philosophy of avoidance, which is the ability to recognize and remove yourself from danger.  Those who understand this philosophy will try to bring peace to any situation without resorting to violence.  Mastering this principle and applying it to life’s everyday challenges will help you reduce your stress and make better decisions.

Traditional Martial Arts Disciplines

When deciding which martial art to study, it helps to know the basics of each discipline, including the stances, movements, and philosophy.

The following are common traditional martial arts that you can study at Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts:

Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do is one of the oldest forms of martial arts still in practice today with origins as far back as the ancient 3 kingdoms of Korea.  The philosophy behind Tae Kwon Do is in the translation of the phrase: “Tae” meaning “foot,” “Kwon” meaning “hand” or “fist,” and “Do” meaning “the way.”  This discipline consists of dynamic hand and foot movements, Tae and Kwon, but for the purpose of controlling and de-escalating the fight, which is the philosophy, or Do.

Those who study Tae Kwon Do from the ancient Hwarang warriors to present day students understand the importance of synchronizing their hand and foot movements with the mind and spirit to act in perfect harmony.  Tae Kwon Do students must have a peaceful mindset so they can assess the situation (mind) and take the right stance (body) for a peaceful resolution (spirit).

Students of Tae Kwon Do develop advanced hand and foot skills with plenty of emphasis on the legs and feet.  The training for Tae Kwon Do is demanding and will help improve your physical strength and endurance.

Hapkido/ Aikido

Hapkido and Aikido are two very similar, yet different forms of martial arts.  Each discipline emphasizes defense techniques built on the philosophy of redirecting the energy and momentum of an attacker in order to subdue them.  Students of hapkido and aikido must exhibit a positive mindset to remain calm and composed and respond to attackers with precision to control and de-escalate the confrontation.

The main difference between hapkido and aikido is that hapkido teaches some offensive moves while aikido is almost entirely defensive.  The offensive techniques taught in hapkido are very powerful and are only to be used in life or death situations.  Students of both hapkido and aikido develop their self-control and transcend dualistic conflict in order to bring a peaceful resolution.

Those who study hapkido and aikido learn joint-locking techniques, pins, and pivots that allow them to redirect the energy of an attacker instead of trying to oppose it directly.  These disciplines can help you develop your self-control, self-awareness, and compassion which helps you better manage negative encounters.


Judo is a martial arts discipline that does not consist of striking techniques like punching and kicking, but of throwing, pinning, and locking techniques.  The principle behind judo is to overpower and subdue attackers with these techniques.

In ancient Japan, warriors and samurai used Judo techniques meant to severely disable their enemies.  Modern day Judo practice emphasizes the principle of gentleness: “Ju” meaning gentle and “do” meaning the way.  The throwing, pinning, and locking techniques now used in Judo training are meant to avoid causing harm.  This is especially important in modern practice since students train by sparring in pairs.  Mastering the gentle techniques of Judo will ensure that you do not cause harm to your sparring partner.

Judo requires great physical strength and endurance to execute the throwing techniques.  Those who train in Judo will improve their flexibility, strength, balance, endurance, agility, speed, power, and control.  Working with a partner throughout Judo training will also help students develop their social skills.

Kumdo/ GumdoKumdo Martial Arts Sword in Berwyn, IL

Kumdo, or Gumdo, is the ancient art of the sword in which students learn swordsmanship skills and techniques.  The words Kumdo and Gumdo are used interchangeably when describing this martial art, but Kumdo is the more accurate term for the art as it is taught today.

Gumdo is the name of the ancient Korean art of the sword that originated in the 3 kingdoms period.  The Japanese outlawed gumdo during a period in which they occupied Korea and introduced the Japanese sword art of Kendo.  During Japanese occupation, Gumdo was still practiced in secret and it incorporated elements of the Japanese art of Kendo.  Therefore, Kumdo is the term used to describe the hybrid of Gumdo and Kendo that is taught today.

Students of Kumdo learn swordsmanship techniques that include stances, strategic strikes, and feints that can be used in one on one duels and in combat.  This discipline emphasizes proper etiquette and respect for the sword that allows the practitioner to develop balance and harmony with the sword.  Training in Kumdo will help you develop your strength, concentration, and balance and improve your posture.  Students start out learning handling, drawing, and retreating techniques before advancing to offensive techniques.

Learn Traditional Martial Arts from Sr. GrandMaster YuKinderKarate-Berwyn, IL

Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts is led by Sr. GrandMaster Yu, an internationally recognized 9th Dan GrandMaster in Tae Kwon Do, 8th Dan GrandMaster in Hapkido, and a certified World Haidong Kumdo Master.  Students who study martial arts at Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts will have the opportunity to receive instruction directly from Senior GrandMaster Yu.

Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts Curriculum

Our martial arts curriculum is designed to provide a complete education in martial arts including the culture, history, customs, and etiquette in addition to the techniques.  All Original Programming:  Your personal curriculum is built around your abilities to help you develop your skills and reach your full potential.  You can choose private martial arts lessons to develop and refine your abilities.  We encourage all students to practice in our supportive class setting, to embrace the disciplined structure & environment that is exclusive to our program.

If you are still unsure which martial arts discipline is right for you, you contact Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts to talk to one of our instructors or better yet, come over to observe a class.  Through martial arts training and study, you will strengthen, and align your body, mind, and spirit and enjoy a harmonious existence with yourself and your surroundings.

Contact Us

For more information or to consult with Sr. GrandMaster Yu, please fill out a contact form or give us a call  (708) 383-3456.

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