Choosing the Style

Choosing the Style

The ancients used to say: possibility of choice is the worst illness of mind. Forgetting that modern people spend precious time in life looking for ones personal self, choosing clothes, things, which are supposed to define the invented image. They dash between “what to do” and “how to act”. Thinking that argument invokes the truth, they follow the path of “try and mistake” and eventually end up like Pushkin’s old woman: the wash-tub’s broken, tons of mistakes, and the truth’s still nowhere around. Certainly no-one in the world can avoid mistakes, but if one succeeds in stopping to think in clichés (like everybody) and pay more attention to oneself, but not from the position “I want”, but from the position “who am I”, “what am I capable of”(unbiased, not in dreams) and only after “what do I deserve”, then the number of mistakes will recede by numbers. And if you add on it the understanding that life is action, theorising and reasoning about the truth will disappear because you will see it instead. It’s easy. Try it. And now let’s talk about what should be considered when choosing the style in martial arts. From the first sight it’s a difficult task, because if you start to simply name all the styles, directions and tendencies, and then write a book about it, I’m afraid it will be longer than “War and peace”. The thing is that styles get invented and books get written by whoever’s mind it crosses. Many people start one thing and without reaching any worthy results “studying for long time, whole seven months” consider, that it’s not for them, so they start inventing their own bicycle (even if it’s got triangular wheels). Then they buy a patent, register a federation and there it is – another pile ready for the dump. But let us leave the inventers alone and look at everything impartially.


There’s an ancient Chinese proverb – “1000 schools of Chinese box are in reality the same thing”. And how right are they! So if you take a close look at the martial arts, you will see that the base of any style is the person. And as we know, all people are the same in the physical sense: two arms, two legs, one head and so on, the mechanics of the movement are the same too. That is why all the styles and tendencies are only insignificant differences in appearance, like tuning for the car, no more. Basically there is no such thing as one style’s better and the other one – worse. It all depends on the person and the quality of his ability to use this style. To choose the style by the quantity of “kicks” is foolish, because any of those “kicks” will be only the use of the basic principles. Do not waste time training in schools that tell you: “our style is better, because we have 3000, 5000 or even 10000 kicks”. These people will not teach you anything, instead they’ll get you so confused - you’ll never find a way out of it.

It is worth to learn any style that teaches the basics and it’s not important at all whether the style is tough or mild, Internal or External (all this families is mostly a game of words).

And the last thing: if you want to train in our school and are not sure which style to choose you have to know the following: both Internal and External are martial arts. Very often Internal is confused with sanitary gymnastics. Health group is not what we are. External style is more difficult physically, because the aerobic load and the endurance are to full extent, the movements are fast and there is no way to cut the corners. The Internal style is much more sparing regime for an aerobic system, the movements are smoother, softer, but it doesn’t make it easier, because many movements are more difficult to do slower than faster. Martial arts are difficult, often tedious and boring; if you are ready to accept it amazing results await you.

Author: Valery Prosvirov. Head of Golden Dragon Kung Fu school