Four-Finger Wu Sao.

There are many martial arts you can train. But I categorize them into four types.

Before we discuss those, let me ask, what are you looking for? Why do you want to train a martial art? Is it to get physically active? Is it for a sense of personal progress? Is it for connection to a community? Is it because you are concerned about safety? Or is it simply to try something fun and new?

See if you can clearly identify your objective. I even suggest crafting a “Martial Statement”. Be concise and specific. Maybe you’re a bit out of shape: I will train to lose 20 pounds by July 1. Perhaps you work long hours: I will train to feel more confident walking home each night. Setting your intention will help you choose a relevant martial art.

Earlier, I mentioned four types, the first of which is Performance Styles. These are choreographed to maximize entertainment, acrobatics and aesthetics. Secondly, Traditional Forms focus on the practice of culture, health and spirituality. Thirdly, Combat Sports satisfy a desire for competition, sportsmanship and recognition. Lastly, Self-Defense Systems are designed to optimize realism, practicality and efficacy.

Most martial arts are a hybrid of the four types. But just like a person cannot be perfect in all ways, a martial art cannot be supreme for every goal. Each prioritizes a particular purpose. In other words, the best martial art does not exist per se. However, there is a best one for you.

If your Martial Statement is: I will train hard with others to learn to defend myself. Then the International Academy of WingChun is for you because we specialize in teaching WingChun as a functional Self-Defense System.