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Martial art styles may be divided into four categories, each determined by its primary focus
- Self-defense/professional use of force. This category is the most limited in focus. Its only purpose is the use of force to resolve a violent situation. This category includes styles such as Krav Maga or Musti Yudha. This category of martial arts training may range from a weekend combat course for the public, to military close-quarter combat and killing techniques. The techniques are for high-risk situations that must be resolved immediately. The techniques are simple, effective, and often brutal. It does not take too long to learn the techniques, usually only a few days or months. Unless you are actively involved in a profession or lifestyle where you are constantly in danger, your interest in this category of martial arts will usually fade quickly.
- Traditional/physical art/self-discipline. This is the category most commercial schools teach, such as Taekwondo, various styles of Karate, Judo, various styles of Kung-fu, etc. The greatest benefits from the martial arts are often found in this focus, such as self-confidence, exercise, courtesy, self-defense, competition, mental focus, and self-control. Social interactions are also found here. Friendships and community involvement are common by-products of a martial arts school. In this category, troubled children often bloom, their grades improve, and unacceptable behavior subsides, as they get farther and farther into the art. This category takes years of training to perfect so interest usually lasts for years, even a lifetime.
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