"You must understand there is more than one path up the mountain."
- Miyamoto Musashi
In modern America we have plenty of options for anything we want to eat or do. Most people can eat food from different regions of the world without leaving their hometown. We can buy clothes and decorations from anywhere in the world. Training in martial arts has become the same. In the past, you went to the local master or school that was closest to our home. As martial arts have grown in popularity, it has brought in more schools, teachers, and styles that give people options.
As Musashi wrote, there are multiple paths up the mountain. There are lots of ways to defend yourself and train to be healthy. It is nice that we now get to choose how we want to train and who we want to train with. All paths are not the same and now you can choose what works best for you. The way you train should make you stronger, more agile, and confident that you can protect yourself if needed. Your teacher should be knowledgeable in what they teach, supportive, and make you and other students feel comfortable.
In my years of studying martial arts, I have experienced several styles. I have wrestled, trained in Ju Jitsu, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, and Pekiti Tirsia. These styles all have elements that make them great, but also give limitations. In Tae Kwon Do, you are learning to punch and kick, which is great for self defense and fitness, but after about 30 yrs old it can be very hard on the body to train in this way. Students trying to get their kicks up high can cause themselves injury and can be hard on themselves if they are struggling with the limitations of their body. Training Ju Jitsu is also great but it not for everyone. It is a very physical art, training by "rolling" with a partner, students fight on the ground trying to get chokes and/or submissions. I have loved training in these different styles. What I feel that they are lacking is what makes Han Mu Do great. HMD takes multiple styles and links them together so that you can feel confident in your training of the martial art.
Han Mu do is a self defense based art that has elements of striking, throws, and submissions. Students learn sets of techniques for each belt rank. These different sets, based on defending from attacks, include ways to strike your opponent with hands and feet, throw your opponent to the ground, or use joint locks, pressure points, and chokes to gain control of the attacker. There are elements of hard and soft arts included in the techniques. Techniques based on martial arts such as Judo, Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do and Kuk Sool help to create such diversity. One reason that I wanted to focus my effort into teaching Han Mu Do is that it can work for a broad spectrum of people. If one technique does not work for your body type, there are other ways to accomplish your goal.