What Art Hard Style and Soft Style Martial Arts?

THE BEST MARTIAL ARTS STYLE

The terms hard style and soft style are used only in North America and parts of Europe since these are the only regions of the world that have open martial arts competitions.

The terms hard style and soft style came as a result of the evolution of North American martial arts competitions, particularly in forms divisions. For many years, open karate tournaments which allowed all martial arts styles, had competitors from different martial arts backgrounds compete in the same forms divisions. Judging a hard style form against a soft style form was often like trying to compare apples to oranges.

Sometimes one would see references to ‘hard’ style and ‘soft’ style martial arts. In North America, these terms are used to classify martial art styles into two main categories. Chinese kung fu styles are usually referred to as soft styles.

To help resolve these issues, many of the larger martial arts tournaments expanded to have separate divisions for soft and hard styles. Of course many smaller local tournaments have not been able to offer separate hard and soft style divisions for martial arts forms competitors mainly because of financial budget restrictions. The terms hard style and soft style are used only in North America and parts of Europe since these are the only regions of the world that have open martial arts competitions.

Sometimes one would see references to ‘hard’ style and ‘soft’ style martial arts. Chinese kung fu styles are usually referred to as soft styles. The terms hard style and soft style came as a result of the evolution of North American martial arts competitions, particularly in forms divisions. Judging a hard style form against a soft style form was often like trying to compare apples to oranges. Here at the James Martial Arts Academy, we teach both hard (Kosho-Ryu & Kajukenpo) and soft style (Northern and Southern Styles) martial arts.

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