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"Hard Style" vs "Soft Style"

Sometimes one will see references to 'hard' style and 'soft' style martial arts. To many non-martial artists, these terms may be puzzling. In North America, these terms are used to classify martial art styles into two main categories. Japanese/Okinawan karate and Korean tae kwon do are generally referred to as hard styles.

Movements in both karate and tae kwon do are often linear with their forms (traditional sequence of set moves) performed with crisp movements that often are built on the principles of one perfect, powerful and overwhelming strike to end a fight.

The core of the "Marudo" system is built around hard style techniques.

Chinese kung fu styles are usually referred to as soft styles. The circular motions of kung fu forms give them a more visually graceful or softer appearance especially when many of the movements flow from one to another.

This is not to say that hard styles such as karate or tae kwon do are more powerful martial arts than kung fu and other soft styles. The term 'soft' is a bit misleading because the power from circular kung fu moves are often hidden. Circular moves can generate just as much power as linear ones.

The "Marudo" system has several techniques and principles of soft style arts woven into it and throughout your training you will learn to understand the differences, similarities and how and when to flow from one method to the other.


The "Marudo" Martial Arts System

The name "Marudo" is derived from two Japanese words... "Maru" and "Do".

MARU (Japanese)
In Japanese the word "maru" is a noun meaning "circle" or "round". It can also have the meaning of "perfection" or "full circle". The word maru is is often used as a suffix, sometimes attached to Japanese ship names.

DO (Japanese)
In Japanese martial art culture the suffix 'do' transforms a sport into an art and indicates that some philosophy and correct moral discipline is intrinsic to it. For the Japanese do is an experiential term in the sense that the practice (the way of life) validates the discipline cultivated through a given art form.

"MARUDO" - The way/life of the full/complete/perfect circle of martial arts, or "Full Circle Style"

The concept behind the Marudo system was derived through over 30 years of experience in both hard style karate and soft style kung fu, with a comprehensive focus on kata (forms), kumite (sparring), weapons, academics and other principles of character development for everyone... at any age.

The Marudo Martial Arts System begins by giving the student a solid foundation in hard style karate based primarily in styles such as Seiei Kan Karate, Gojo Ryu, Shotokan and others. Throughout the students training they will be introduced to the contrasts that their hard style system has vs soft style principles, but they will not be fully trained in both disciplines until later in their career.

Upon reaching Brown Belt and developing a a strong foundation of basic movements, the soft style disciplines are introduced and trained more heavily to begin rounding out the students understanding of martial arts.

By the time the student reaches Black Belt they will be exposed to a variety of complex soft style principles and will be required to begin learning how to develop their own movements and kata incorporating both hard and soft style principles.

We believe that this exposure to both "types" of martial arts keeps one's mind open and helps them to mold their martial arts expertise to fit their unique personality and body type. This exposure to both worlds helps them to mature and truly come "full circle" in their martial arts life.




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