What are hard martial arts?

The main categories of martial arts — the types of martial arts — can be divided into hard and soft. Another division often referenced is internal and external. As with all things, many arts combine both soft and hard/. However, more Chinese arts tend to be soft/internal while more Japanese arts are more often Hard/external.

Like the dichotomy of soft martial arts containing hard elements, Hard or external martial arts have many movements that could qualify as soft. The focus for these arts, though, remains on the technique applied to the aggressor. The ultimate focus is on what is crippling or killing the attacker, and how to most effectively apply that technique. There are often many forms in these arts, but the forms are often much shorter, simpler, and more repetitive than the characteristically intricate and long forms of internal arts. Much focus is placed on intensity of practice and hardening the body for impact.

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