What is the difference between martial arts and dance?

Dance training offers unrivaled exercise opportunities and chances to engage in artistic expression.  Dance is not as effective at preparing students to effectively recognize and meet the needs of a self-defense situations. 

Martial arts are taught through practicing movements, often very similar to dance. The movements practiced in martial arts however, have a specific purpose of generating focused kinetic energy, transporting this energy along precise lines from one person into another person, and transferring as much of this energy into specific places on someone else in order to incapacitate or cause injury.

Martial arts are practiced in groups and in individual forms.  Using forms to judge a studios “dance-ratio” is the most reliable evaluation method.  Forms in martial arts are densely packed with information.  Interpreting and exploring forms can provide a lifetime of insights!

If forms are only taught as movements from one place to another then they might be taught as dance. If there is more focus on how forms look than on exploring how a martial arts form functions, that is also a warning sign of dance. 

I hope this can be useful for you. As always, contact us if you have any questions or concerns and we will be happy to connect you to answers!