Martial Arts, like music, have evolved numerous styles suited to differing situations, environments and temperaments. Some styles are very strenuous and active, often focused on self-defense these styles are typically well suited to younger people. Some styles are practiced slower and appear more abstract, focusing on health and the inside of the body, these are often more accessible to adults.
Styles also differ in their guiding philosophies and overall strategies.
Some focus on developing strength and “hard” methods to directly overcome an opponent’s incoming force, while others develop sensitivity and changeable “soft” methods to avoid ever having to conflict directly with an opposing force.
Additionally some styles focus exclusively on techniques of combat, while others, typically influenced by Buddhism and Taoism, take this aspect to be symbolic and use it to help in developing a highly energetic “inside” component of the body as well as attaining deep meditative states.
A well-rounded martial artist is familiar with methods from this wide spectrum and at the same time builds a practice considering his or her own personality, age, interest and physical condition.