What is Internal Martial Arts?
There are several reasons why people do martial arts. Many people do it for sport, fitness, discipline, to release aggression or simply to look good. Then you have those interested in the self defence aspect, but even then most just want a quick solution.
Quite often martial artists may argue over who has the better art and which is most effective. In reality it depends on what you want to achieve out of it. Some arts focus on grappling and throws, others may focus on striking or weapons. Also the same art may be perceived differently, depending on who's teaching and who's learning. Ultimately it comes down to the individual rather than the actual art itself.
Many popular martial arts tend to be quite external. Generally they focus on physical strength, stamina and aggression. This is good for people who want to compete and / or improve general fitness. In contrast internal martial arts focus on internal energy, body mechanics and flow. This can often take a longer time to master as it involves a deeper understanding of the human body from a physical and psychological aspect. It also impacts on other aspects of daily life such as the way we move and communicate with others.
To sum up, if you feel you want to be able to train to defend yourself regardless of your age and current ability, and want to gain a deeper understanding of your body and the people that surround you, then internal martial arts is the path you should choose.