A Quick Lesson in Martial Arts Categorization
There are two styles offered by the UW Kung Fu & Tai Chi Club, each with its own fitness advantages, disadvantages, and unique “flavor” There are, however, several different qualities that can be used to compare one martial art to another.

Hardness: The hardness of a style has to do with the methods for not getting hit within the self defense aspect taught within the style. A hard style knocks attacks out of the way and aggressively prevents attacks from happening. Most hard blocks are also strikes. A soft style redirects attacks or dodges them. Most soft blocks cannot be used as strikes. To put it metaphorically, a soft style practitioner will try to cause the opponent’s attack to flow around his/herself or not be there when the attacks land whereas a hard style practitioner will attempt to strike the attacks away or dam up the flow of attack.

External vs. Internal: The internality of a style has to do with the cultivation of the body as a physical entity or as a metaphysical/ethereal entity. An external style is more focused on physical conditioning (endurance training, pushups, bone development, etc.) and an internal style is more focused on internal or more metaphysical concept of the body (breathing exercised, stretching, qi). No style is completely external or internal, but some have a balance or lean one way or the other.

Hung Gar Kuen (洪家拳) [Photos] [More Info]

Hung Gar is a hard, external style featuring strong stances and quick, powerful strikes as well as rigorous physical conditioning

Tai Chi(吳氏洪家拳) [More Info]

Tai Chi is a dynamic style that can be either hard or soft, internal or external however at the beginning level it is typically classified as soft and internal. Tai Chi has martial movements and focuses on balance and breathing