Hard vs. Soft
Most fighting styles can be divided into one of two groups: predominantly hard or predominantly soft. Hard styles, which include Karate, Boxing, Tae Kwon Do, and Muay Thai, mainly focus on striking one's opponent with as much force as possible, usually by using one's fists, feet, shins, knees, elbows and other hard surfaces to inflict maximum damage. In the hands of a fast and powerful martial artist, the hard system can be an extremely devastating weapon, able to end the fight with just one or two well placed blows.
Soft styles, which, among others, include Aikido, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, and Tai Chi, focus instead on redirection of motion – using the opponent's force against him. Characterized by open-handed techniques, soft styles are great at submissions, sweeps, traps, and throws, manipulating attackers into each other, and using their own momentum to destroy them. Some striking may still be included, but the emphasis is on attacking soft, vulnerable areas of the body rather than generating the explosive power necessary to damage harder targets.
Neither just hard nor just soft motions by themselves are equally effective in all circumstances, and each have their own strengths and weaknesses when applied in certain scenarios. Moh Pai is a mixture of both of these aspects of martial arts, combining them in ways designed to capture the most advantage from each. Students are taught how and when they should be used, depending on the situation and their physical build. Instead of approaching the soft and the hard aspects as separate, independent styles as is commonly done in "mixed martial arts", Moh Pai treats them as a single, tightly integrated system, teaching to switch between them with seamless fluidity, often multiple times within a single technique.