MMA or Traditional martial arts?
If I had a penny for the amount of times people have said to me that MMA is more realistic than Traditional martial arts and that Traditional martial arts would not work in UFC.
So before I get lots of love mails, texts and keyboard master warriors writing to me, lets take a look at what we are dealing with. Straight off the bat can I say that I love Traditional Martial arts and MMA in fact any art where I can see that the people involved have invested a lot of time and effort in their chosen field. This also goes for, ballroom dancing, gym work, tennis and much more besides. It is evident to me in a persons first move or the way they stand and make eye contact with you that there has been a lot of hours spent honing their craft.
MMA is a Sport and a great test but it is for a certain type of person and mentality. Why do I say this, well for me it is about self evolving and respect to your training partners, teachers and to the place where you practice your art.
MMA is totally concerned with winning and becoming a fighter. Now there is nothing wrong with this and there are a lot of good MMA gyms around who have good etiquette, brotherhood and respect etc. Having said that the type of MMA training practiced breeds fighters with big egos who just want to win and become the champion. A part of this is trash talking to opponents and playing up to the crowds to sell tickets, again if that is what people want to see then that is fine. I am not one of them. You would not get a respectable Sensei, Sifu, Guro (teacher) throwing chairs or objects through opponents coach windows or after knocking out an opponent making a cutting the neck sign or sticking his middle fingers up to an opponent during a bout this is just a lack of respect and a poor reflection of MMA but it does sell tickets.
There is a sensei and I will not embarrass him with his name but he is very old school so much so that he makes the parents bow when they are sitting to watch their children’s Karate lesson. His thought is if the kids have to bow then so should the parents and then everyone shows respect for place where they train, their partners and the teachers. Don’t think I can argue with that one.
Traditional martial arts is for a life time of study and practice and it’s purpose is the perfection of ones own character. It of course has other benefits such as self defence, confidence, exercise and much more besides but it is about evolving your self as a person.
MMA is concerned with making fighters again nothing wrong with that but you don’t see many MMA fighters going past 40, yes of course they can still be involved in the sport as trainers, coaches and to pass on their knowledge to the younger up and coming fighters but there are a lot more people involved in traditional martial arts passed 40 years old and well into retirement age. Why? Well not everyone wants to be punched in the face all the time or hurt as we still have jobs to do and responsibilities to our families this is not an excuse just an observation.
Let’s talk about the effectiveness of MMA compared to Traditional martial arts, again MMA is a sport and is concerned with winning contests. MMA is a great way to defend yourself but then so is Traditional martial arts, MMA is a great fitness work out but then so is traditional martial arts. So on this I have to say it is really about the amount of effort you put in as an individual which will reap the rewards and benefits. If you are a lazy person then you will not achieve any thing if you do MMA or Traditional martial arts you will still be lazy.
In Traditional martial arts there are a lot of techniques that are not applicable for the street, they were passed down by old teachers and masters because it is traditional or a ritual and a part of the style or system but modern life has changed and we no longer carry or need swords and weapons in a civilised society. There are a lot of dangerous techniques in Traditional martial arts but again they were lost or not shown as it is frowned upon to hurt and injure your opponent, if it is a self defence scenario then for me all bets are off and I am going to do what ever it takes to protect my family, friends and myself.
MMA also suffers from techniques that may not be the best option for street self defence namely groundwork, there is never a good time to take a fight to the ground, the street is not the movies where you can just arm bar someone. These days people will stamp on you, your opponents friends will put a bottle over your head or stab you, now normally you are always dealing with multiple opponents. The only thing you have to know about ground fighting on the street is to get up.
Below are some of the rules that MMA adheres to. In self defence on the street you allowed to use all of these tactics and without using these below you are not left with much and you know sometimes a punch in the face just won’t do it.
The following acts constitute fouls in a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts and may result in penalties, at the discretion of the referee, if committed:
- Butting with the head
- Eye gouging of any kind
- Spitting at an opponent
- Hair pulling
- Fish hooking
- Groin attacks of any kind
- Putting a finger into any orifice or any cut or laceration of an opponent
- Small joint manipulation
- Striking downward using the point of the elbow
- Striking to the spine or the back of the head
- Kicking to the kidney with a heel
- Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea
- Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh
- Grabbing the clavicle
- Kicking the head of a grounded opponent
- Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent
- Stomping a grounded opponent
The rules above should be a part of every ones self defense program
So to close everything can be effective if you work hard enough and use common sense but don’t be blinded be tradition, style, system, sentiment, Ego or a belief in your own hype, everything has a place and can be utilized when needed.
Stay safe and train smart,respect and blessings