MMA vs. Traditional...again

Discuss sparring, training applications in a competition environment, or even in real-life (fighting, self-defence). Please no violence!
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Postby Walter Wong » Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:32 pm

Here's a piece of an article of an interview from my Kenjutsu sensei that should help bring some light about sport fighting and combat.

So you have self-defense being mostly about being smart and putting yourself in a good position, not getting into bad areas or situations. Literally taking care of yourself, and this means how you treat yourself as well. Then there are arts that have some practicality for self-defense for people. A lot of people can spend time training. However, this will prove of little value if you don’t spend time to learn. You have sports. Sports are outstanding for all kinds of reasons. Boxing is a sport. I enjoyed kickboxing and boxing. I wrestled in high school and college. It was great and it taught me a lot. You have sports and fighting arts, especially things like the modern, mixed martial arts done in things like UFC. There are no weapons. The fighters are of relatively similar size most of the time and there are rules. Then you have combat. Combat has no rules. You stick your wife and my wife on one side of the octagon and give them both Glocks and a 300 pound guy on the other side. They're probably going to win. It's going to be pretty hard on the guy, bullets are no respecters of persons; they don’t care who you are or what you know. So you add a few more people in there and you can't see where they're coming from and you have combat. Increase the number and type of weapons and now you are getting into combat. Training for war is a radically different concept. Samurai training was training for war. It wasn't training for sport; it wasn't training for self-defense; it wasn't training for fighting; it was training for war. You had multiple opponents who had all types of weaponry available to them from spears to arrows to clubs and swords, everything you could imagine. There were no rules, their job was to deceive you and your job was to deceive and kill them. Well, this training is radically different than training for UFC or kickboxing, or self-defense. Or for that matter personal practice for self-enlightenment. Those are completely different things. My opinion though, if you don't train and expose yourself to true danger you're never going to fully understand and get to a place where the ancients got. You can't get there by thinking about it, reading about it, feeling good about. Warm gooey feelings have no place here in that sense of the term. As I frequently tell my students, that warm gooey feeling is usually blood!
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Postby elias » Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:57 am

Ive only been training Kung Fu for about 2 months now, and yesterday was the first time I saw the UFC since I started training. They were showing some of the greatest knockouts. My impression of these guys after Ive had some training was they are not very skilled fighters at all. They may be good fighters, and they certainly could beat me in a fight, but they did not seem veyr skilled at all. Generally in all the fights, the two fighters bounced around each other, never getting close or standing still, always on their toes, one guy would hop in with a hook, and the other guy would either hop away-not block- or get hit in the side of the head, get disoriented and the other would pumel him. The only power they seemed the generate seemed to be from brute upper body strength, and I didnt see any technique other than timing the jump and punch right. Any comments on this? Also, Ive searched and searched, but I cant seem to find any videos of someone who seriously trained Kung Fu for a while fighting someone else. Does anyone know where I can download some?
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Postby silverfox » Sat Dec 23, 2006 5:51 pm

I feel that if you train TMA 7 days a week then 5 out of those 7 days had better be focused on fight applications, pad/bagwork, and sparring standing, ground , and freestyle or both. I train Shaolin and Taichi among other arts but I teach Wingtsun kung fu, Arnis, and BJJ. the greater majority of my time is spent on fight focus in WT, Arnis and BJJ. These arts are my speciality while I progress in Shaolin and Tai chi. The reason I train these arts as a speciality is that ! they were there first but more importantly is that I am not training myself or my students to fight just the common thug on the street.

I am training them and myself to fight a MMA guy or a really good TMA. I love to kick, but if I am in a clich or against a wall WT is very dangerous. IF it goes to the ground BJJ is dangerous and you don't have to be a master to strike an eye, groin, etc.. Also In alot of the matches i have had, those strikes can open you up for massive strikes or submissions or your own vitals beiing attacked. Besides in a streetfight a guy with jeans on is gonna be a tough groin grab, even with the Kung Fu grip. If I am attacked with a common weapon, then Arnis is live training for stick, machede and knife.

All three of these arts I teach are LIVE arts. TMA can be too if the focus is consistent on fight focus the greater majority of the time. The reason kung fu fares poorly in MMA bouts is not due to a lack of the style's effectiveness it lies in the absence of fight focus and sparring in today's TMA schools along with the absence of a decent ground game.

Master Yang told me once that if you train to fight ALOT using TMA you will be a good fighter and as for the MMA guys if you know how to use and counter their techniques then you can win. The reason is that you as a traditional martial artist will have more techniques than them which has shown us in the past that the more technical fighter usually has an advantage coupled with their experience over the opposite type of fighter. Look at the past matches of Muay Thai versus San Shou. San Shou has been historically dominant because they understood the MT fighter's simple MMA like techniques and learned to counter them, and had a greater variety of effective techniques to impose their will.

I believe that every TMA needs to know the common techniques that MMA are using and master them and master how to counter them. If the school you are at cannot understand the need for this training or cannot explain what to do against the MMA guy then don't leave if you love the beauty and coolness of Kung fu, just go out and train in those areas of grappling, sparring and continue to train your KF. You will be a good fighter, and will not question the MMA versus TMA dilema. You will be have all of their strengths and none of their weaknesses.

I hope this helps to clear the turbulence of muddy waters in which MMA and TMA who are both respectable types of martial artists swim, so the true nature of martial arts can be seen for it's greatness. The fact that it helps us to know the greatest competition lies within ourselves and the beauty of training something that is a treasure among humans.
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and learn how to harmonize with nature and others around you"


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Postby BaguaMonk » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:10 pm

I think if CMA practitioners would approach their art with realism, and not t3h deadly. They have alot of good things going for it. Internal Arts, have an incredible way of shaping your body, teaching your mind (how to use intention), utilizing effective forms of movement, etc. It can easily be adapted to modern day boxing, or better yet adapt to anything almost. If people just let go of those inhibitions, let go of the myths, the legends, learn the structure, and then release themselves from it. I think there is alot of room to grow, innovate, and furthermore be completely natural. It's all about the core principles and mechanics..once you have that..the form is nothing. That is all the forms are for in IMA for example...the applications/techniques are just a way of SHOWING the core principles/mechanics..they are not supposed to be practiced ritually like in other Martial arts. Because in the end thats limiting your response to those sets of movements, enabling you to master only a few movements in your life. Whereareas if you train to think, act, and move naturally/efficiently, you will be able to respond much quicker and with much more efficiency.

There are infinite ways of generating power, and everyone has their own way of thinking/moving. So make the art yours, don't let the art make you. I like to train with MMA guys. It serves as a good way to get used to the kind of impact, and routine that you would do in a real fight.
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