Tuesday, 2 March 2021

What I love about MMA

Realism.     

Like most MMA fans in the early days, I wanted to see which techniques would work in a real fight against someone who wasn’t playing by the same rules as me.

Which karate techniques or judo techniques will I be able to use if I’m in a fight against someone who doesn’t understand or respect the rules of karate or judo? 

There is a tendency in Martial Arts to believe exaggerated incredible tales. People who are otherwise critical thinkers are willing to suspend their disbelief when it comes to martial arts and believe the stories of mystical grand masters who could defeat hundreds of opponents at once using their mystical pressure point techniques. 

MMA has shown what will generally work and what won’t in a real fight. Of course, there have to be rules so it will never be 100% accurate but it's as close as we can legally & ethically get 

The growth of MMA has encouraged Martial Artists to become more realistic and honest in their training. Rather than believing that certain styles, techniques or strategies will work in a real fight when there is overwhelming evidence that they probably won’t work. 

The Evolution of martial arts

Sinec the early days of the modern era of MMA we have witnessed a constant evolution and improvement of Techniques, Tactics & training methods. In the early days if you knew how do a takedown and apply a rear naked choke you had a serious advantage over 99% of the other fighters you were likely to come up against. 

Since then the game has evolved in cycles every few years. Starting with BJJ strategy of clinch to takedown to mount to back control to submission. This was followed by wrestling era of takedown to ground & pound popularised by Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, & Mark Kerr. Then came the sprawl and and brawl era of fighters like Chuck Lidell.

The game has been continually evolving and building on the what came before. The tactics and strategies that worked ten years ago won’t work now. 

There are also so many techniques that are commonplace nowadays that were previously written off. For example the use of high kicks. 

Prior to the modern MMA era,Jean Claude van Damme was the biggest star of martial arts. Everyone was training to do the splits and land spinning heel kicks. 

When the ufc arrived many martial arts fans came to the conclusion that high kicks looked good in movies but were too risky for real fights and will leave you vulnerable to takedowns. 

One of the first things that changed people’s minds about this was Maurice Smith knocking out Brazilian Jiujitsu expert Conan Silvera. Followed soon after by Pete Williams knocking out UFC champion and elite wrestler Mark Coleman with a head kick. 

After that head kicks came back into fashion again as a legitimate weapon in real fighting. 

The purity of the sport

Fighting is the purest expression of a competition between two athletes. Unlike many other professional Sports, Fighting has been around for as long as human beings have existed. Physical Combat was always necessary in order to protect yourself , your family or your tribe from enemies. 

Over the centuries as societies became more civilized the need fro physical fighting became less and less necessary. however its clear that human beings still recognised the value of the ability to fight and defend yourself. This led to the development of martial arts & combat sports in every country and culture around the world. 

Mixed Martila Arts is the ultimate expression of this human need to fight & defend yourself and the ultimate test of the martial artists ability to apply his skills and techniques against an equally skilled and equally trained opponnet. after all what is the point in training for years if you cant apply the techniques under the pressure of a real fight?

MMA sums up the idea of one person against another equal matched opponent. Sometimes people will try to gain an unfair advantage through steroids or other methods but most fighters are doing for the right reason. To test themselves and their training and push themselves beyond their limits.

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