Justin Smith wrote:
Here's my contribution to the ruckus:
WIth professional sports, there is typically a lot of $ involved, and I have no way of knowing if matches are fixed, or what the real rules are in the contracts, despite high levels of contact.
Hi, Justin. Interesting article. I'd like to raise too points:
The first is that while professional MMA events don't mirror reality as closely as they claim -- that TMA can work in real life demonstrates that -- that doesn't mean someone from an average dojo should get cocky. After a recent pay-per-view event, my Kali instructor gave a little speech to the effect that people don't lose those events (assuming they're not fixed, of course) because they suck but because they face someone who's better -- maybe younger, hungrier, more skilled. I think if MOST Aikido people went up against one of these guys would get killed. That doesn't mean Aikido sucks or that we, as Aikido practitioners suck, just that these gentlemen are very good. O Sensei could problaby pin one of these guys with his thumb; the rest of us, however, are not O Sensei.
I guess I'm saying is to be careful not to let your ego and your pride cloud your beliefs. Just because we're closer to reality on that chart than them doesn't mean we're better, it's just we have different priorities. (Personally, the gentlemen I've met who have doen such events at an amateur level are really nice guys, and I bet would be more interested in taking Aikido than lording over it. But that's just me.)
The other point is on the word "fad." This implies that MMA will come ago and leave us alone and we won't have to worry about it anymore.
The current popular interest may come and go, but the schools formed during this period will not. At one time or another over the last 50 year, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, and Ninjitsu all enjoyed an upsurge in popular interest, IOW they were the fad du jour. But when the fad fades, legitimate schools were left behind. That's why long after he made a name by being in TV and movies, and can -- and have -- signed up for a class in Bruce Lee's Jun Fan Gung Fu. So, we can say that now, yes, it is MMA's turn to be the fad. But the MMA schools opening now won't go with the fad, if they play their cards right. And this, again, is not a bad thing; the only practical implication for the Aikido world is the background of the people who join the dojo. Historically it may have been people who started off in Judo and Karate; now add BJJ, Thai Boxing, and other such systems to the mix.
So I liked the article and agreed with some points. But I just wanted to add:
1. Don't let your ego cloud your judgment
2. MMA schools won't go away even if MMA events do.
Just a few thoughts.