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Old 07-14-2006, 12:21 PM   #203
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
United_States
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Re: Brawling with a friend

I wouldn't worry about Pro MMA fights being fixed. I know this because I know a few pro MMA fighters (both on large circuits and small cirucits). I've trained with them and I know they are fighting to win, they get paid to win. Its like boxing, yes there have been fixed fights in boxing i'm sure, but there are athletic commisions and gambling to keep it honest. Of course those same athletic commisions are why the rules have been paired down the way they are. Although I dont feel there is anything wrong with that. Also MMA fighitng may be a fad in the USA, but it is much more then that in brazil, japan, and other places.

Michael, your kali instructor made a great point, the winner is usually who wants it more. This is because for the best fight you need to pair up fighters of equal skill. The end result is who wants it more. The guy who wants it more will run that extra mile, doing the extra sparing, and drill down on more technique. Look at chuck Liddel vs Randy Couture, both are very skilled fighters with arguably the same amount of skill. The winner was decided by a slight difference in strategy and desire to push the fight. You can't say either fighter was better then the other.

Justin, I read the link you posted and I personally do not agree with it. It places sports at a realm much lower then it belongs. Elements of sports training lends themselves to physical conflict better then non sport training. You can't argue that a judo guy who only does judo kata will be better at self defense then a judo guy who trains for competition. The judo guy training for competition will be in better physical shape, have developed his own judo (tactics, tricks, movements, throws, etc), he will have actually experiance with someone resisting his attempts to throw, and finally he will be used to getting thrown down and fighting against an oppressive opponent (assuming he fights people better then him). Further more, you dont need a martial art to teach you to run away, or negotiate, there is much better training for that then martial arts. So we are left with martial arts dealing with the point where a problem becomes physical. It should be obvious to anyone that the closer you can get to a real fight, the more experiance you will have at dealing with a real fight. When i train in the gym, I spar guys bigger then me, stronger then me, smaller then me, faster then me, more technical then me, and all of the above. When I compete the only thing I know is the guy I'm about to fight is around my weight. I have to deal with my nerves, the knowedge that the person i'm facing is trying to hurt me. Getting hit, thrown, landed on, choked, etc, and I have to be mentally prepared to do the same back to him. These are all very important skills you will need if you have to defend yourself beyond the verbal realm. This makes a sport fight a lot closer then a scripted kata in my opinion.

What I have never seen addressed by people against sport fighting is how traditional training better prepares you for a street fight. Is it the clothes you wear? The enviroment you train in? The realistic attacks? How do you develop the experiance needed to perform when you are attacked? How do you learn to deal with unexpected responses when your techniques fail? I have yet to hear a reason why the illegal techniques that you can't really train anyways (eye gouges, bites, groin strikes, etc) can't be used by a MMA fighter? I would say that a restricted rulset helps you develop better basics (remember basics are always the key to the martial arts) becuase you learn to use techniques that have a higher precentage chance of working vs change techniques that may or may not work (RNC vs pressure point knock out, or shrimping out of the half guard vs eye gouge). I have yet to hear how non sport training (which I will assume means low or non contant sparing, or even no sparing) deals with the holes that develop in your technique though not actually having someone resist it. How do you learn that going for an eye gouge from the mount will get your arm broken by armbar? How do you learn that attempting to guilitene choke from the bottom of a side mount will get you stuck in a keylock? More importantly how do you learn to feel what someone is trying to do to you so you can defend it properly and not set them up to hurt you in another way? How do you learn to throw a high kick without getting dumped on your butt? How do you learn to slip a jab? How do you learn to keep a person from throwing you? How do you learn to keep a person from clinching you? How do you learn to get up when you have been taken down safely? All these things can't be taught, they have to be learned though trial and error.

Obviously sport fighting is not a street fight, but neither is a compliant drill or a kata. Sport fighting can reason that they are actually using their technqiues against a person trying to do the same. What is the position of non-sport people? Usually instead of saying this is how our training better prepares you, they will instead harp on sport fighting not being realistic. Real self defense is not knowing a hundred ways to hurt someone, its about knowing the basics and being able to use them against a person who is trying to hurt you. I can teach you the moves, I can even teach you to look great doing them. I can not teach you to use them. Only sparing can do that. Of course some people are just awesome from the start, they were awesome before martial arts, and better after martial arts. They might not need to spar and it may be natural to use the moves. But do you want to bank you are that man? I don't. Others will say you do not need to train to fight a bjj guy, or fight a kickboxer, or fight a judo guy because the average guy in the street has no training. I ask if you want to take that chance that the guy who decides to attack you wans't an all state wrestler who's life went down the tubes after highschool? I wouldn't want to risk the chance the guy I have to fight is not an average joe.

The final comment I will make is on being humble. I see many "traditional" schools that speak about how invincible they are. They have never tested their skills and they teach their students to really belive outlandish things. Things like : I can't be taken to the ground, or I can't get hit, or this will break his ribs, etc. This is very dangerous, and for people attacked to these arts (tipically people who have a fear they are trying to deal with) it is giving them false confidence and just might get them hurt.

At a MMA school you will see a lot of false bravado, you will see a lot of testosterone slinging, but you will very humble guys about their skill. They are humble because every single day they are getting tapped out, they are losing fights. And they know for a fact their is no 100%, everything can fail, they will never be the biggest, strongest, fasters, or more technical attacker, and the ones who dont just having gotten it tapped out of them yet. You will be hard pressed to find a MMA guy telling you that doing something will prevent something else. He will admit that every technique can fail, you can't count on deadly attacks, knock out blows, etc. You have to be ready to adapt, and he has real life experiance in adapting. The only problem is you will be punched in the face, you will be thrown, you will be choked, you will be slamed, you will get a elbow grinded into your throat, etc. The positive side is the negitives will only happen if you cant' stop them from happening.

I have trained with a lot of guys who have come to my house, came into the gym I train in, or met at friends houses that were in traditional martial arts. I also went to MMA from traditional arts. It is obvious to me that 90% of the people I trained with (and myself included) where not even closed to being prepared to fight a person in the ring. Even after all my judo training, TKD training, aikido training, krav maga, etc, I was not prepared for the MMA enviorment. I ended up just like all the other 'traditional' guys I spar with now do. I ended up flailing and spazing out while I got man handled by a 3-6 month MMA student. I've been training traditional arts for around 10 years! I even have a black belt in TKD. My first night I was paired up with a man who was 30 pounds lighter than I was with 6 months training and no previous sport or martial art exp. I spent the time on the defensive getting tapped over and over by this guy. If I can't handle a sport fight with a single known opponent who I can train for, how can I ever expect to handle a street fight with an unknown attacker, possibly weapons or multiple combatants?? It just doesn't make sense.

Its important to be honest about your training. Make sure you are training in the best way for your results. Train for history, train for exposure to cultures, train for sport, train for fitness, etc. But training for self defense requires that you take steps beyond that offered in the classical 'non-sport' martial arts. To really be good at fighting you are not only going to have to learn techniques, but you are going to have to actually fight as close to what you are trying to prepare yourself to as possible. There is no substitute for experiance. And if you are that serious about self defense, look into a body guard, a weapon, or moving somewhere safer. If you expect to take on a person or person in the street without every having done hard sparing you are going to find yourself in a lot of trouble. Unless you are a natural tough guy.

its not the art that makes a good fighter, its the person and the training method. It should be obvious that the MMA training method is better at making fighters, if only because the entire purpose is to make fighters. Do you want to be a fighter or do you want something else? I really dont believe aikido's purpose was to make fighters.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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