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Old 09-22-2003, 11:14 AM   #1
BKimpel
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MMA will be Sumo

Why mixed-martial arts (MMA) will be Sumo in 5 years:

You say, "No way -- MMA is reality fighting and Sumo is just a sport":
People are all fired up about MMA today because it "seems" to be testing all the techniques that sensei have been bragging about for all these years. Putting their money where their mouth is, per se. While MMA does expose a valid concern that many people question their martial / self-defense effectiveness, it doesn't address this concern or provide any more answers than training in a dojo.

MMA is a sport. Definition of a sport (in my mind) is any event, which RULES are established, and in which certain conditions are EVALUATED to determine a victory.
You practice things that are designed for victory "in the ring", conditions that don't exist in real life scenarios.

An example? BJJ has proven itself very effective in this sport. What happens when you are outnumbered four to one on the street? Do you say, "All right, but let's take turns"? Maybe you do (in the bar parking lot), but I doubt you are in any danger in that situation - more likely it is your ego that has "caged" you into fighting not fear for your life.

So back to topic of this thread:
When does even BJJ become ineffective in the ring? We are already seeing it…when men reach the 240-pound and over mark and simply are too muscular, too fat, and too pain-resistant to "submit". So the techniques that are effective become subservient to the size of the opponent. We saw it in Judo, and we are seeing in MMA -- the biggest guy will almost always win in a sport.

I've got news for you people that think MMA is the newest, hottest thing since slice bread…it's been done hundred -- even thousands of years ago. People have always enjoyed watching the "best of the best" square off, but the same problem that plagued them plague MMA. First they make rules so everyone doesn't die (not much fun after two weeks if there are nobody left to play with). Second, because rules limit what you can do, the bigger combatants usually win (through strength and pain-resistance). Soon they all start to get big in order to win. This fuels the issue as the larger opponents are almost completely pain resistant and eventually technique is overshadowed with indestructibility. The result is -- you guessed it, two gigantic, indestructible opponents that reduce their technique to pushing and pulling each other out of the ring. Much safer and the same result…Sumo.

Think I am full of it? Bob Sapp is the new king because he is a monster. Even he said, "My technique isn't the greatest, but I'm just so big". Look at the fights in UFC (the progenitor of MMA), for the majority of them size rules. Look at the majority of the MMA fighters (I said majority, not all). Look at the "ties" (i.e. no victory) -- it's when two goliaths fight, neither of them gives up even when they have broken bones, so they have to stop the fight (no one can win within those rules).

I for one would like to just skip to the Sumo phase.

Bruce

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Old 09-22-2003, 08:11 PM   #2
PeterR
 
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The new Onsen in my neighbouring town has TV sets installed at one of the pools and the sauna. I spent an enjoyable two hours hanging out with old naked Japanese men (leave it alone) watching Sumo.

I dare you to tell anyone of them or worse one of the big boys - that what they are doing is just a sport.

MMA can never be Sumo.

That said - the point about size is valid.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-22-2003, 09:25 PM   #3
BKimpel
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Yes, you are completely right about MMA not being comparable to Sumo as far ethics, dedication and skill are concerned.

Just the part about two really, really big fat guys pushing each other around for our entertainment.

Naked men (assumingly drinking alcoholic beverages), in a hot tub are not an image I want in my head -- I'm going to leave that all alone.

Bruce

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Old 09-22-2003, 10:37 PM   #4
Chuck Clark
 
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O Sumo is really a Shinto ritual. Along with that, it is a spectacle and demonstration (for the Japanese) of traditional spirit of Nippon. Needless to say...it is also BIG, BIG MONEY.

I'm hooked on it.

Chuck Clark
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Old 09-22-2003, 10:47 PM   #5
PeterR
 
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Quote:
C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
O Sumo is really a Shinto ritual. Along with that, it is a spectacle and demonstration (for the Japanese) of traditional spirit of Nippon. Needless to say...it is also BIG, BIG MONEY.
Some of the top wrestlers do pretty good for themselves but nowhere near what let's say an inspired ball dribbler would.

I was reading an article on the overhead of these events - I mean the refs kimono alone is worth a small fortune.

I'm hooked also.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-23-2003, 06:00 AM   #6
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Bruce,

I'll pass on the whole "sport v budo" discussion and just hit the highlights.
Quote:
We are already seeing it…when men reach the 240-pound and over mark and simply are too muscular, too fat, and too pain-resistant to "submit".
Frank Mir has submitted his opponents(Williams by arm lock, Tank Abbot by footlock), and Mir's a heavyweight. Both Williams and Abbot are 240 or more.
Quote:
Second, because rules limit what you can do, the bigger combatants usually win (through strength and pain-resistance). Soon they all start to get big in order to win.
You are aware that there are weight categories, right? As such, "bigger" isn't an issue for the 95% of the competitors who aren't in the "superheavyweight" class.

Also, strength and pain-resistance are not necessarily attributes of size. Both are individual attributes that are developed independently. In other words, there's no correlation between gaining weight and an increase in pain resistance or an increase in strength (and to be frank, "strength" is too generic a term for this discussion....limit strength? strenght-endurance? explosiveness? What are we talking about here?)
Quote:
Bob Sapp is the new king because he is a monster. Even he said, "My technique isn't the greatest, but I'm just so big".
Yup, just before he tapped to Nog, a man some 100 pounds lighter. Sapp is "king" because he's marketable. He's not the top tier in MMA -- and has a ways to go before he could ever lay claim to the throne.
Quote:
Look at the majority of the MMA fighters (I said majority, not all).
LOL. The majority have to make weight classes, and they are the ones that are putting "butts in seats". Carlos Newton, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Matt Sera, Dan Henderson, Vanderlei Silva, Sak, Quinton Jackson, and this Friday....Tito Ortiz v Randy Couture. There's a small sample of the top tier fighters, and all of them have to make weight --- they are not goliaths, they are athletes that are 145-220 pounds.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 09-23-2003, 10:23 AM   #7
BKimpel
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Quote:
C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
O Sumo is really a Shinto ritual. Along with that, it is a spectacle and demonstration (for the Japanese) of traditional spirit of Nippon. Needless to say...it is also BIG, BIG MONEY.

I'm hooked on it.
Ha ha, no kidding it's BIG, BIG MONEY.

It's not like they have horse-races to gamble on

Bruce

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Old 09-23-2003, 10:54 AM   #8
BKimpel
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Hi Paul,

Right now you say, "but look at all the *little*(185-220 -- ya their little) guys winning…that's cause most of the giant guys aren't very talented (yet), but it will come very soon.

And what do I mean by indestructible? I mean when a man reaches the 250+ range, his body is covered in muscle or fat 1 to 3 inches thick and does not feel any strikes to his body except for his vital areas. Did you ever notice that our vital areas are the only parts of our body that don't expand when we gain fat or muscle (eyes, temple, throat, groin, knee, etc.)? Those are the areas you can't strike in a sport though, so all you are left with is speed -- you have to be fast enough to get a submission (large joint manipulation on elbow, knee, or ankle) before he closes a hold on you.

I am not saying you will not see some very talented martial artists emerge, on the contrary they will HAVE to have talented in order to survive the giants. I am just saying that the trend will continue down the big fat path.

Maybe people will become bored of it before it gets that far.

All sports lose momentum as they evolve. While the original excitement from UFC was seeing how effective the different martial arts were against each other, it quickly degraded into 20-40 minute ground-fighting matches where who ever was tired lost.

Good for BJJ as lots of people realized the value of ground-fighting in a one-man duel, but very boring to watch, and the majority of people I knew that watched them stopped.

The same thing will happen with MMA. People initially had interest in it because it was "the best of the best" squaring off, with the least amount of rules between them. Well next comes weight classes cause the little guys get destroyed (that's not fair), then come time limits because the audience gets bored (so they only have so long to do "something") so that gets rid of the endurance fighters, and so on. Eventually your left with Sumo (if you go out of bounds you lose), or WWF if you get pinned for a count then you lose (because no body wants to sit through an hour of you trying to get some sort of hold). And the big guys rule supreme under those rules.

Bruce

Last edited by BKimpel : 09-23-2003 at 10:56 AM.

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Old 09-23-2003, 11:32 AM   #9
paw
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Bruce,
Quote:
And what do I mean by indestructible? I mean when a man reaches the 250+ range, his body is covered in muscle or fat 1 to 3 inches thick and does not feel any strikes to his body except for his vital areas. Did you ever notice that our vital areas are the only parts of our body that don't expand when we gain fat or muscle (eyes, temple, throat, groin, knee, etc.)? Those are the areas you can't strike in a sport though, so all you are left with is speed -- you have to be fast enough to get a submission (large joint manipulation on elbow, knee, or ankle) before he closes a hold on you.
Red herring Bruce. Weight classes mean you're facing a worthy opponent --- that is to say someone who can generate more power because of their larger mass --- just like smaller fighters. It's all relative and has no correlation with size --- it's a function of training.

Also, temple and knee are valid targets for striking and the neck is open to manipulation (cranks and chokes) even in the rule extensive UFC. Some promotions, Brazil's Value Tudo for example, only limit eye gouging, biting and fish hooking....other than that, it's all good.
Quote:
I am not saying you will not see some very talented martial artists emerge, on the contrary they will HAVE to have talented in order to survive the giants. I am just saying that the trend will continue down the big fat path
Again, this supposes that the fighters are different weights, this is not the case. Weight classes are the rule in promotions. Apart from the occassional Pride match, "little guys" don't face "giants". When was the last time you watched MMA and what promotion was it?
Quote:
Good for BJJ as lots of people realized the value of ground-fighting in a one-man duel, but very boring to watch, and the majority of people I knew that watched them stopped.
Thanks for your opinion. This suggests you and your friends haven't watched MMA lately. "Bang" Ludwig, Vanderlei Silva, Matt Hughes, Robbie Lawler, Chuck Liddell and Pete Spratt immediately come to mind. These are athletes who are know for their standup ability and their ability to avoid the ground.
Quote:
The same thing will happen with MMA. People initially had interest in it because it was "the best of the best" squaring off, with the least amount of rules between them. Well next comes.....
This statement is flat out wrong. MMA was being actively prohibited from different areas by people with a financial interest in boxing. Rules were adopted to gain sanctioning and legal acceptance so that events could be held and eventually a fan base could be built to support a return to PPV.

Bruce, watch this Friday's UFC. You'll won't see 90% of what you are describing. And you'll see one of the most anticipated fights in a while.... Randy Couture v Tito Ortiz.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 09-23-2003, 08:41 PM   #10
Adrian Smith
 
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Quote:
Bruce Kimpel (BKimpel) wrote:
Ha ha, no kidding it's BIG, BIG MONEY.

It's not like they have horse-races to gamble on

Bruce
Umm, actually they do have horse races to bet on Bruce. There are at least two tracks on the outskirts of Tokyo that rival anything I've seen in the States or Canada in terms of size, attendance and purse.

And once you start watching Sumo you rapidly get addicted. We attended the Spring basho and watched every afternoon of the September one (with English language commentary) on NHK2. The history, ethics, and formality of the sport simply astounding and the overall athleticism of the competitors really has to be seen to be believed.



-drin
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Old 09-23-2003, 09:13 PM   #11
BKimpel
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Well honk my hooter - who would have guessed that! Did they clear out 1000 houses to make room for the track? That's crazy, I love it, the Japanese fit everything onto that little island.

You guys are getting me going now, I might have to take a serious look into Sumo (watching it that is, not participating - I'm not quite big enough yet).

Bruce

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Old 09-23-2003, 09:38 PM   #12
PeterR
 
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Bruce - ok you are having fun but for infos sake.

Only Finland has more forests per land area than Japan (surprised me too when I first heard it)- it easily beats Canada. You look out of my window and all you see is vast stretches of green. Of course an hour away from here is Osaka with all the attendent cliches.

I was born in New Brunswick, passed through there quite recently and at 6'1" and 65 kg soaking wet I have participated in a Sumo contest. I lost but not that quickly. It's not just a bunch of sweaty fat guys. Of course the pros (like football) tend towards the hefty.
Quote:
Bruce Kimpel (BKimpel) wrote:
Well honk my hooter - who would have guessed that! Did they clear out 1000 houses to make room for the track? That's crazy, I love it, the Japanese fit everything onto that little island.

You guys are getting me going now, I might have to take a serious look into Sumo (watching it that is, not participating - I'm not quite big enough yet).

Bruce

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-23-2003, 10:22 PM   #13
BKimpel
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Of course the pros (like football) tend towards the hefty.
*tend*…now you're the one funning

And yes while I am just funning around, I do find it amazing how many things Nippon packs in their little island. Japan, as a landmass, is about the same size as Manitoba here in Canada.

Manitoba has 680,000 people living in it, Japan has 125,000,000 - that is 183 times more people in the same space! With that many people I always find it utterly incredible that they can also fit one (or two) of everything we have here in Canada on their little island.

That's some serious ingenuity!

Bruce

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Old 09-23-2003, 11:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Bruce Kimpel (BKimpel) wrote:
I always find it utterly incredible that they can also fit one (or two) of everything we have here in Canada on their little island.

Bruce
Well, they are a lot smaller, you know! Kidding, only kidding...

I'm from Alberta, so I know what you mean. I'm still amazed at how much is packed into Japan and that there's as much open space as there is.

-drin

PS. Sumo's well worth a look. I think you'll be surprised at how often you're sitting watching a match and you suddenly realize you've just seen a *really* good tenkan/iriminage/kokyunage from a 375 pound almost naked guy...
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Old 09-24-2003, 12:15 AM   #15
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Chiyonofuji was a relatively small rikishi compared to most of the greatest yokozuna. I can't remember just now what his top weight and height was but I think it was around 280 lbs and about 6 feet tall.

He was smart and looked as though he was chiseled out of granite. What he really had going for him was intelligence, great technique and very focused spirit.

Chiyo (or the 'wolf' as he was nicknamed) had one of the greatest records of all time. He actually has the second best record in sumo history. He has his own stable now and you can still see that special focus from time to time.

Last edited by Chuck Clark : 09-24-2003 at 12:23 AM.

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Old 09-24-2003, 12:42 AM   #16
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I couldn't resist. I have put up a couple of my favorite pictures of Chiyonofuji.

http://www.jiyushinkai.org/jiyushinkan/Chiyonofuji.html

Enjoy!

Chuck Clark
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Old 09-24-2003, 12:55 AM   #17
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I was a fan of his too. One of my disappointments when I came back to Japan was that he had retired.

He was technically the most diverse and considering the size difference I would say technically the best.

The really big ones also have disadvantages - its not all one way.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-24-2003, 12:06 PM   #18
BKimpel
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I don't know about chiseled out of granite…but he does have the eye of a wolf (having looked a wolf in the eye, I have seen what pure hunger looks like).

That reminds me of another funny (perhaps dumb) experience of mine...

Being a fine artist in University we traveled all over to draw/paint things. One trip was to the Winnipeg zoo -- not particularly interesting to visit let alone draw. I chose to draw the tigers, who as you know just lie around in zoos -- maybe if you are lucky they stick their head up.

So I decided to go under the railing and right up to the cage so I could see "something". I sat crouched in a squatting position with my paper on my knees, and started drawing with conte, looking up, looking down to draw, looking up, and looking down to draw.

The next time I looked up, the tiger was standing…looking right at me. Even at least 20 feet away, I was completely mesmerized by his eyes -- in a trance. He didn't make a single movement, yet all at once I knew his intention (I saw it in his eyes) and he bolted towards me and I flew backwards over that railing a good 5-6 feet backwards to get away from him.

There he was, standing on his hind legs pressed against the fence -- ten or twelve feet of tiger stretched out, staring at me -- never dropping his gaze and not a single sound.

That's the eye of a predator, the pure opposite of mushin -- single purpose conveyed through their eyes.

Chiyonofuji has predator eyes in that shot, don't you think Clark?

Bruce

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Old 09-24-2003, 03:53 PM   #19
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Thanks for posting those pictures Clark sensei. Nice to see other sumo afficionados around. Out of the current rikishi I personally am partial to Takamisakari because I like his attitude in and out of the dohyo, but Chiyonofuji was something else to watch.

-drin
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Old 09-24-2003, 04:23 PM   #20
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You're welcome, Mr. Smith. I often wish I was still in Japan so I could indulge myself with the hon basho and occasionally making a trip to one of the local heya. There are other things I miss also, and many things that I don't miss.

Chuck Clark
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Old 09-27-2003, 12:31 PM   #21
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And you'll see one of the most anticipated fights in a while.... Randy Couture v Tito Ortiz.
Randy Couture is the man!
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