MMA is the oldest martial art
MMA is the oldest martial art.
There seems to be a constant war of words between the mmaand tma circles at present. And the reason is a lack of understanding betweenthe two camps of what it is they actually do.
Traditional Martial Arts-At what point does it becometraditional, and what is meant by traditional? For instance, Karate as it ispractised today was developed from about the 1920’s. What is today calledTraditional Karate has nothing to do with the old styles of karate. Today’skarate is based on what the Japanese wanted to teach to the masses. Withoutgoing into too much history, it started with Anko Itosu. He started to alterthe Karate he was teaching in order to introduce it to the Okinawan schoolcurriculum. This meant removing a lot of techniques he considered too dangerousto teach to children. Itosu also started changing the meanings of some of the movements;an arm raised above the head became a rising block. His most famous student,Gichen Funakoshi took this idea further, and he along with his students beganto formalise the Karate syllabus and every technique in the kata that featureda raised hand above the head became a rising block. They formalised themovements of kata into smaller simpler patterns and called this basics, orkihon. To complete the syllabus they devised a mock fight between combatantsand called it kihon kumute. This was based on ideas from Iaido.
Aikido too was developed in the 1920’s, and similarly hadits original art refined to meet the needs of the day.
The same can be said of Judo too.
MMA-Mixed Martial Arts. For starters, the most famous MMA’erwas Bruce Lee. Long before the words MMA were banded about, Bruce Lee was crosstraining. But he was not the only one.
Karate owes its history to mixed martial arts. It wasoriginally born from a combination of several Chinese Kung Fu styles, with theWhite Crane style being given prominence. It was mixed with the local artcalled Ti, which was supposed to resemble judo. Over time, the grapplingmovements of Karate have been removed.
Kung Fu-Countless styles of Kung Fu have been combinedand a new style created because its founder brought the best of both to a newaudience.
Modern MMA as a sport owes its development to Brazilianjiu jitsu and Thai Boxing as its main contributors. (Arguably two traditionalmartial arts.) Along the way, other arts have seen their inclusion, Sambo, Judo,Kickboxing. We even have a Shotokan Karate stylist competing now. The greatthing about MMA as a sport is that you can take all your theories and see howthey work against fellow martial artists without having to resort to a streetfight.
And for all the people who offer up the excuse of notbeing allowed to kick the groin, or poke someone in the eyes, head-butt etc. Iwould bet my money on an MMA guy knocking out a thug in a nightclub over anyonetrying to poke the same guy in the eyes, or even better kick him in the groin.Why, because of an old saying. How you train is how you react. A MMA’er istrained to punch you in the face. He’s done it dozens of times. He is mentallyprepared for it. By contract, how many times have you practised poking someonein the eyes? How many times have you delivered a full on kick to the groin?
When all is said and done, whatever style of martial artsyou practise you will do all or some of the following. Kick, punch, elbow, kneestrike, throw, strangle and joint lock. How you train them and apply them is upto you. MMA offers you the ability to test a wide variety of these, and notwork from a purely theoretical or static basis.
For my part, I train Wing Chun, but I add Muay Thai-kickspunches knees elbows and clinches. All used by both styles, but only practisedin a live way in one. And BJJ for the ground work and grappling. Again WingChun makes a cursory stab at grappling in the form of Chin Na, but adding theBJJ takes the theory to a whole other level.
Masters of old used to send their students to othermasters to learn their speciality, and I view it as no different in trainingMMA. You get to learn from the best strikers and grapplers, and you add it toyour arsenal.
It’s time the Martial Arts Community (MAC) started to learnfrom each other again. MMA contains all the TMA techniques with all the ego andBS removed.