Peculiar Korean MMA program
A few days ago I came across, at http://dramafever.com/drama/1786/ , a show called "Real Fight-Street Fighters". After watching all 13 episodes I've formed some opinions but wanted to get feedback from Bullshido's more savvy MMA folks and/or Koreaphiles.
The program bills itself as MMA, though it actually isn't, at least not in the sense that term is used around here. It's a series of style vs. style matches. Nomenclature aside, style vs. style could still be entertaining but the show really didn't prove to be that either. While each episode begins with a foreword stating that the rules will be "flexible to respect the features of each art" things seemed to remain pretty consistent from show to show regardless of the disciplines involved. From what I could gather (and I say "gather" because the rules, flexible or not, were never explained until after a competitor violated one) fighters couldn't use knees (until the quarterfinals, when they were allowed to use one per exchange) and apprently no grappling, because every time the fighters clinched or someone went to the ground, the referee jumped in to separate them. This also changed in the quarterfinals when fighters could go to the ground but rarely did so, except in so-called "special matches" that featured two fighters not affiliated with the competing clubs that were used as filler. So every fight wound up being essentially a kickboxing match.
As far as the production values of the show, they were terrible. Like, one step above cable access. The ring consisted of a red square painted or taped on the floor with coaches, fellow competitors, and in one case audience members literally inches from the edge. The backdrop was the kind of "street" scene favored by 1980's music video directors. Fights were routinely interrupted by a slow-motion replay of an event that just happened with a white and red caption to helpfully remind the viewer of what was just seen and music that sounded vaguely like the Mortal Kombat theme played underneath. The hosts were a pair of smarmy guys who rarely offerd any comments more insightful than "It's a SLUGFEST!", or "[Dude] should be attacking [Other Dude]". You think Ryan Seacrest is annoying? Imagine him replicating via mitosis into two Korean-crests.
Of course, the most important element of a show like this is the fighters. Frankly, I'm sort of at a loss as to how to evaluate them. That's partly because I'm just not an astute judge of fighters, partly because these are amateurs who, in most cases, aren't aspiring to be pros and shouldn't be held to too high a standard, and partly because the idiosyncratic nature of the rules made it hard to judge them on their own merits. I will say that I suspect that some of these guys were good. Others... Yes, I know everybody that gets in a ring deserves a modicum of respect, but I still couldn't help wondering from time to time, "Seriously, what were you thinking?"
So how about it Bullshido? Is "Real Fight-Street Fighters" an accuarte picture of the state of Korean MMA ? An unfortunate anomaly in an otherwise vibrant scene? A well-known joke that I somehow missed with the search function? Do tell...
This really looks like Kyuk Too Ki to me, if so they are a lot more relaxed about the rules than they what I've seen before, which was basically shootboxing that scored kicks really high (Mostly Standing, some Clinch and possibly a little ground, listen to him count 5,4,3,2,1 during the clinch) I had heard they were trying to make Kyuk Too Ki more MMAesque so maybe they mean making competent sprawl and brawl fighters instead of actually developing an MMA ruleset, though this kind of reminds me of a bizarre mix between The Ultimate Fighter and Street Fighter.
Personally I love this sort of thing, kind of like being a kid and watching WMAC Masters, except they're actually hitting each other.
Last edited by stray_bullet; 9/14/2010 6:29am at .