View Full Version : The Future of MA

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Martial Cartoonist
4/25/2003 4:39am,
Most of us who've been in MA for a while have noticed that there are consistent "trends" to our hobby/activity/job/way of life. For instance, way before I was even an itch in my daddy's crotch, karate, kung-fu, and judo were considered the end-all be-all of martial arts. Anybody who was anybody practiced one of these three, and if you were trained by, say, Bruce Lee or one of his affiliates, hell, more props to you.

Soon after, TKD began its lovely rise, and it's still there as the most popular MA on the planet.

For a little while, it was reality fighting, stuff like Krav Maga, American Combato, all the stuff from, say, Battleschool, basically stuff that goes really fast and has some kind of "military history."

Right now, what I'm seeing is that everybody's into MMA. Mixing styles, picking and choosing what's best, getting really into shape and knowing how to hit and grapple.

Now, this isn't a heavily-researched analysis on trends in MA. This is what I've seen and heard and occassionally read in my 20 short years of life, and even less personal experience in MA.

What do you folks see as the possible trends of the future? This MMA thing can't be top dog forever. Who knows, maybe, say... Olympic Wushu will be a major "mainstream" trend in MA? Who knows?

Now, what do you people think?

My skill with a sword is formidable. My skill with the s-word is flat-out lethal.

Martial Cartoonist
4/25/2003 4:53am,
I guess what I meant by "on top" is the fact that everyone "in the know" when it comes to MA seems to flock to MMA. While taekwondo still has the highest number of practitioners worldwide, the current in-thing is to take some kind of MMA, or, where possible, Brazilian jujutsu.

My skill with a sword is formidable. My skill with the s-word is flat-out lethal.

4/25/2003 6:50am,
I think it is known, but the majority of people are not prepared to make the commitment required for MMA. I know that I'm not prepared to, as a consequence of work, social life and existing injuries. If I started doing MMA in any meaningful way, I'd rapidly become single again from the time commitment alone.
I doubt that I'm alone in being a hobbyist MAist.

4/25/2003 9:03am,
I'd say people right now are into BJJ a bit moreso than MMA...There's a giant craze about it. Ten years ago and up until about a year ago it was TKD.

I think the next trend will be Kali or some sort of weapons thing.

4/25/2003 9:14am,
The thing with MMA, is that fact that when you are in your 30's and older with a professional job, you really can't afford to be involved with something that hardcore. I think they are great, but I can't come to work looking like Mike Tyson's punching bag.

At this point of time I believe the MMA events are starting to become a mainstream entertainment. You have the UFC tonight, K1 next week, etc. More and more people are starting to get into watching it. However, I don't think you will see a mass quantity of MMA schools pop up anytime soon, like that of TKD or karate. You are starting to see a little bit of BJJ schools pop up, but mostly you will find them sharing space with another school.

Jeremy M. Talbott

4/25/2003 9:28am,
MMA is here to stay, that is until a TMA comes along to beat it. Seems pretty unlikely to happen, unless someone made a new one, but then it wouldn't be a TMA.
I think as long as MMA continues to dominate NHB then it'll keep on going.
As for 'on top' MMA will never be on top because as people have said the general public lacks the commitment, so TMAs will never die; people love the idea that they can become invincible turning up to a class a few times a month.
I don't think MMA will ever be as popular as TMA, except maybe to watch.

Xuanlong Xian
4/25/2003 11:17am,
Now wait - the last few comments seem to have been about time and effort commitment instead of the nature of the arts involved. Probably any MA that takes two nights a week and makes you feel invincible will be on top. But surely there are some people who approach BJJ this way...and some who train their hearts out in Karate...

4/25/2003 11:30am,
I think the future holds no more TKD explosions of 1 art.
The next trend will be the little self made styles not one organization.
Anything associated with 'Combat', 'Military' or MA 'synthesis' should do well. ::sigh::

"I do not agree with what you have to say but, I will defend to the death your right to say it."

4/25/2003 12:10pm,
MMA Phil,

It has nothing to do with the lack of commitment. How many 35-50 year old men do you see in NHB? Unless they are the ones that are making MMA their only source of income? Very few. Now you may get a few who will go to the training center and punch the bag a bit or hit some targets, may be even roll on the mat a bit. Yes MMA will be around however I still believe it will not see a big of an explosion as TKD or karate, etc..I think it is basically to hard core for the masses.

Jeremy M. Talbott

4/25/2003 12:30pm,
Miguksaram is totally correct. Most MA practioners simply do not have the time or the comittment to do MMA. IMHO, most folks in MA go to their training centers 3 days a week. I'm sure more than a few of us have professional jobs, families, and other responsibilities to worry about then training 3 to 4 hours a day! But, for me, the main reason is it's all about AGE. You just can't beat your body like that as you get older. This is the reason I will never consider MMA a real martial art. IMO, real martial arts are something you can practice for an entire lifetime. MMA/UFC/NHB is a young man's sport. Plain and simple. Can a MMA competitor kick the average Kung Fu students ass? Probably, but so what? In the long run, these UFC types will most likely end up with more aches and pains then it was worth. Personally speaking, I'm very happy I've chosen an Internal path for my studies because I know I will be doing them even when I'm in my 60's and 70's (also I'll be healthy). I don't want to be sitting around when I'm an old man talking about how I "use" to participate in MMA. I wan't to be DOING IT, even then! Amen. Feel free to flame away.

Edited by - balloonknot on April 25 2003 13:13:27

4/25/2003 12:38pm,
Being in the military I know a few people who actually practice MMA (Marines and SEALs), basically because they have the ingrained need to always be prepared. However I have seen very few people willing to go to a place everyday just to get their asses kicked, although they're learning. I know that's the main reason haven't tried it (call me a puss, it's cool). But I believe what most people have been saying is pretty true, if a person can go to a school and learn how to theoretically crush a man's forehead then they are happy. I take kung fu and even though we do full contact, I do want to be able to walk at 50 (like balloon said), and maybe at by 95 I can kill a man by reversing his chi :).

4/25/2003 12:39pm,
Ballonknot, so by your definition you consider Gracie/Brazillian Jiu Jitsu a martial art?

Just wondering.

Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever!!!

4/25/2003 12:40pm,
MMA Phil has it right, the next big trend in MA and fighitng is whatever beats what is out there today. Even in MMA there has been a series of evolutions. BJJ's ealry "dominance", the ground and pound era, the prowrestling influence in Japan, all of these have had an influence on MMA fighting and MA schools today.

By the way, I put dominance in quotes when speaking about BJJ, because I don't really think it was as dominant as most people think. When most people thing BJJ, Royce breezing through the first UFC comes to mind, but everyone now knows that UFC I was really just an infomerical for the Graices. The life-time acheivement award presented to Helio in the middle of the PPV should have been your first clue that whole event was staged to put BJJ, spefically Gracie Ju-Jitsu, on the map as the next big MA craze. It did what it set out to accomplish.

The second UFC was much more of a true test, and Royce won that one too, but that was pretty much it for BJJ dominance. He got his ass beaten up by Kimo in UFC 3 and barely beat Severn in UFC 4. It's been downhill ever since. The true dominant period of BJJ only lasted from March 94 to Sept. 94. Those six months have provided almost an entire decade of my style is better than your style ammo.

Many TMA schools publicly disparage the MMA community, but at the same time have changed what they do because of the lessons it has taught us. I know my school has.

As for what is next in MA, TMA, and MMA, I don't know. Maybe some Dimak master will come out of the mountains and paralyze Bob Sapp by tapping him on the finger. Then everyone will scream "I told you that sutff works!" and jump on that band wagon.

What I hope the next trend in martial arts is a new period of honesty and self-examination that eliminates some of the hype along with a shift in public perception allowing that to happen. I hope that one day a school can have advertisements that read:

Come down to ABC Karate and learn a little history and culture, new ways to move your body, and get some much needed excerise all in a fun and unique setting.

Instead of:
Come learn the ancient secret Art of ABC Kara-Fu-Ken-Jitsu! They most deadly art known to man!!!! 57th degree grandmaster will teach all that is necessary to defeat 23 similaneous armed attackers in 4 seconds!!!

Somehow, I don't think I'm going to get my wish.

4/25/2003 12:45pm,
I don't think that age is an excuse: Dan Severn has competed in the UFC at over 50, the UK Vale Tudo champion - Ian Freeman - is 37 and will be fighting Ken Shamrock, my amateur Vale Tudo instructor is definitely in that age bracket. Nobody starts out with MA as their only source of income.
Too hardcore for the masses, well that was my point also. People would sooner believe that a couple of TKD classes a month will turn them into a superhero, than believe that a lot of conditioning and hard training will not.

Poet: Yeah.

I think people like to be deluded; it makes them feel better, so the MCDojo trend will be here to stay. Lots of people train in MCDojos as a hobby and wouldn't have a clue what UFC/Vale Tudo was, it wouldn't even occur to them that their training might not be supreme.

4/25/2003 1:09pm,
MMA_Phil, it's nice that you can name a "couple" of MMA's over 35, but that's not a very good arguement! In general, and on the whole, there are NO older people doing MMA. It's an undeniable fact!!

Anthony, please keep in mind that GRACIE JJ is a "modified" art to compete in a cage for a prize. Get it?

4/25/2003 1:18pm,
"MMA_Phil -
"I think people like to be deluded; it makes them feel better, so the MCDojo trend will be here to stay"

So sad but true.

Ballonknot -
"MMA_Phil, it's nice that you can name a "couple" of MMA's over 35, but that's not a very good arguement! In general, and on the whole, there are NO older people doing MMA""

I acctually agree with BK <<confused look>>
The older MMA fighters, who compete, are the exception not the rule.

"I do not agree with what you have to say but, I will defend to the death your right to say it."