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View Full Version : Is MMA an appropriate litmus test? (a.ka. Oh Noes!! Street vs. Sport AGAIN??)



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sheol1980
12/13/2007 5:29pm,
After a while of reading Bullshido threads you get the sense that many people have the idea that the ultimate litmus test for any martial art is whether it has been shown effective in a MMA competition.

Though I do agree that it is a sufficient condition for saying a martial art is effective (meaning if fighters have effectively used it in a MMA environment then it is effective), I think it is a mistake to assume it is a necessary condition (meaning if it is effective then it will be used with success in a MMA competition) for several reasons.

First: Not all martial arts focus on the same things. Certainly a majority of martial arts are devoted to taking down a single opponent with your bare hands, IMHO it is a mistake to assume that is what every martial art should be teaching.

Now tangentially I want to point out that I feel a person aught to learn all of the aspects of fighting, not just one particular aspect of fighting. However most martial arts focus on just a few elements. And certainly people on this forum don't tend to disparage a martial art for this (muay thai, BJJ).

Now if you will all bear with me for a moment. Imagine there is a martial art (We'll call it [email protected]) and the focus of this martial art is manipulating your environment. It teaches you how to successfully take advantage of uneven terrain, and to use any object as a weapon, that sort of thing. Naturally we all might be suspicious of this art, but clearly arguing that it's not found in the octagon doesn't hold water.

Second: Not all martial arts are equally popular. So if [email protected] is only known by 20 people, and BJJ is known by thousands, it would be unsurprising if: 1) you never saw it in a MMA fight, and 2) if it was in a MMA fight it lost.

The reason of course that it would lose is that even if [email protected] gave some advantage over BJJ, it would not compensate for the best of thousands being significantly better than the best of 20.

So,
Is there anyone here that really thinks MMA competition is an appropriate litmus test?

and

Can anyone think of a litmus test that we can actually use (not just whether people manage to survive in teh str33ts) that would work for martial arts across the board?

bassai
12/13/2007 5:35pm,
It just boils down to the fact that mma covers all ranges and has a fairly broad ruleset allowing for fairly heavy contact , rather than no to minimum contact at a fixed range.

Coach Josh
12/13/2007 5:45pm,
Reading comprehension needs to be taught more.

While making fun of archaic traditions and pimped out gis is a norm here the main focus is the charletons and snake oil salesman. No touch knock outs and chi **** and false rank and representation is the main focus. Keep in mind that equal fun is poked at everyone and every style.

Only one litmus test will ever matter. When you get attacked one day did the training you did actually help you. The fact that the majority of people will never get in a fight in their lives is the reason many do competition. The same % that do MMA want the ultimate competition they can do without totally risking their lives.

Be happy with what you do if your so insecure about it then go do something else.

sheol1980
12/13/2007 5:51pm,
Reading comprehension needs to be taught more.
?



While making fun of archaic traditions and pimped out gis is a norm here the main focus is the charletons and snake oil salesman. No touch knock outs and chi **** and false rank and representation is the main focus. Keep in mind that equal fun is poked at everyone and every style.

True, but there is plenty of other legitimate discussion about why YMAS.



Only one litmus test will ever matter. When you get attacked one day did the training you did actually help you. The fact that the majority of people will never get in a fight in their lives is the reason many do competition. The same % that do MMA want the ultimate competition they can do without totally risking their lives.

That's exactly the example I gave of an innapropriate litmus test.



Be happy with what you do if your so insecure about it then go do something else.
I didn't realize I came off that way. I'm not at all. I'm engaging in a theoretical discussion of what an appropriate litmus test is, and arguing that a litmus test that many seem to hold is innapropriate.

EternalRage
12/13/2007 5:54pm,
This will probably be moved to YMAS. Keep all rants in that subforum, this one is for investigations only.


First: Not all martial arts focus on the same things. Certainly a majority of martial arts are devoted to taking down a single opponent with your bare hands, IMHO it is a mistake to assume that is what every martial art should be teaching.
Forget focus or whatever. It's simple. Martial arts = fighting. If you aren't getting fighting skills from what you're doing, it's not martial arts.


Now tangentially I want to point out that I feel a person aught to learn all of the aspects of fighting, not just one particular aspect of fighting. However most martial arts focus on just a few elements. And certainly people on this forum don't tend to disparage a martial art for this (muay thai, BJJ).
Yes, to be a good fighter, you must learn different ranges. The problem is that alot of crap out there insists they teach everything in one system. Generally this leads to things like crappling.


Now if you will all bear with me for a moment. Imagine there is a martial art (We'll call it [email protected]) and the focus of this martial art is manipulating your environment. It teaches you how to successfully take advantage of uneven terrain, and to use any object as a weapon, that sort of thing. Naturally we all might be suspicious of this art, but clearly arguing that it's not found in the octagon doesn't hold water.
MMA represents a lost training mentality (at least here in the US) - that to learn fighting skills, you must apply them in practice. This subject has been done to death on this forum, but if you haven't, read Thorton's articles on aliveness.

Thus, for your theoretical art, as long as they train those skills that you describe in a realistic setting with ample randomness and resistance, then it's fine. It just so happens for empty handed fighting, MMA is just that - it is the most realistic setting that the law will allow.


Second: Not all martial arts are equally popular. So if [email protected] is only known by 20 people, and BJJ is known by thousands, it would be unsurprising if: 1) you never saw it in a MMA fight, and 2) if it was in a MMA fight it lost.
Fair enough, but if someone comes on here and says "I do XYZ system, I've used it successfully in a MMA match" and if we've never heard of XYZ - as long as the fight checks out, it's fine. It's not like the majority of us automatically go to "I've never heard of it, it must be crap."

sheol1980
12/13/2007 5:59pm,
browser error, double post

Teh El Macho
12/13/2007 5:59pm,
Yippie!!! A dead horse!!! Let's beat the **** out of it :tard:

sheol1980
12/13/2007 6:03pm,
This will probably be moved to YMAS. Keep all rants in that subforum, this one is for investigations only.

Apologies, it seems like it was a question of standards, and the forum labels are often confusing to me.

sheol1980
12/13/2007 6:05pm,
Yippie!!! A dead horse!!! Let's beat the **** out of it :tard:

Okay, so did a standard litmus test come out of the dead horse?

Perhaps I should point out that I meant to place at least as much emphasis on the second question as the first.

Is it just training with alivness? Wouldn't it be possible to have a totally piece of **** MA that is trained with aliveness?

Teh El Macho
12/13/2007 6:15pm,
You are going to find the answer to your question if you use the goddam search function. It has been asked and answered in many different re-incarnations.

Also, if a MA is trained with aliveness, it wouldn't be a piece of **** in the first place (which has also been debated ad nauseum).

Sorry if it sounds harsh, it's just that seeing this debate coming again and again gets rather tiring.

Goju - Joe
12/13/2007 6:24pm,
What would be a better litmus test then?

sheol1980
12/13/2007 6:29pm,
You are going to find the answer to your question if you use the goddam search function. It has been asked and answered in many different re-incarnations.

Also, if a MA is trained with aliveness, it wouldn't be a piece of **** in the first place (which has also been debated ad nauseum).

Sorry if it sounds harsh, it's just that seeing this debate coming again and again gets rather tiring.

No apology needed. I think I can understand the frustration. I didn't mean to open up a can of old worms. If you happen to know of a thread which was particularly constructive on this issue, I could use a link, and read through it.

HappyOldGuy
12/13/2007 6:41pm,
It's not an appropriate litmus test in many cases.

It's just the only one available.

People who train for self defense (besides being silly ninnies who flunked statistics) would like to train moves that are both effective and deadly, but they are faced with the fact that piling up a stack of dead bodies to test your techniques is not considered good pro-social behavior in these decadent and weak times we find ourselves in. This leaves us in the unenviable position of having to chose between two suboptimal choices.

We can train the techniques found to be deadly in the ancient past, when stacking up the bodies like cordwood in order to test martial theories was the godgiven right of every bare chested he man. This is appealing to many people, especially since it lets us also play dress up and get in tune with our inner he man. Unfortunately, it turns out that many of these techniques turn out to be physiologically impossible today. Maybe those old guys were wired differently, but these days our noses no longer have that dagger point to be driven into the brainstem.

Also, truth be told, there never was such a period in history, at least for unarmed arts. Since long before the dawn of history, when humans have really wanted to have a go at eachother in a serious way, they have used tools to do it. Which is why these deadly warrior martial arts actually wind up having histories that are more about monks and meditation than ass kicking.

There is also the problem that even though we say we want to protect ourselves from "the sudden attack on the deadly street" we often really mean "being able to shut the yap of that putz on the next barstool." Clawing out a mans eyes for being a yankees fan is yet another social good that our weak wristed modern societies don't appreciate.

Which is all a long winded way of saying, yes, there are deadly techniques you can't judge from MMA. Now figure out which ones.

The other suboptimal choice that most of the folks around these parts like is training stuff that is proven to be able to hurt, incapacitate, and control an opponent in sports rules that are as loose as possible. People around these parts are yutzes though. I wouldn't trust em.

chi-conspiricy
12/13/2007 7:17pm,
I bet if we put the OP in the cage, he'd feel like it was a pretty damn good "test" of his abilities.

sheol1980
12/13/2007 7:24pm,
I bet if we put the OP in the cage, he'd feel like it was a pretty damn good "test" of his abilities.

Man do I regret starting this...
I don't need my abilities tested thank you very much.
This isn't about me, and obviously is a dead horse.

Askari
12/13/2007 9:00pm,
It must be nice to be young.