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  1. #1
    Raycetpfl's Avatar
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    Is MMA a style of martial arts at this point.

    Soooooo MMA

    Is it just a rule set martial artists compete in or is it a style?


    I say it's much more of a rule set than a style but I am curious what the other martial artists here think.

    Besides cage walking and cage takedown defences it doesn't really have any techniques unless you count putting two hands down on the mat to block knees .....which isn't real. It's an exploitation of the rules.

  2. #2

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    I say rule set.

    Just looking at the range of styles that fighters use when they compete shows what little commonality there can be.

    Like compare Lyoto Machida to Matt Hughes. They competed in the same cage but one is clearly a wrestler with some rudimentary striking and the other is clearly a karateka with some takedown defense.

    Virtually no crossover in their games.

    If anything I’d say specific MMA camps might be closer to their own styles do to their core training methodologies which can vary pretty heavily from camp to camp even though they are all adapted to the same rule set.

  3. #3
    Raycetpfl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BJMills View Post
    I say rule set.

    Just looking at the range of styles that fighters use when they compete shows what little commonality there can be.

    Like compare Lyoto Machida to Matt Hughes. They competed in the same cage but one is clearly a wrestler with some rudimentary striking and the other is clearly a karateka with some takedown defense.

    Virtually no crossover in their games.

    If anything Id say specific MMA camps might be closer to their own styles do to their core training methodologies which can vary pretty heavily from camp to camp even though they are all adapted to the same rule set.

    I agree. I think camps definitely have their own styles but even within camps you can have a broad range styles of fighters. Both Diego Sanchez and Holly Holm are Team Jackson Winkle John. Diego spent more time on his ground game where Holly focused on striking.
    There are Team Balance high ranking bjj guys with no Muay Thai and there are guys Guys that train their stand up striking equal to their Gjj. There are even Muay Thai guys that dont do BJJ(weirdos).

  4. #4

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    It’s funny, I was going to mention some guys being in the same camp but completely different styles... but that sort of argues even more that mma is a ruleset as opposed to a style.

    So, yes. I completely agree. I mean even with BJJ, some guys prefer top pressure, some guys like to fight off their backs. Flexible guys fight one way, strong guys fight another.

    Style can be as much about body type and psychology than anything else.

    I just watched a TED talk on athlete specialization that kind of addressed this. The gist of it was in the early olympics (modern not Ancient Greece) they considered the ideal athletic body type as medium height, medium build. As time as gone on and people started to see the value of specialization we began to see a lot of divergence between say a shot putter, marathon runner and gymnast.

    This is- in my opinion- true of pressure tested martial arts. Your game becomes what works for you.

    Which is very diffferent from non pressure tested martial arts where the ideal is to perform some form or technique exactly like your teacher, whether that makes sense for you or not.

    I think the ninjers are big on that. Everybody tried to move like Hatsumi even though he is a bow legged old man... which, I guess, is a kind of skill. I’d argue the value of it though.

  5. #5
    DCS's Avatar
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    I say ruleset.

  6. #6

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    I'm in the mind set that it it a rule set. Styles will emerge that fit that rule set but there''s no way I would call it a style.

  7. #7
    battlefields's Avatar
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    I'm in the rule set set.

    MMA requires styles to evolve, so MMA shouldn't be pigeonholed into being a "style" on its own.

    In saying that, I'd define a style as being a set of codified techniques. And MMA has evolved to include (and exclude) a range of techniques. Different schools would then codify which ones that school's style, based off their base, that they apply.

    For example, my MMA school was very BJJ/wrestling specific (due to being primarily a BJJ school) and our training revolved heavily around getting into clinch range with strikes against the cage, takedown against the cage, and then ground and pound, then submission. There was a lot of work on getting out of shitty positions with BJJ escapes, with the idea to reset on the feet and then apply the clinch range with strikes strategy.

    Other schools, though, with maybe more Muay Thai as their foundation, would utilise their striking more with emphasis on takedown defence.

    They still would be aware of the same techniques, it would just be the application. So it does throw a minor spanner in the works, but not enough to change my mind in regards to it being a rule set just yet.

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  8. #8

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    There are contrasting styles within almost any Ruleset, muay thai, boxing, bjj, And I think it's arguable that they themselves are not styles either but Rulesets, that style is specific to the instruction.

    Now BJJ does have its core curriculum, but I'd argue that THAT part of it may be a style, but competitive BJJ isn't. Specialised styles have emerged for BJJ competition, but the competitive format still isn't the style.

    Or maybe I'm taking this concept too far. After all, the Ruleset you spar with, and the Ruleset you train to win in informs your instruction, and therefore your style. And it is usually the most influential element.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guird View Post
    There are contrasting styles within almost any Ruleset, muay thai, boxing, bjj, And I think it's arguable that they themselves are not styles either but Rulesets, that style is specific to the instruction.

    Now BJJ does have its core curriculum, but I'd argue that THAT part of it may be a style, but competitive BJJ isn't. Specialised styles have emerged for BJJ competition, but the competitive format still isn't the style.

    Or maybe I'm taking this concept too far. After all, the Ruleset you spar with, and the Ruleset you train to win in informs your instruction, and therefore your style. And it is usually the most influential element.
    This is actually an interesting topic. I think- and I could be wrong about this- the more restrictive the rule set the more cohesive the 'style' that competes under it.

    To my eye Shotokan and Goju Ryu look pretty different in their traditional training but all point karate looks exactly the same. Despite what their underlying style is.

    All competitive freestyle wrestlers look like freestyle wrestlers, same for Greco Roman. All judoka look like judoka... They might employ different strategies to win, different throws, sweeps, pins, or submissions in the case of judo. But you can look at at match and tell exactly what both competitors are doing.

    BJJ, especially submission only, tends to have more variety to my eye. Since pins are not a path to victory. It's less restrictive than wrestling or judo.

    but out when you get to MMA, there is such a variety of potential winning strategies you can approach the fight via a variety of 'styles.'

  10. #10

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    It's a ruleset to a sport that's kind of evolved into it's own thing. I personally consider it various mixed martial arts, but if you travel and visit other gyms, most have the same kind of warm ups, and move on to the same drills, e.t.c.

    There's usually different coaches who are specialists, and fighters with a strength in a certain background, but you have MMA athletes that have become adept at striking and grappling just through generic training in the sport itself.

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