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  1. #1
    JohnnyCache's Avatar
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    May 2004

    Does MMA fighting create arrogance?

    This is a cross-post from the kung fu forum that had some of Rudy and Anthony's fallout on it. Original post intact here. (I edited out a few things that were directed at specific posters there)

    The rant came out because several people there were posting about the "arrogance" and or "attitude" of BJJ and MMA (one body in the minds of the posters in question, of course).

    Now, I've had pretty good luck with "attitude" and "tone" at most real MMA and submission fighting schools I've been too. If I've found "attitude" in the martial arts, its been in the no-contact "sensei is king" places.

    So I started to think: Are MMA fighters arrogant? Are we short around other fighters?

    If so, should we be?

    And these are my thoughts:


    MMA fighters DO get "arrogant" around other "martial artists" sometimes. Let's not draw the line at "traditional" vs "mma" but rather at "hard and real" vs "stripmall hypothesizers"


    Because when you fight every day, spar every class, walk around bruised all the time, and actually, routinely fight with people that are actually, really trying to hurt you (you can gripe all you want about "rules" but there's really not a whole lot of holding back in MMA) . . . you don't want to be lectured by some guy that does kung fu at the rec center about how he gave a guy a black eye this one time and he could easily nerve rip his way out of an ****es you off.

    A point fighter tells you it's more important to make contact first because "in a real fight" that's what matters. . . it ****es you off.

    A video tape master tells you eastern martial arts are better then boxing "because they have kicking" . . . it ****es you off.

    You tell someone you do martial arts and they picture Kip from Napoleon Dynamite . . . yep, it ****es you off.

    You know how durable the human body is, you know your own breaking points and those of others inside and out, and you have to hear from armchair heroes how the nosebone can go into the brain, it ... that's right, ****es you off.

    You spend years learning the right ways to hit someone without giving up your balance, the right ways to take someone from their feet, the right way to keep someone on their back, the right way to submit someone, only to have people tell you "that's just streetfighting there's no skill there, not like kung fu" . . . it ****es you off.

    Now I'm sure none of this applies to any of you - you all, of course, only train at REAL kung fu schools where you do the hard stuff the old way, right? So you agree with me about the idiots out there that cheapen us all.

    and to the "ON TEH STREETS NO IS RULES ANYTHING GOES ANY MEENS NEEDED WHT GO IN RING NO MATTER CUZ OF CRIPS WITH UZIS" crowd... you know what? I'll tell you, from years of hard living, that on "the mean streets" THE SURPRISE ATTACK IS KING and neither body of technique will attune you to that, it's a skill independent of hand to hand fighting.

    That fact, however, does not excuse poor training.

    Getting really, really good at fighting hand to hand won't HURT you on the street. Knowing that the best way to kick someone's ass is to jump them unaware is no reason not to train to fight someone who IS aware - because you don't always dictate the terms you fight on. Street tactics are intrinsic - the dirty rush on the street favors the attacker, period.
    Street awareness and attack awareness are what save your life, martial arts training you may or may not have is simply a factor in your response.

    All this swaggering crap about how "that's just the ring, in the street things are different" stuff, that's got to go. It makes no sense. If you can't beat a man you know is coming, how will you beat a man you don't know is coming? If you can't beat one man, how will you beat two? If you can't beat an unarmed man, how will you beat an armed man? If you seriously believe an untrained fighter is a greater threat then a trained fighter, why are you training? Is your answer to "can you fight one man in a ring" seriously, always going to be "who cares, it could be worse then one man?"

    You can't go get in real bar fights and gang violence every day. Real bar fighters and gang members don't even get in bar fights and gang violence every day. You can only simulate as best you can - and the pace and intensity of MMA or other full contact, limited rules sparring are a far better approximation then any sparring where simulation enters the picture.

    What does this mean? In the words of the Dog Brothers, "This is a stick. It's not a sword, it's not a magic wand, it's a stick"

    The second you break down and say "oh man IF this situation would have been X then I would have done Y and you'd be Z" your training has failed.

    Any point sparring where you "score" hits as more then they actually are? Failed training. No, you didn't hit that guy. No, you wouldn't have hurt him "in real life" because your level of contact is terrible. Level of contact requires long term training of gross motor skills and distancing - it is HARDER to change accustomed level of contact, esp. from soft to hard, then it is to change your aim from an allowed area to a prohibited one. Train full contact with the targets that are safe for full contact, and you'll find you aren't as delicate as you think, and also that you CAN hit places that aren't safe if you want.

    Simulation needs to be either extremely self evident (fake knife leaves a deep scratch in your neck, not hard to figure out) or non-existent, IE "well, I took him down and strangled him," not "I stole his momentum and captured his balance, then I checked a blow that could have been lethal just in time"

    The simulative, ceremonial, hypothetical mindset is the enemy of realistic training, and unrealistic training gets your head stomped in the octagon.

    When I train something for MMA, it is literally no more then days (at the outside) from the first apprehension of the technique to the first chance to use it full speed. Contrasted to my experience in what would be called "traditional" martial arts, where it might be months or even years before I could spar, and in that sparring I would not be able to use the full body of technique, and I'll tell you each week of the MMA training is worth a month of the "traditional" (note: quoted because hard, real training IS traditional, the non-sparring "tradition" is an invention of the 60s-70s-80s karate/kung fu pop culture) training, if not more. MMA is the best "lab" I have found, in 15 or so years of training, for "experimentation" with martial arts and hand to hand situations.

    So if a pragmatic, brutal, "fighting oriented," un-philosophical cage fighter seems ****y or arrogant or annoyed around you, seems to brush off your ideas about kung fu or fighting in general, check to see if he has a point before you let your undergarments bunch up.

    And if he doesn't - feel free to drop by his gym and demonstrate what you're talking about. If it keeps his head on his shoulders, or unmounts the other guy's he'll use it and he won't care what country it came from.

  2. #2
    Northeast Anti-Silliness Department Inc. supporting member
    Ke?poFist's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Long Island, NY
    Kaju, BJJ, Judo, Kempo
    Anger much?

    Good compilation of BS. Good tie-in to the myths of MMA thread I made a whiles back.
    Knowing is not enough, you must apply...
    ...Willing is not enough you must do
    ~Bruce Lee

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Albany, Oregon
    Great post JC.

  4. #4
    Abusivemelon's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Nicely done with the censoring its good to be able to read this at school.
    Quote Originally Posted by sochin101
    Dude, whassup? Did they freeze your dick then accidentally use it to cool down a thimble full of water? Or, did you mis-spell crayonist? You know, the guy who makes sure the wax crayons you use aren't too sharp in case you decide to do the decent thing and kill yourself.
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  5. #5
    alex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    New Zealand
    Muay Thai
    god youre a fucking homo melon

    yeah, when i think back to the various TMA places ive trained at or visited, the ratio of cocky motherfuckers to normal people was much higher than any sport focused MA gym ive been to. being punched in the mouf makes you more honest.

  6. #6
    I'd like to leave this world like I came into it: Screaming, naked & covered in someone else's blood supporting member
    Asriel's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    We had an arrogant prick come in once (my MT school). He mouthed off and went a little too hard in sparring. Then he put on his arse and we never saw him again.

    I think you get less arrogance in contact sports because people know they will get called on it.

    LARPing Kung Fu'ers who jump about whirling swords can say what they like because they know their class mates will be impressed by their ability to swing two swords at the same time or do the splits etc.

    I don't think people who practice Martial Arts with aliveness are being arrogant when they don't put up with LARPers Bullshit. If anything, you're trying to do them a favour by telling them they're full of it and can't fight for ****. They'll either challenge you and lose or shut up.

    Win win situation really.
    " The reason elite level MMAists don't fight with aikido is the same reason elite level swimmers don't swim with their lips." - Virus

    " I shocked him with my skills on the ice becuase Wing Chun is great for hockey fighting." - 'Sifu' Milt Wallace

    "Besides, as you might already know (from Virus, for example) - there's only 1 wing chun and it sucks big time" - Tonuzaba

    "Even when I'm promising mayhem and butt-chicanery, I'm generally posting with a smile on my face." - Sochin101

    "That said, if he blocked my hip on a drop nage, I would extend my leg into a drop tai Otoshi and slam him so hard his parents would die." - MTripp

  7. #7
    Teh El Macho's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    It's not just arrogant people, but people who are just fucking plain lunatic. The type of people who take their arrogance to another level and actually go around hurting people. I've been fortunate that when I did shotokan and kempo I didn't find that level of arrogance, but I've seen other people who have gone into a TMA just to get abused verbally and physically by the higher ups.

    Fucking disgusting. It becomes a power trip for the senseis, sifus, grandmastes and what-not.

    I've not seen that type of behavior in anything that trains with realism at all. And I think it has to do with the fact that when you have been at the receiving end of realistic and painful techniques on a regular basis, you not only become humble, but also compassionate. You know that it hurts, you what it is like, so why would you willingly hurt a training partner or n00b beyond what's necessary and expected from sensible training?
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    The street argument is retarded. BJJ is so much overkill for the street that its ridiculous. Unless you're the idiot that picks a fight with the high school wrestling team, barring knife or gun play, the opponent shouldn't make it past double leg + ground and pound - Osiris

  8. #8
    Jack Rusher's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    New York City
    ti da shuai na
    Quote Originally Posted by Teh El Macho
    I've not seen that type of behavior in anything that trains with realism at all.
    I've never met an ego-tripping prick at a real fight gym. A good gym is like an organism with an immune system that rejects guys who can't be trusted as good training partners. The best, most experienced, guys are always the most willing to take extra time to help new people learn.

    In many non-fighting schools the students are made to bow and scrape for instructors who don't have much real skill, senior students get their rocks off dominating junior students, and guys get excited about giving a noob a black eye. Contrast that with my BJJ gym, where Marcelo Garcia shakes my hand and thanks me for coming to train each day, brown belts give up positions to me to make the roll more fair, and everyone is more upset about accidentally elbowing or kneeing someone else than about getting elbowed or kneed. Which of these is the more emotionally healthy environment?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Is it arrogance to say "you're training methods suck and are not as realistic as you like to think?" To some it is, and therefore we are arrogant. This is mostly prevalent with n00bs like myself who can lay it on a bit thick.

    HOWEVER... I will also say that there are assholes in every studio. There is one studio I won't train at because I can't stand one of the assistant instructors, who gets his rocks off subbing n00bs every 30 seconds to prove how badass he is. :rolleyes: I was lucky in that my old kf studio didn't suffer from "beltitis", and the BBs never pounded on n00bs for the hell of it. Of course, they rarely challenged themselves outside the confines of their studios, either, so they do tend to be a bit more disrespectful of other arts.

    I do agree that overall there is less of that crap because we all know that there wil always be someone better than us; constant pressure-testing ought to keep you humble.

  10. #10
    It is Fake's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by gangrelchilde
    Is it arrogance to say "you're training methods suck and are not as realistic as you like to think?" To some it is, and therefore we are arrogant. This is mostly prevalent with n00bs like myself who can lay it on a bit thick.
    You know what is funny about this argument?

    It applies to TMA people.
    "You can't take me down."
    "I'll gouge you in the eye."
    "That won't work on the street."
    "BJJ teaches you only to go to the ground."

    I mean that is no different than this statement:
    "You're training methods suck and are not as realistic as you like to think?" Seriously, it is a case of we can dish it out but can't take it.

    I was in TMA decades before BJJ became popular. I said many of the things above. I watched as many arrogant TMAers got owned. Instead of cross training and getting better it turned into "BJJ is arrogant."

    TMAers do the same exact posturing and tend to forget they are just as arrogant.
    Last edited by It is Fake; 10/04/2007 10:00am at .

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