Tuesday, December 6, 2011


A fellow teacher that I follow on Twitter recently tweeted a link to his newest blog post.

Now, when I read this, I just had to respond, because I don’t think the question is a dumb one. Though, most of you that know me understand that I truly believe that education is the key to just about everything. So, I have decided to answer the original question, and address what I see as a major problem within the Traditional Martial Arts(TMA).

How would that technique work against a MMA fighter?

Well, let’s see, if an MMA fighter attacked me with the attack that the technique is used against, it would work the same way that it is shown here to work. If it would not work that way, then your technique is flawed. (the one caveat that I will make here, is that there are certain techniques that work better if you are shorter than the attacker, and tall guys are at a disadvantage - that said, us tall guys have the advantage or reach, so in the long run, it should equal out.)

Now, on to the original problem that lead to a tremendous gulf between MMA and TMA. There were too many teachers that had never tested what they teach. The original reasons for this were, “this is a deadly technique”, “I really don’t want to hurt someone”, etc, etc. Granted, there are some of these techniques, unfortunately most of the teachers that gave those excuses could not have effectively used these techniques if the had to. The fact is TMA had become complacent.

Now, has this changed?

I think it has, for one reason, MMA has come on the scene, and most of use have had to defend our arts in one way or another. The problem is, too many of the TMA teachers are still parroting non-answers when approached by MMA enthusiasts. I really feel this needs to change. So here are some suggestions.

Learn about MMA, and why it is different from TMA and self defense.

MMA is a sport that grades competitors on techniques, control of the fight, control of the ring and aggressiveness. Why you might ask, if someone has good technique, controls the fight and the ring can they lose? Yes, that very thing has happened. The reason, the crowd wants to see the aggressiveness.

TMA, no matter what system is a fighting system that has been passed down through the years. Most of our arts come from the orient, but there are others out there. Most TMA includes historical weapons.

Both TMA and MMA can be adapted to self-defense, they have to be adapted because certain techniques require a level of training, and or fitness that does not exist in the average person.

MMA fighters are in incredible physical shape.

Too many TMA “masters”are in horrible shape. (I question if they are then truly masters.)

There are differences, there are similarities. The fact is, no matter what you teach, in my humble opinion, you should make sure it works, and that you can in fact teach someone to use it against a non-compliant training partner.