What went wrong? Question for the MMA crowd.

Discussion in 'MMA' started by Adam, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. Adam

    Adam New Member

    I've been thinking about this for a while. Please note that this is not intended as trolling.

    Lots of people in the MA community, primarily people from the MMA clans, have begun to question the point of many practices used in differnemt martial arts, such as the kung fu stances, the crane stance from karate, the emphasis on high kicking in TKD, the lack of grappling techniques in many traditional styles.

    My question is: Why are these moves even used? I asked a MAP member about this and got the answer that it was because those things were easy to peddle to the public, but those moves are from before the McDojo times. What is the reason for a master of martial arts to add seemingly pointless moves to his style if the purpose is to be effective in combat?

    Seriously, what IS the point of this move? I'll be buggered if I can see it :)
  2. hwardo

    hwardo Drunken Monkey

    The way our kung fu is taught, we train in the crane stance to develop balance in all stations of our body. In combat, the only time you see that stance is when you are about to kick someone with a snapping kick, and it lasts for about 1/4 of a second. But if you do not have the fortitude to hold that 1/4 second stance for five minutes or an hour, than the stance will not be strong enough when you need it most.

    I believe that most traditional forms of training-- when pure-- form a kind of total body/mind training. Many of the stance combinations we do seem tedious and unrealistic until you do them so much that they rewire your circuits to sink your weight, and advance, retreat, or counter in the most rooted and efficient manner without thought.

    It is true, many modern martial arts have replaced and modified this process with no ill effect-- where horse stances and balance postures used to be, you find resistance training, and endurance work. I don't think that this dilutes traditional work anymore than it makes it obsolete-- it is simply a different approach to the same idea-- the construction of a superb fighter.
  3. Serpico

    Serpico New Member

    From that stance I see a low block against a kick , front snap kick, a vicious uppercut, a back hand, a round kick, and about 50+ more techniques. Plus don't forget it helps with balance (as Hwardo already stated), and it also helps to preserve the tradition of the MA you study. The real question is, what do you see as the point of that move? BTW good question Adam :)
  4. Trent Tiemeyer

    Trent Tiemeyer Valued Member

    How do you throw a vicious uppercut off one foot?

    A lot of the more traditional moves are perfectly sound in theory, but never actually got out of the planning stage before being added to the syllabus.
  5. Cyph

    Cyph Banned Banned

    I see someone begging to be taken down :D
  6. hwardo

    hwardo Drunken Monkey

    Guys, try to imagine if someone froze your leg for a second on the way to a kick-- it is a transitional stance that a lot of traditional arts train in so that you are just as stable and balanced all the way through the kick as you are when you have both your feet planted.

    The stance itself is not meant to be held in combat-- it is a training tool, and a fraction of an action.

    On a secondary note, that kid is kinda ugly, huh? No offense if that's your cousin or something, Adam.
  7. dashao

    dashao New Member

    the lack of grappling techniques in many traditional styles.

    i used to toatally agree with this except i just read an article that has changed my mind if someone has a knife on them and yuo grapple them you are screwed you are making it easier to be stabbed what if they have 2 knives one hidden?

    then again i am stupid

    the stance reminds me of a shaolin stance we use to get your balance up to scratch one hand is used to block the sun out of your eyes similar to that one but not exactly the same;)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2004
  8. Cyph

    Cyph Banned Banned

    guest(shao), I don't really like my chances with a knife, either on the ground, or standing up..

    however, at least on the ground I can control my opponent and his limbs to a better degree than standing up.. at least I think so.

    I also see that guy leaving his jaw wide open begging to be knocked out.
  9. El Tejon

    El Tejon MAP'scrazyuncle

    I see an open gate with broken ribs waiting, teeth waiting to be knocked out of his head and bare feet begging to be stomped!:eek:

    One has to see it from the different perspectives: body conditioning pursuant to the art or feckless pajama fighting interfering with combat.

    I have no problem with the artistry of martial arts. However, we must always bear in mind that we are training to hurt others (and thus not hurt others) we should keep "fancy" stances in perspective of their original objective.
  10. Kwan Jang

    Kwan Jang Valued Member

    -The problem is that most practitioners, including the 'traditionalists' do not understand the original intent and application of the techniques. In the original combat versions of most trad. systems, there are no blocks (there are parries and re-directions, though) and most of the trad. "blocks" and stances were developed for either grappling or strike/grappling combos. Also, they work to either enhance the efficiency of your nervous system or to disrupt that of your opponent.
    -I teach MMA, but if you know the real intent of the techniques in trad. MA, these are far from merely artistic or fancy movements, they are very effective when properly appiled. Many of them are tranitional movements as well. I know that I sometimes sound like a broken record on MAP about this, but far too many people "throw the baby out with the bathwater" in regards to this. Instead of knocking these techniques that don't seem to make sense. A wiser person would question if the application that they are being taught is accurate. The people from the generations who were in combat (not sport) fighting for their lives and to protect their families, homes and communities were far more hardcore in their training than most practitioners who do it for excersise, recreation, or to a large extent athletic glory. Their lives were on the line. If it wasn't effective, you didn't survive enough battles to pass the skills on. If what you passed on wasn't effective, the boys didn't come back home (though it was rather likely their opponents might come over for a visit and they may not be the most polite houseguests).
    -I recommend asking a better quality of question, you are likely to find a better awnser. Another major factor is trying to accomidate the rules of martial sports. When a combat system/ art is tranlated to sport, it picks up limitations.As an athlete trying to win a contest, it's natural to focus on the things that will score more effectively in your training. it's also only human to slack on defending against (or at least put as muc effort into practicing to defend against) things that are either not allowed in your sport or that the protective equipment makes ineffective.
    -I was once working out in a class w/ Frank Shamrock (he trains at my instructor's school 2-3 x/wk.) and we were focusing on groundfighting for the street, as opposed to the ring/octagon. The drill was working elbow strikes to the inner thigh inside the opponents guard to open him up forpunching down his centerlineI asked Frank why we didn't just strike to the open groin first to collapse the opponents "turtleshell", rather than expose ourselves to possible armbars,ect. by reaching/striking further down the body or towards the face. It seemed pretty obvious to me that if I punched a guy in the testicles first, all other targets would be a lot more available and I could do follow up with much less danger of being countered. Frank replied that in NHB, you wear a steel cup, so groin strikes are pretty useless. I reminded Frank that we were working street fighting or real combat instead of NHB. He basically said, "Oh, yeah. That would work a lot better."
    -Now, I'm mentionng this not to at all put a great athlete and fighter like Frank down or to try to blemish his rep (far from it), but if someone with the obvious "killer instinct" (I hate this term since this is innacurate regarding combat between humans, but you get the drift) that Frank posseses as a fighter and competitior can become blind to such an openning due to his conditioning, it can happen to anyone.
    -BTW, I am not opposed to martial sport, it CAN be a great learning and growing tool that can really help the arts to grow and evolve. When it is used in the right context and is taken in perspective. Even NHB and full contact sports have not only the limitations of rules, but also the intent is VERY different from combat. You are trying to win a conest between athletes rather than maim or kill an enemy as quickly as possible before he (or his allies) kill you. If this difference is taken into account, then sport can give you a safe way to test and evolve your combat skills. Only a sociopath would consider doing a lot of the nastier things to an opponent in even a "no rules" sporting contest. Most of the things you see in old trad. katas/forms are this kind of nasty stuff. However, when they started teaching MA in the schools to the kids, or to former enemies who have conquered their country in war, they used basically the same movements, but w/ a different (usually ineffective) application.
  11. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Member

    A lot of times it has to do with sparring rules.

    High kicks work under TKD rules.

    Grappling is illegal in most popular forms of competition.

    Look at old kung fu sparring video, they don't grapple.

    Many systems/styles don't even make contact when they spar, or just touch contact.

    The techniques they train work under the rules they train by.
  12. Terry Matthes

    Terry Matthes New Member

    You hit the nail on the head. A lot of traditional styles aren't effective in combat. A lot of the moves in these styles are just kept in for the sake of tradition. Sport based Ma like judo and mma only use what works because if you can't beat an opponent with it then it is truly useless in a combat situation.
  13. Cain

    Cain New Member

    This has already been beat to death before.

    Most people want all techniques to help directly with fighting ability when it is'nt so.

    The crane stance ie balancing on one leg is for improving balance and rooting in stances.

    The horse stance is again for proper rooting and muscular endurance.

    The kicks are difficult to get up in a long stance where you have to force your front leg up to kick, it becomes fast natural after that to throw the same thing in a natural sparring sparring stance Not to forget that it's yet again rooting.

    It does'nt mean they necessarrily ignore drills or sparring.

  14. fallout

    fallout New Member

    I was just lookin at that picture and it made me think, where traditional martial arts not created by people who needed to fight for survival? If this is the case then I would imagine that they would be more concerned with practical self-defense than the more complicated techniques, Serpico stated that he saw a large number of techniques that could be produced from the above stance, I am sure that this is true, although I think that most of you would agree that it does not look the most efficient stance for an all out street brawl, which I am presuming is what people in the past where preparing themselves for. If this is the case then how exactly did the above stance appear? Do you think it was originally a stance used for conditioning? I mean no disrespect to anyone and I hope I am not being presumptous I am just trying to learn more myself.:)
  15. Killerbee

    Killerbee New Member

    Well you have to keep in mind that TKD for example was something very different 200 years ago in Korea that it is today at your local strip mall.
  16. RubyMoon

    RubyMoon New Member

    The young man's stance doesn't worry me so much as the video game in the corner of the dojo...

  17. Serpico

    Serpico New Member

    Put the foot down first.

    No begging involved here, I get taken down all the time, uh *cough* *cough* I, uh, mean I'm conditioning my body for take downs right now. Yeah, that's it.

    LMAO good eye RubyMoon
  18. Adam

    Adam New Member

    If the point of doing such a peculiar looking stance is to build leg strength and develop balance, why not do squats or lots of kihon/bag-kicking instead? That would IMO give you both a better workout and be more relevant to your fighting skill.

    Please don't turn this into a discussion about the effectiveness of styles or individual TMA's in fighting, the point was to discuss the point of weird techniques and not just the crane stance either. For instance, what is the point of THIS:
  19. Cain

    Cain New Member

    Try staying in that position :D

    Squats could be a good option, but we are talking about leg endurance and isometric strngth, and in the old days there were no weights, everyone had to rely on bodyweight conditioning.


    EDIT - I have explained in my previous post how the front stance used in kicking could be used as a plyometric exercise. And rooting in stances is essential a horse stance is one of the better ways to develop it.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2004
  20. hwardo

    hwardo Drunken Monkey

    It is a traditional way of developing your legs-- pre-bally's if you will.

    Couple that with kung fu styles that are based on a philosophy of movement-- for instance, in eagle claw there will be segments of forms that include exaggerated flapping motions-- these are not intended for combat, rather they serve as a kind of vehicle for expressing an idea of how all movement should be. In mantis styles, (I'm fairly sure the above position comes from one) there is a focus on precision, balance, and point control. This is a kind of code to help the body learn to express those movements.

    My point is that you can indeed train your legs with a squat rack, and it is highly effective, but it is not traditional. This is one of the many traditional ways martial artists used to train their legs. You can use a speed bag to train for precision, and a brand new "Bob" punching bag to train for fingerstrikes, and that is fine. Back in the day, in China, they didn't use those things-- they used stance work, hand techniques, etc.

    Why is it so crazy to observe traditional methods of conditioning and martial arts training? Just because there are modern equivalents doesn't make these techniques outmoded or obsolete. It is simply different.

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