Which Karate Style Would Do Best In MMA

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Plat, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Man, this thread is 12 years old. Nobody on this thread posts here any more. If you'd like to discuss John Keegan, it would be better to start a new thread.

    Welcome to MAP.
  2. Jim West

    Jim West New Member

    Then why isn't the thread closed?? Anyway, I just wanted to make that comment re: Dante (KEEHAN). I'm no internet warrior so I wouldn't bother with a new thread/debate/whatever.
  3. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    So everyone who makes a thread is an Internet warrior?

    Thats literally the definition of being passive aggressive....

    Nice first post!
  4. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Even ignoring the stupidity of what "Dante" did, he was not really pushing MMA in any recognizable sense. Even if you stretch it to mean "mixing styles" he was not even close to being a pioneer of that either

    The reputation of that individual far outweighs the actual contribution and there is a reason he is remembered more for the "Deadliest Man" idiocy than anything else
    Knee Rider and Dead_pool like this.
  5. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Bruce LEE is a stand out pioneer for me. Head and arm triangle against a boss in the film? Yes please! MMA gloves? Hell yeah!
    axelb likes this.
  6. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    On the plus side of dusting the cobwebs off this ancient carcass of a thread...

    We now have many years of actual karateka competing in MMA to answer some of the speculation of yore.

    Machida had a successful run with Shotokan as his primary striking style.

    Gunnar Nelson is a Goju Ryu stylist.

    I believe Horiguchi studied Uechi Ryu.

    Stephen Thompson studies and teaches Kenpo Karate.

    And I know I’ve seen a few Russian Kyokushin fighters I just can’t recall who right now.

    Turns out it’s the fighter and their training methods not the style. Who woulda thunk?!
    axelb, Morik, Mitch and 3 others like this.
  7. Travess

    Travess The Welsh MAPper Supporter

    The bottom line EVERY TIME - Not sure why it still seems like such a hard concept to grasp!

  8. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    Worth pointing out that rarely do you see a 'pure' stylist in MMA. The nature of mixed martial arts in terms of both ruleset and ethos is to borrow, adapt and evolve.

    I think citing a person's primary training background can give an idea of where they came from but it doesn't chart their journey to where they are. I can't think of anyone in the MMA at the higher levels who fights exclusively using their base art even in the range it is intended to operate and the karateka are no exception. Even nak muay (a highly prevalent stylist in MMA) must adapt their tools to the context of MMA.

    There is no denying the primary importance of training approach and the influence of an individual's base talent and attributes in determining efficacy of a given style, however.
    axelb, Dead_pool and Mangosteen like this.
  9. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    I concur completely. Hope I didn’t give the impression otherwise. That’s what I was trying to imply with the whole ‘primary striking style.’

    Still though, I kind of enjoy watching karateka fight in mma. Interesting to see different styles find success. Not a sentiment limited to karate either.
    Knee Rider likes this.
  10. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    No not at all. I was just replying generally, although obviously your post was a part of the conversation and part of my thought process.

    I agree with you that training methodology is a primary factor in determining how effective an individual will be at utilising their given style. I also think that the relationship between style and training methodology and the context/contexts within which the art is expressed and intended to function - particularly the extent to which they inform technique and core material - bears consideration in these types of discussions.

    Talking more broadly and slightly tangentially to the topic of karate in MMA; I think when people say "it's how you train" the understanding is that pressure and physical and mental cultivation are key components of this effective "how". Mostly the impact of the training on the individual is paid attention but really the gradual honing and development of both the technical repertoire and the coaching is changed through pressure. The experience of and exposure to pressure reduces the fluff and adds to the technical depth of a curriculum while developing the coaching practices and the theoretical understanding. In essence there is no separation between style and methodology as ultimately they exist symbiotically. This is why, in my opinion, you can't just stick pressure into the training method of any art that previously has had none and expect it all to work over time or for the coaching and individual student efficacy to change rapidly or drastically: it takes time for the adaptation of culture, technical practices and coaching to adapt and you'll likely see something quite different from where it started.

    So really it's not just how you train but also the context of training and development from which your given art was born and from which it grew.

    When you look at karate, it's a broad term; for example shotokan and kyokyshin are completely different arts in frankly every regard other than the attire and national origin (although even the last point is debatable). I think it's literally impossible to take shotokan and make everything 'work' through pressure. When I used to watch Machida fight I remember thinking that it was the distancing, footwork and mentality from the competitive karate scene that he carried over predominantly rather than the art as a whole.

    Again, not aimed at you/ your reply just thinking out loud.

    Glad you are posting here again I liked your posts in the ninjustu forum when you joined, a lot! They were frequently hilarious and accurate in my opinion
  11. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Thing is though...the training methods are part of the style. The style is made up of the techniques, underlying tactics, training methods, sparring format/s, culture and other practices.
    axelb, David Harrison and Knee Rider like this.
  12. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    You said it far more succinctly than me!
  13. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    Thanks kneerider! Very kind of you.

    You guys bring up a couple of points I also agree with... which is terrible because the internet loves drama, but whatever.

    Training methods are part of the style. I agree. I also think that’s what makes guys like Machida and Gunnar Nelson interesting to watch.

    Karate styles that tend to compete under a point (or maybe ippon would be a better word for it) format tend to rely on distancing. And I think they tend to use it more effectively (in general) than styles that do not.

    You see it in pretty much every Machida fight, but in some ways I think a better example is Nelson’s fight against Tumenov.

    The general concensus was the Tumenov would be dominant in the feet, but Nelson would have a massive advantage once it hit the ground due to his BJJ. But Nelson was really piecing him up on the feet. And while I think some of it was due to Tumenov being wary of the takedown, it’s also fair to say Nelson’s in and out style and linear attacks (particularly his side kicks and o zuki’s) really seemed to catch Tumenov off guard. I don’t think he properly prepared for it to be honest.

    Machida’s use of ashi barai earlier in his career was another very karate oriented style of attack (particularly the way he did it) that I found really interesting.

    But I also agree you can’t take everything from a style and make it work. Typically distance styles crumble when a pressure fighter can impose their will on them. And karate- or at least competition karate has never been very good at in fighting. Even pure Kyokushin due to the lack of head punches.
    Knee Rider likes this.
  14. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    That would include those traditionalists back then who taught both Karate and Judo to their students?
  15. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Exactly. And one may ask how many of the individuals listed above throw their hands in the traditional manner? If one is throwing shots using the dynamics and structure of western boxing it's rather difficult to claim Shotokan,Uechi,etc as one's primary striking style regarding handshots.
    Knee Rider and BohemianRapsody like this.
  16. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    I’d say Machida and Nelson very much throw their hands like a karate stylist. Thompson kind of goes back and forth, but he went from point fighting to kick boxing to mma, not to mention his style is less orthodox than the other two. But actually if you watch his last fight against Masvidal it was definitely spring in, kazami, reverse punch, spring out, than it was boxing...

    Which makes sense since I believe Masvidal is the better boxer of the two. You could see Thompson’s timing was giving Masvidal problems. And it was definitely more ippon kumite based.
  17. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I think Machida is one of the clearest examples of ippon kumite stylings being used outside of a karate tournament. His punching style, interception and footwork are clearly not "boxing".
    But...that doesn't validate "shotokan" as a style or training method as a whole. Machida has supplemented his shotokan with lots of other stuff. He couldn't make it work if he didn't work his takedown defence, BJJ and getting up off the floor.
    Also his shotokan training isn't what you'd get down your local church hall either. His dad, IIRC, has come up with some pretty unique movement drills you don't get in "regular" shotokan.
    And of course karate kata actually embody a different style to the ippon kumite long range sniping sport style Machida uses so none of that is validated either.
  18. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    I pretty much agree with this. And to the larger point that no single style, striking or grappling, is sufficient to be successful in modern MMA.

    I think, if anything, Machida, Nelson and a few others validate the idea that ippon kumite style training can be a successful component of an overall game. Which really isn’t as trivial as it sounds.

    Before they came along (Machida in particular I imagine) I think the general concensus was that kind of striking was completely useless. Now I think it’s safe to say there is value there...

    But the extremely large caveat there is, “when combined with other hard striking and grappling training.” The part most strip mall karate clubs leave out.
  19. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Being able control distance, cover distance quickly and land a punch in someone's face have always been good skills to have. The problems arise when that's all you have. :)
  20. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    I concur. But to be fair to the vast majority of the karate crowd, I think they concur as well.

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