dmattwads

Chinese Martial Arts and MMA/UFC

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I'm not sure if a topic like this has been covered here in Tao Bums, but its one that I have pondered a lot. I know this topic has been discussed a lot in martial arts forums but a lot of the disscusion is more emotional than objective. I have really wondered why you do not see Chinese martial arts (internal or external) in the UFC and other MMA events. It seems to be dominated most often by people who train in Brazilian Jujitsu and Muy Thai, and or wrestling/ boxing. In many of the martial arts forums they say its because Kung Fu aka (Chinese martial arts) are only stand up. Now that just shows people's ignorance of Chinese martial arts and/or the low quality of training in Chinese martial arts in the United States. As Dr. Yang of YMAA states all real Chinese martial arts utilize punching, kicking, Chi-na (joint locks) and wrestling (Shuai Jiao). So real Kung fu does have grappeling and ground fighting, take downs, ect.. So why don't we see it being used in the UFC?

Taking this a step further why don't we see any of the Internal Martial arts being used in the UFC? I've heard again and again that mastery in the internal martial arts is supposed to far surpas any of the external arts at a hight level. I would love to see an internal martial artist step up and show the world how its done. Why is it that we never see this?

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Here are my thoughts-

CMA techniques-at least many of the ones I know-often utilize many of the strikes& methods which are apparently not allowed in MMA matches. For example;

 

UFC Illegal Strikes & Attacks:

 

Fouls:

1. Butting with the head.

2. Eye gouging of any kind.

3. Biting.

4. Hair pulling.

5. Fish hooking.

6. Groin attacks of any kind.

7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration

on an opponent.

8. Small joint manipulation.

9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head.

10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow.

11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation,grabbing

the trachea.

12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.

13. Grabbing the clavicle.

14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.

15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.

16. Stomping a grounded opponent.

17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel.

18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck.

19. Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area.

20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent.

21. Spitting a t an opponent.

22. Engaging in an unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an

opponent.

23. Holding the ropes or the fence.

24. Using abusive language in the ring or fenced area.

25. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with

an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece

or faking an injury.

 

Now then, if you eliminate almost all of the things that a person trains for, you are left with a set of basics-which is mostly what MMA techniques are, regardless of the style or method they originate from. (BJJ, Muay Thai, etc.)

 

So, you wind up with the MMA people spending almost all of their time training TO APPLY these basics-kicks, punches, grappling, etc. So they get very VERY good at these basics. Since most of the CMA training I am aware of involves techniques or applications of what is mostly not allowed in MMA, much less time gets devoted to APPLYING these basics, and what time is spent on it (eg., sparring, often with lots of pads) is done under much less PRESSURE than the same techniques/applications are trained by MMA people.

 

You get good at what you do. Also, MMA training gets you in GREAT shape. Endurance is crucial in fighting. You are only as good as your weakest link.

 

A few other thoughts--

 

CMA and many other method/styles are concerned more with surviving an unexpected attack. MMA is not.

 

MMA trains people to engage in fisticuffs AFTER both parties are aware of the altercation that is about to happen-CMA tends to do this less so.

 

CMA, RBSD, etc.. all contain the idea of a smaller/weaker person having to defend (neutralize,equalize, etc) a larger/stronger opponent-OR MULTIPLE opponents--where as within MMA, as far as I know, they ONLY train to fight one person at a time (thus, they consider purposefully going to the ground a viable strategy at times), and as far as matches go, they are pitted against someone of comparable physical mass.

 

So, comparing the two is really like comparing apples and oranges.

 

I'll leave with this-people who train MMA do their training in real time, on another human being, who is resisting them. This is largely why they are successful in the ring and on the streets--not because of WHAT they train, so much as HOW they train it. CMA people would do good to follow suit.

 

 

 

-Peace-

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Thats probably one of the best analysis of this topic I have ever read. I was hoping to get a more intelligent answer on this forum, and I do not seem to be disapointed.

 

But it does make you wonder why CMA do not seem to train to the same intensity as MMA?

Edited by dmattwads

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Im actually doing MMA soon. I eventually want to learn some "good" wing chun, but right now the basics lol. I really needa loosen up.

 

 

Thats probably one of the best analysis of this topic I have ever read. I was hoping to get a more intelligent answer on this forum, and I do not seem to be disapointed.

 

But it does make you wonder why CMA do not seem to train to the same intensity as MMA?

 

Sorry I had to answer this.. CMA don't train to the same intensity? Shaolin monks? Wudang?

 

If anyone is known for training hard.. They are.

Edited by NeiChuan

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Sorry I had to answer this.. CMA don't train to the same intensity? Shaolin monks? Wudang?

 

If anyone is known for training hard.. They are.

 

Yes yes true, good point, but from what I have observed they seem to be more of an exception than a rule, especially when it comes to those who train in the United States.

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Yes yes true, good point, but from what I have observed they seem to be more of an exception than a rule, especially when it comes to those who train in the United States.

 

Hm but then it really lies in the individual. The people I've known that have done Kung Fu keep in very very good shape, and spar often.

 

Plus some of the displays of strength I've seen people do others would say is impossible.

 

Just with good old training :lol:

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I Agree with what has been said.

 

Apart from what has been said my points are:

 

The medium is the message and unfortunately most people believe that what they see on TV is reality!

 

Sport v. self defense are different entities. And comparing them only results in confirming the huge contrasts between them. However, many UFC fighters are actually aware/study internal arts; BJ Penn is a Yoga practitioner and has utilised 'pigeon pose' to escape from 'single leg takedowns' to give just one example. Diego Sanchez practises Qigong and Taijiquan. Lyoto Machida also practises meditation etc.

 

The problem is trying to learn techniques, the philosophy of these systems and utlising them in the UFC which is not straightforward as the UFC relies much on the physical aspects rather than the subtlety of internal arts.

 

Also any martial arts form be it Hung Ga, Wing Chun, Taijiquan etc will all have their responses to grappling but learning it might be only after many years of foundational exercises such as form etc so. My own experience is mostly in Taiji rather than the others but Shuia Jiao and Qin Na are a big factor in understanding the holistic nature of CMA.

 

I hope that makes sense?

Edited by Yuen Biao

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Everseeking, you forgot wrist locks are not permitted either, and most of CMA have them, and so does Aikido.

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Peter Ralston comes to mind

 

Wow I had never heard of him before, but very impressive. I'd like to see him in the Octogon :-).

 

I think perhaps the reason I want a Kung Fu guy to step up is because before I left Alaska I took Karate from this jerk Karate/BJJ/MMA guy, who was also a Fundamentalist Christian, he didn't do anything with chi at all, even sort of thought it was satanic (ah fundimentalists :-), and he thought my suggestions that Taijichuan was a very practical martial art were ridiculous. It got worse when he won a couple cage fights, then his head got really big. But never the less I kept studying Qigong on my own on the side (trying to incoorperate it into karate), even though he would make fun of me for doing so. So needless to say that in our last sparing match together when I knocked him flat on his back with a thrust punch / side kick combo it was quite satisfying. Of course he got so pissed that he said I was banned from sparring for a month. So I took the liberty at that point to just train on my own and not return there.

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Wow I had never heard of him before, but very impressive. I'd like to see him in the Octogon :-).

 

I think perhaps the reason I want a Kung Fu guy to step up is because before I left Alaska I took Karate from this jerk Karate/BJJ/MMA guy, who was also a Fundamentalist Christian, he didn't do anything with chi at all, even sort of thought it was satanic (ah fundimentalists :-), and he thought my suggestions that Taijichuan was a very practical martial art were ridiculous. It got worse when he won a couple cage fights, then his head got really big. But never the less I kept studying Qigong on my own on the side (trying to incoorperate it into karate), even though he would make fun of me for doing so. So needless to say that in our last sparing match together when I knocked him flat on his back with a thrust punch / side kick combo it was quite satisfying. Of course he got so pissed that he said I was banned from sparring for a month. So I took the liberty at that point to just train on my own and not return there.

 

Sounds liberating hahaha :lol:

 

 

Should have probably made a remark on weak his chi was or something.

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I like this guy... Master Wong, he teaches amongst other things combat Tai Chi, very cool

 

 

and he gives his take on MMA vs CMA , its good answers but kind of funny too :-P

 

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Strikeforce (MMA) middleweight champion Frank Shamrock fought San Shou star Cung Lee in an amazing MMA Fight on Saturday.

 

Frank promised to stand with Cung Lee and beat him on his feet. Shamrock remained true to part of his promise. He stood with Cung Lee for 3 rounds, but was unable to continue after the 3rd round because Cung Lee broke his arm from a kick! After the fight Frank Shamrock was humble and said the following: "Cung Le broke my right arm, I could feel the bones clicking together. Anyone who says Cung Le doesn't know submissions ... he put one on my arm."

There are a few external kung fu guys fighting MMA, but not many..

 

I personally believe that most CKF is watered down from IMA which was derived from neidan. Which means they are really designed to employ qi moreso than muscular force or even leverage.

 

Problem is, it generally takes thousands of celibate hours to even open your MCO - so most never will. It's just too steep of an initial learning curve. And those who eventually do are usually not interested in proving publically what they already have proven to themselves with any quick "touching of hands."

 

If someone can throw you against the wall with a qi-based 1" punch or their peng structure is so strong you cannot budge them no matter how hard you try - they don't need to engage in a full fight to prove to themselves that their martial ability is much higher.. It would only be to prove it to others and stroke their own egos - which they don't care about.

 

Basically, I think CKF guys tend to fall towards 2 extremes of being either paper tiger pu55ies who can't fight their way out of paper bags (more commonly)...or (more rarely) authentic masters who have nothing more to prove to others what they've already proven to themselves.

Edited by vortex

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There are a few external kung fu guys fighting MMA, but not many..

 

I personally believe that most CKF is watered down from IMA which was derived from neidan. Which means they are really designed to employ qi moreso than muscular force or even leverage.

 

Problem is, it generally takes thousands of celibate hours to even open your MCO - so most never will. It's just too steep of an initial learning curve. And those who eventually do are usually not interested in proving publically what they already have proven to themselves with any quick "touching of hands."

 

If someone can throw you against the wall with a qi-based 1" punch or their peng structure is so strong you cannot budge them no matter how hard you try - they don't need to engage in a full fight to prove to themselves that their martial ability is much higher.. It would only be to prove it to others and stroke their own egos - which they don't care about.

 

Basically, I think CKF guys tend to fall towards 2 extremes of being either paper tiger pu55ies who can't fight their way out of paper bags (more commonly)...or (more rarely) authentic masters who have nothing more to prove to others what they've already proven to themselves.

 

Yea I like Cung Lee, but he does not really satify my desire for a Traditional practicioner of Kung Fu to fight in the cage because the Sanda which he uses (although cool) as a more modern invention of the PRC, and it more resembles kick boxing than traditional Kung Fu. I like Machida a lot, he brought some respect back for Karate since he uses Shotokan in the cage.

But yea I agree with the papper tiger assesment, as when I was at the University most of the Kung Fu people I knew there were not impressive at all. They were more of the Dungeons and Drangons type, and reminded me of Kip, Napoleons Dynamite's brother "Napoleon we both know I'm training to be a cage fighter". Which is why I chose to train with an a** hole MMA guy, rather than with the "RexQwonDo" guys. :P

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Yea I like Cung Lee, but he does not really satify my desire for a Traditional practicioner of Kung Fu to fight in the cage because the Sanda which he uses (although cool) as a more modern invention of the PRC, and it more resembles kick boxing than traditional Kung Fu.

 

While it can be used as an excuse, as pointed out the rules make it really hard for traditional Kung Fu. And yes the aim of UFC is to be a great spectacle. And it is, I do love watching it. Especially when people get opened up from elbows and there is lots of blood.

 

"If he can take all those punches, he can take a poke in the eye" - Mike Goldberg. Actually it looks like he can't take a poke in the eye, fight over :(

 

I like the really early UFC when it was still quite diverse. But UFC is a sport, most people are not badly hurt and shake hands at the end..... not really anything like street fights, where the good ones are over in seconds with the loser going to hospital, at best.

 

And to be honest no way I'd like to get locked in a cage with Lesnar 9148-LesnarMir5911UFC100.jpg

but I can't wait to cheer on the next person who does :)

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There are a couple of things to consider about traditional Chinese martial arts and why they are not represented in MMA. I will break them into two categories. The physical aspects of Chinese arts, and the spiritual aspects of Chinese arts.

 

Focusing purely on the physical aspect of Chinese martial arts, one quickly comes to the realization that the arts are trained with the intent of doing the maximum amount of damage in the least amount of time. I can only use my own experience with the art passed on to my by my sifu. The kung fu side of it is primarily Wing Chun, with elements of Northern Shao-Lin and Hung Gar. We focus heavily on the Wing Chun center-line principles, and also low kicks to the knees. The art is a self defense art. It is trained with the intent that you only use it if you do not have any other choices. If you have to use it, you have zero remorse and you do what you have to do to protect yourself in a life threatening situation. So Chinese martial arts are to be used in life and death situations. MMA is a sport. Because it is a sport, a lot of the fundamental aspects of the art are not allowed. You can't gouge the eyes. You can't strike the throat / arteries. Most arts I know of focus on hand conditioning. The fist should be like a solid rock. MMA has padded gloves. MMA is structured to allow the competitors to keep competing. Chinese martial arts are derived from a long lineage of people who had to defend their villages against bandits. Two different philosophies.

 

The second aspect comes to the spiritual side of Chinese martial arts. The arts themselves (I'm generalizing here because I only have 8 years of experience with the style I study) are like a boat. They are a boat to carry the practitioner across the sea of weakness to arrive at the far shore of physical health and well being. They are a tool that embody the principles of the way, and are a great way to cultivate qi and train jin. I firmly believe based on what I have read of Daoist and Buddhist philosophy, the martial arts are a path to enlightenment. They are the boat that the Daoists speak of, to be discarded after they have served their purpose. Given that philosophy, "high level" Chinese martial artists are not going to put their bodies in harms way unnecessarily. They have shed the ego that would drive them to compete. They have given up the need to be better than other people. A high level martial artist is a sought after individual and they can easily make money passing on their knowledge, without all of the risks associated with stepping into a cage.

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Several people have said it already (sort of) but there is a huge difference between combat and sport. It's really hard to put someone in an arm bar or to stay mounted when they have their finger to the second joint in your eye socket.

 

You can't really have fighters breaking joints, ripping off fingers or tearing pieces of each others faces off if you want to have fighters for the next pay-per-view :ph34r:

 

If you put a high level CMA master in a cage and tell him he's not allowed to do anything he's actually trained for then he's gonna pounded into a puddle. What do you think would happen if they were outside with no rules? It would probably go very differently.

I suggest we just enjoy it for what it is, a pair of gorillas pummeling each other for fun and profit. After all that's what they train so hard for and they seem pretty good at it :blush:

 

P.S. I'm not British but I suddenly felt the need to say CHEERS! :D

Edited by Dreamingawake

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MMA is Mixed Martial Arts so it would be a little crazy to step into the cage with just a background in Kung Fu and no grappling knowledge, Im sure there are plenty of MMA fighters with a CMA background but they are also trained in BJJ, Boxing, Muay Thai etc etc.. MMA is the ultimate martial art because it is a blend of many disciplines.

Bruce Lee said "absorb what is useful, and discard the remainder", a lot of traditional martial arts have useless techniques when in real life situations, thats why its important to train as many different aspects of MA you can and take what works from those systems.

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MMA is Mixed Martial Arts so it would be a little crazy to step into the cage with just a background in Kung Fu and no grappling knowledge, Im sure there are plenty of MMA fighters with a CMA background but they are also trained in BJJ, Boxing, Muay Thai etc etc.. MMA is the ultimate martial art because it is a blend of many disciplines.

Bruce Lee said "absorb what is useful, and discard the remainder", a lot of traditional martial arts have useless techniques when in real life situations, thats why its important to train as many different aspects of MA you can and take what works from those systems.

 

Hm well.. You do every once in awhile hear of a kung fu friend getting jumped and landing like 8 people in the hospital.

 

Alot of "Useless" techniques can be made useful through a good student/fighter. Then again some techniques your right are just garbage.. Anyway yeah stepping into a ring with prior knowledge of a fighter makes it different.. They know you know plenty standing, so they take you to the ground, or try for all 3 rounds haha.

 

Only a matter of time. Learn for the circumstances your going to be in.

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MMA is Mixed Martial Arts so it would be a little crazy to step into the cage with just a background in Kung Fu and no grappling knowledge, Im sure there are plenty of MMA fighters with a CMA background but they are also trained in BJJ, Boxing, Muay Thai etc etc.. MMA is the ultimate martial art because it is a blend of many disciplines.

Bruce Lee said "absorb what is useful, and discard the remainder", a lot of traditional martial arts have useless techniques when in real life situations, thats why its important to train as many different aspects of MA you can and take what works from those systems.

 

In my original post I addressed this common misconception of Kung Fu in the west that it has no ground fighting. Dr. Yang of YMAA states that all real traditional chinese martial arts include four key components, kicking, punching, chin na (joint manipulations, kind of like Aikido) and shuai jiao (wrestling/ground fighting).

 

So on that note if you truely knew all aspects of Kung Fu technically you would know ground fighting, but it is easy to understand this Western perspective of Kung Fu for a couple of reasons. First Kung Fu movies almost never show the ground fighting aspects of Kung Fu because its a movie, its supposed to be flashy and attract viewers. Second most Kung Fu schools in the West only teach a very low and limited level of Kung Fu which usually only includes striking.

 

So I guess by definition chinese martial arts in their true form are MMA ;-)

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"Groundfighting" was not even in the lexicon before the Gracies put it there. Grappling, tripping, and occasional sacrifice throws, sure, but intentionally going to the ground together and staying there for the duration, as a strategy? Can you name one CMA, more than 20 years old, that does it?

 

They really did a good job with their marketing. Even Mike Tyson couldn't convince everyone they needed to have an "ear game" in order to be a "balanced fighter". :D

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"Groundfighting" was not even in the lexicon before the Gracies put it there. Grappling, tripping, and occasional sacrifice throws, sure, but intentionally going to the ground together and staying there for the duration, as a strategy? Can you name one CMA, more than 20 years old, that does it?

 

They really did a good job with their marketing. Even Mike Tyson couldn't convince everyone they needed to have an "ear game" in order to be a "balanced fighter". :D

This is absolutely correct. Intentionally going to the ground in order to submit the opponent is the genius of bjj and no traditional CMA can rightly claim this strategy as there own...BLESSINGS!

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MBZ said-

 

This is absolutely correct. Intentionally going to the ground in order to submit the opponent is the genius of bjj and no traditional CMA can rightly claim this strategy as there own...BLESSINGS!

Indeed, due to the unique framework of sport fighting in a controlled environment, going to the ground can have its own benefits. And people proficient in BJJ certainly are more than capable in that framework. The most capable, really.

 

But-

 

99% of the time, this is just about the worst thing to do in an actual self defense/'fight' situation. Recently, I helped break up a bar fight. Two of the three people who wound up on the ground had to get stitches for the large lacerations they got from broken glass.

 

Now then, I don't know about CMA, but IIRC Silat does contain the idea of intentionally going to the ground-with a different focus though, I think.

 

 

And, the underlying theme here, IMO is again, you get good at what you train for, and if you train for something/in some way/etc that you opponent does not, your chances of success go way up. BJJ people live on groundwork, most other arts (would) die there. You get good at what you do. And what you do/train should be based on your goals. Winning in the ring is a different goal than surviving an unexpected violent attack on your life. Likewise, you will be able to handle situations that are around the same intensity that you are used to operating at. (how hard you train). If you train for intensely violent attacks, but your training lacks violence and intensity, then you will only get good at training ;-)

 

 

Peace.

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Two other things I wanted to give some input on-

 

Being able to take punches will NOT make you able to withstand even a moderately strong strike to the eye. Nothing will, really-you cant condition the eyeballs or the actual testicles to any significant degree. Unlike the hands, feet, etc. There DOES exist within some CMA's a method of training the muscles and tissues around the eye and eyelids that will help.

 

 

Also, MMA guys can also choose to bite, gouge eyes, poke eyes, break fingers etc. if they are in fight (not in the ring). And unlike almost ALL CMA people you see on video, they have superb endurance, and can take a lot of abuse.

 

 

Apples and oranges.

 

 

 

 

Is this thread getting warm?

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