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#422261 - 09/11/09 12:07 PM Vitor Belfort using karate in MMA
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
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Interesting to note that more fighters are coming into the karate fold. From this link here:

http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/belforts-secret-skill-karate-19632

"Wide stance. A different scream before each attack. The Vitor Belfort I saw at Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts was different from the one I’ve followed since he was 15 years old.

After the training session, I met with one of his sparring partners, Jayme Sandall -- considered one of the best Shotokan Karate artists in Brazil, along with the Chinzo and Lyoto Machida. While Belfort showered, Sandall revealed that Yoshizo Machida was one of the former UFC light heavyweight champion’s trainers with the Brazilian national team and that he had become close friends with both the Machida brothers.

“Actually, Vitor has trained karate for a long time with Vinicius Antony, but he couldn’t stay here for one month before the fight, so he asked me to come and help Belfort,” Sandall said. “I’m really impressed by the way he learns fast. I’m sure people will be able to recognize some differences in his next fight.”

Sandall lost to Lyoto Machida in the final of a Brazilian national karate championship and believes the reigning light heavyweight king has spread his art through his rise to stardom in MMA.

“Lyoto and his brother, Chinzo, are definitely the best Shotokan fighters we have in Brazil, and the karate community is very happy that they are showing the world how good Shotokan Karate technique is,” Sandall said.

After a tough sparring session with Sandall and Xtreme Couture stablemate Ray Sefo, Belfort outlined the benefits of Shotokan Karate.

Vitor Belfort“I trained karate in 2001 to fight Heath Herring,” said Belfort, who will face former middleweight champion Rich Franklin in the UFC 103 main event on Sept. 19 in Dallas. “People have a lot of respect for boxing and wrestling, but I’ve always had the vision of bringing things that are not being used in the sport, like I did with boxing. After that, I contacted Lyoto. We trained together a couple of times in Rio de Janeiro, and I felt his timing was from karate, so I started to get interested in karate again. Of course, I made some adaptations, as I combined karate with my boxing game. I’m adding a couple of nice things from Shotokan to my game.”

Though he maintains a residence in Brazil, Belfort bought a car and rented a house in Las Vegas, where he lives with Sandall.

“My idea is to have two bases,” Belfort said. “I keep my family in Rio, and when I have a fight scheduled, I will come to Vegas to train here at Xtreme Couture, which I consider the best place for a MMA fighter to be.”

Asked about what aspects of karate impressed him the most, Belfort gave no pause. “It keeps you relaxed all the time,” he said. “You never show what you are going to do; you always do what the opponent doesn’t expect. I should say that karate is the art of hit and not getting hit. What impressed me the most was the reaction time. Jayme is helping me a lot in our everyday training. That’s the interesting thing about MMA; you’re able to combine as many techniques as you can. There is no more of that representing only one art.”

Belfort maintains his edge in other aspects of MMA, too.

“Today, I’m pretty much focused on my karate training, but I’m also training my muay Thai and boxing with Shawn Tompkins, who is an amazing trainer,” he said. “Today, I should say that karate is the basis of my stand-up fighting, together with boxing.”

The 32-year-old Belfort promised an intense encounter with Franklin. He will carry a four-fight winning streak into his first UFC appearance in almost five years.

“It’s going to be a pretty much tactical fight,” he said. “No one can make mistakes, and I’m training hard to apply my karate, my boxing and my jiu-jitsu. It’s just about letting the techniques flow and hoping that everything works fine. I already consider myself a winner when I overcome the everyday training, which is the worst part. Franklin is a great fighter, and I truly hope we can make a good show in my return to UFC.”
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#422264 - 09/11/09 12:32 PM Re: Vitor Belfort using karate in MMA [Re: MattJ]
Dereck Offline
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Should be a good fight. I like this aspect of traditional martial arts HOWEVER anybody who knows anything about a MMA Fighter, he is not doing patterns and crap, nope, he's cut out the nonsense and is applying the practical fightingness of the art.
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#422267 - 09/11/09 12:54 PM Re: Vitor Belfort using karate in MMA [Re: Dereck]
MattJ Offline
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Agreed, Dereck. Vitor made note of karate's evasion and timing, but not any of the other, more trad, aspects.
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#422268 - 09/11/09 01:08 PM Re: Vitor Belfort using karate in MMA [Re: Dereck]
IExcalibui2 Offline
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Registered: 05/20/06
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Dereck
Should be a good fight. I like this aspect of traditional martial arts HOWEVER anybody who knows anything about a MMA Fighter, he is not doing patterns and crap, nope, he's cut out the nonsense and is applying the practical fightingness of the art.

but Lyoto continues to practice the "nonsense and crap" on a regular basis...doesnt look like theres any drawbacks
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#422270 - 09/11/09 02:40 PM Re: Vitor Belfort using karate in MMA [Re: IExcalibui2]
MattJ Offline
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Maybe not, but doesn't appear to have any definitive advantages, either. *shrug*
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#422277 - 09/11/09 05:22 PM Re: Vitor Belfort using karate in MMA [Re: MattJ]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Originally Posted By: MattJ
Maybe not, but doesn't appear to have any definitive advantages, either. *shrug*


However, if the unstoppable light heavyweight champ is doing something no one else is doing...wait...no, your right, his traditional training doesn't give him an advantage.
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#422278 - 09/11/09 06:19 PM Re: Vitor Belfort using karate in MMA [Re: IExcalibui2]
Dereck Offline
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Registered: 10/04/04
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Loc: Great White North
Originally Posted By: IExcalibui2
but Lyoto continues to practice the "nonsense and crap" on a regular basis...doesnt look like theres any drawbacks


Do you know that for sure? Perhaps in his down time to keep in touch with his roots but I could almost guarantee you when it comes to training for fighting that patterns and such are not done; no time as need to train.
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#422281 - 09/11/09 07:02 PM Re: Vitor Belfort using karate in MMA [Re: Dereck]
JKogas Offline
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Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Dereck, I agree with you completely. I've heard all he does now is train MMA.

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#422282 - 09/12/09 02:14 AM Re: Vitor Belfort using karate in MMA [Re: JKogas]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Originally Posted By: JKogas
I've heard all he does now is train MMA.


Comments like this are a little silly. Does Anderson Silva only train MMA (and not muay thai) or does Couture train MMA (and doesn't train wrestling). I wonder what Machida would say about the matter.

Karate is his BASE for his MMA training/fighting. Just like wrestling is Couture's base. Its one thing to be careful to overstate the role of Machida's traditional training in his MMA success, but another to attempt to marginalize it in a way no other art which is utilized in MMA is. For EVERYONE who once believed that karate could not be utilized effectively as a base for MMA, get over it.
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#422288 - 09/12/09 09:07 AM Re: Vitor Belfort using karate in MMA [Re: medulanet]
Cord Offline
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Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Pretty Sure Chuck already dealt with that misconception years ago. Wide powerful stance? Check. Idiosyncratic timing? Check Fast sharp counters off the backfoot? Check. Great big Kempo tattoo? Check.

I dont think anyone can be criticised for 'marginalising' a single art in MMA. By definition, the idea is to not emphasise any one style, or tactic, but be strong and versatile in any and all situations.

As it happens, Machida has had a lot of stand-up fights, so we all talk about the source of his striking skill.

If he had chosen, or been taken, to ground and tapped his last 4 oponents out, we would all be talking about how he was representing his countries version of JJ, and how he was heir apparent to the Gracie's.

Does his black belt skill in BJJ allow him the balance and fighting awareness to use his Krotty on his feet?
Does it keep him on his feet long enough to use his krotty?
Does his Krotty timing allow him openings to use his BJJ?
Does the traditional krotty training give him the core strength to pull off awesome submissions?

I dont know, and I dont care. All I know is that whatever Machida had chosen to train in, he would have excelled at, and used to his advantage. Some people are just born fighters, and born athletes.

Look at GSP vs Koscheck - the life long, decorated wrestler, being manhandled by the wrestling 'noob' who comes in wearing a Gi and does spinning back kicks that work!! No art can defeat natural talent.
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