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#433186 - 07/10/11 02:14 PM street vs sport
hope Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
The following is an article I copied off this blog: http://www.hertao.com/blog/category/martial-arts-controversy/
My own comments are at the end. I'd love to hear more opinions on this one, as it is a major issue among students in my club.

Street vs. Sport
Posted on July 1, 2011 in: Martial Arts Controversy, Strategy & Principles, Weapons

Street vs. Sport

I very rarely read or participate in martial arts discussion forums these days. But when I did back in the late 90s, when forums were becoming popular, everyone was arguing about ďstreet vs. sportĒ. (Matt Thornton and Burton Richardson were two of the biggest contributors arguing for sport style training.) With the first UFC in 1993, people saw how grapplers and mixed martial artists were wiping the floor with traditional martial artists. Most TMA practitioners either closed their eyes and pretended their traditional styles were more effective than they were, or adapted. Those who stuck with traditional styles often used a ďstreet vs. sportĒ argument claiming their style was designed for the street where there are no rules, and was too deadly to be used effectively in the ring. These arguments went on for years, and the TMA crowd mostly lost.

Why MMA Wins
Since that time MMA has become hugely popular and most people regard traditional martial arts with a bit of skepticism to say the least, usually rightly so. There are two primary reasons most MMA fighters easily beat TMA practitioners. First, training methods. MMA training and the training in sports that typically make up MMA (boxing, Thai boxing, wrestling, BJJ, etc.) is the best there is. In these styles people train against fully resisting opponents. Most TMA training on the other hand involves doing solo drills and prearranged partner drills. This training does not prepare you for real fighting. If you want to learn how to fight you MUST train against uncooperative, fully resisting opponents. You have to spar in all ranges (stand up, clinch, ground, and the three together). The second reason TMA practitioners were easy for MMA fighters to beat was their poor technique. When training is unrealistic and practitioners are only training with members of their own style, very ineffective techniques evolve that donít work under real, uncooperative pressure.

Karate Block (the blog has a picture here which didn't copy, of a backstance/shuto countering a forward stance/straight punch)

This Won't Work
Both the punch and the block above are great examples of the horrible techniques that evolve as a result of unrealistic training, not to mention the complete lack of footwork. So MMA is the best, and the street vs. sport argument is BS, right? Not so fast! Just because many of the TMA people making the street vs. sport argument didnít know how to fight doesnít mean the argument isnít at least partially valid. Like everything, itís not black or white, but something in between.

Why Street Is Different
Street self defense requires several components that sport fighting does not, and these make all the difference in the world. The most important of these are awareness, deception, dirty tactics/techniques, and weapons. Awareness isnít taught or trained in sport fighting or MMA, but itís extremely important in self defense.

Deception is hugely important in self defense, and when combined with the use of more damaging techniques and weapons, it can give a smaller, weaker, less skilled person the ability to beat a larger, stronger, unsuspecting sport fighter. MMA fighters can of course learn to be deceptive and use more damaging techniques, but because their training doesnít require it they generally donít, and generally arenít prepared for these to be used against them. You fight how you train.

There are rules in MMA, and in every specific combat sports competition, but not so in self defense. The quickest, most effective self defense techniques are illegal in sport fighting, and this changes the way people fight. The footwork that can accompany an eye strike or a groin slap for example isnít very effective or useful in MMA. In MMA there are weight classes, and a 150 lbs woman has very little chance against a 200 lbs man largely due to the technical limitations of sport fighting. Typical sport style training completely neglects the most efficient and effective techniques, along with the set ups and footwork that makes them work best.

Possibly the most important distinction however is the use of weapons on the street. In MMA there is not only no weapons training, but the techniques and positions that are trained would often lead an MMA practitioner to be more vulnerable to weapon attacks. In self defense the use of and defense against weapons should represent at least half of all training. Itís highly unlikely a person will ever be attacked by a single opponent who is smaller, weaker, and unarmed. The use of weapons in self defense leads to a massive advantage, and the ability to defend against them is essential.

The Solution
MMA training is top notch, and all self defense practitioners should adopt the same approach to training. But MMA is severely lacking in the areas of awareness, deception, dirty tactics, and weapons. The solution is to combine the two, ending up with the most efficient and effective armed and unarmed techniques, realistic training, and a winning strategy involving awareness and deception. Thatís reality based self defense, and the aim of Hertao.

----
What do members think about this?

My own reaction: The author mentions deception and dirty tactics as two of the factors missing in MMA training. Deception, to me, could easily be (and is often) incorporated in both types of training. TMA wouldn't be any better than MMA in preparing people to use dirty tactics, and the costs would outweigh the benefits of realistically training in those anyway. More practical to bring it up and have students prepare mental scenarios; maybe that kind of mental training fits better with TMA, because you'd never use it in competition.

I was surprised the writer didn't mention that MMA usually prepares people for one-on-one encounters. TMA helps people prepare for multiple opponents, even if the scenarios trained for are very choreographed.


Edited by hope (07/10/11 02:15 PM)
_________________________
God grant me a good sword and no use for it. -- Polish proverb

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#433187 - 07/10/11 04:09 PM Re: street vs sport [Re: hope]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
I think you made some good points Hope. The original author seems to paint in black or white. There are many shades of grey (or gray, if you will) in the "street vs sport" debate.

Some points I would also make:

i) Many combat sports schools come close to replicating the chaos and intensity of "real life" encounters. If a person has been well versed in this through their training, they are IMO less likely to panic or get flustered if they ever did get attacked. For example, someone who trains in boxing may not panic if someone punches them in a fight outside the gym. Someone who does BJJ won't panic if someone grabs hold of them in an agressive way outside of class.

When I was doing TKD, even if under threat I never felt confident about what I knew. When I was doing Judo, I felt far more sure about what I could do.

Although I've never been in a fight outside of class, there was one incident outside a cinema about 3 years ago. I'd been to Judo class earlier in the evening, got cleaned up and met my buddies outside of the cinema. 3 guys were lurking. One of them said "Someones gonna get f'd up tonight". Now we walked right past them. I was ready if they made a move (they didn't, by the way). I honestly felt no sense of hesitation or panic in grabbing the first guy who moved close and dropping him to the ground. Maybe I was still amped up from Judo, who knows. I felt far more ready though from doing Judo than I ever did from doing a TMA.

2)I like combat sports, and so do many other people. Part of the reason I like combat sports so much is that usually, they are more down to earth people and have less pretense that people in TMA classes. No one in fancy pyjamas is going on about how they are following "The sacred way of the warrior". No one is pretending that if you do a form long enough, you'll get secret magic powers. In fact in a lot of combat sports classes, people just get on with the training. There's little scaremongering in sports classes. TMA in my area are usually guilty of that e.g. "Take our class or someone WILL break in to your house and try to kill you and your cat!". I personally think that is a very negative mindset. Live is short. Do something because you enjoy it. I enjoy combat sports more than TMA for the most part, but then again some people are the reverse.

3) One issue that CANNOT be ignored IMO: Combat sports, especially full contact combat sports, are by their nature far more injurious than TMA that do light sparring or no sparring. This must be a factor for anyone deciding if they want to learn MA for physical protection. No point in being a demon in an MMA class if you're injured every other month. You could be a world champion Judo player, but if you're hobbling round on crutches you'll be easy pickings for any mugger.

I will likely have more, but that will do for now!
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#433188 - 07/10/11 04:52 PM Re: street vs sport [Re: Prizewriter]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
Pretty much right on. There's some things that have to be tweaked a little when using MMA for the street (for example I would avoid actually going to a knee on a takedown in the street, and would NEVER jump guard on the street) but the fundamentals of MMA will carry you through a streetfight better then anything. And those fundamentals have been developed purely due to live training. If you have a big concern for self defense (over say competing for instance) then it's good to train your MMA skills in odd situations, through in trainign weapons occassionally, etc. But the body mechanics and technique can pretty much remain the same, the components of MMA (kickboxing, wrestling, submissions) are all you need. And when it comes to self defense, the most important thing is awareness and avoidance anyhow, and pre-emptive attacks. A lot of people come into BJJ saying things like "oh the guard sucks I would just grab his balls" or "oh the triangle choke sucks I would grab his balls" (granted chances are in most cases I wouldn't use a triangle choke in a street fight unless I knew for sure no one else was going to attack me) yeah that all may be true about the ball grabbing if I have a static guard and just sit there or if I don't hook your free arm in the triangle but do to lot's of lvie grappling I know to stay moving and secure loose limbs. So yeah good blog. And prizewriter, true a lot of MMA gyms do nothign but KYTFO sparring, but really GOOD gyms will do 90% of their sparring light, maybe going 50% focusing on building their ability to use their techniques and control of distance on a moving target. That's where you really get good. We really don't get too many injuries, yet we have several top fighters.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#433189 - 07/10/11 05:03 PM Re: street vs sport [Re: Prizewriter]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
Weighing in from the TMA perspective I like the disipline of the classes and the regimented class structure. That's just me. That being said one would be crazy not to have some kind of blending of techniques found in other arts.
I believe that TMA can enable one to defend ones self in most situations. This is of course if your training includes some non-traditional work.
Walking in a long stance and throwing a obverse punch is a good way to get wasted. The techniques must be very fluid. I agree with you Prizewriter.One must replicate the chaos and intensity or all will be lost.
I know I'm a old dog and have alot of old school ideas about training,but I still like the traditional arts.
I'm won't say that they are better than MMA, but I still think that they have a place. I guess the training is enough for me at this time in my life.
This isn't to say that my basic Goju skill set is enough to take care of everything. I'm not that good. We work in some groundfighting and takedown defense.Probably not enough but we try.
This is gonna sound like a old dude (I am). I just don't see the whole MMA thing. While I can watch it and be entertained, because it's entertaining, that's it. To me it's just tough technical fighting.Fighting...it just goes against the grain with me. I guess I'm in the minority here in that I don't see any art in MMA.Sitting astride someone and smashing their face isn't an art.

Mark

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#433190 - 07/10/11 05:35 PM Re: street vs sport [Re: gojuman59]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
It's like I've said before, do what you enjoy. Life is short. No point in doing something you don't enjoy. If I loved doing Karate but hated doing Judo, well, I'd rather do Karate, even if it meant I wasn't getting the total MA education I would be if I did both. I honestly think that should be the main (and possibly only) criterion when deciding what MA you should study.

For me and where I'm at, I think the whole idea of taking a MA for "self-defence" reasons is completely redundant. I do what I enjoy. Whether or not it is "street effective" doesn't concern me in the slightest.

Sounds like you have a good training group Stormdragon!
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#433191 - 07/10/11 06:09 PM Re: street vs sport [Re: gojuman59]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
Originally Posted By: gojuman59
Weighing in from the TMA perspective I like the disipline of the classes and the regimented class structure. That's just me. That being said one would be crazy not to have some kind of blending of techniques found in other arts.
I believe that TMA can enable one to defend ones self in most situations. This is of course if your training includes some non-traditional work.
Walking in a long stance and throwing a obverse punch is a good way to get wasted. The techniques must be very fluid. I agree with you Prizewriter.One must replicate the chaos and intensity or all will be lost.
I know I'm a old dog and have alot of old school ideas about training,but I still like the traditional arts.
I'm won't say that they are better than MMA, but I still think that they have a place. I guess the training is enough for me at this time in my life.
This isn't to say that my basic Goju skill set is enough to take care of everything. I'm not that good. We work in some groundfighting and takedown defense.Probably not enough but we try.
This is gonna sound like a old dude (I am). I just don't see the whole MMA thing. While I can watch it and be entertained, because it's entertaining, that's it. To me it's just tough technical fighting.Fighting...it just goes against the grain with me. I guess I'm in the minority here in that I don't see any art in MMA.Sitting astride someone and smashing their face isn't an art.

Mark



Any techniques will work if you find a way to train them live (and even techniques you can't do that with "work" the problem is being able to apply them without live training when you end up under pressure), the problem is much of TMA techniques are not able to be done that way, although with things like Blauer suits I guess you sort of can. So while they COULD carry you through, especially if you're an especially tough and aggressive person it's a question of what will give you the most reliable results The fundamentals of MMA though have really been found to be most effective for most people though(the basics of boxing and muay thai, the clinch work of greco wrestling, etc.) due to the intensity and "aliveness" of the training. As for the art of MMA< you're right, MMA has very little art, it's a combat sport above all and more science then art. However, when you see the components of it individually it's all art. BJJ both gi and no gi is as much art as any other MA, wrestling can be amazingly art-like, kickboxing/muay thai, not so much again it's more sport and science over art, but we do it because that's what we love while you prefer the TMA art-like approach. Now it's not just sitting astride and beating someone in the face, MMA in every way is technical and nuanced but yeah art is debatable. But few of us do it for the art part. It can be technical without art to it.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#433192 - 07/10/11 06:11 PM Re: street vs sport [Re: Prizewriter]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
It's like I've said before, do what you enjoy. Life is short. No point in doing something you don't enjoy. If I loved doing Karate but hated doing Judo, well, I'd rather do Karate, even if it meant I wasn't getting the total MA education I would be if I did both. I honestly think that should be the main (and possibly only) criterion when deciding what MA you should study.

For me and where I'm at, I think the whole idea of taking a MA for "self-defence" reasons is completely redundant. I do what I enjoy. Whether or not it is "street effective" doesn't concern me in the slightest.

Sounds like you have a good training group Stormdragon!


One of the guys training me helped Randy with most of his prep for his first fight with Chuck where he won, and the other two guys training me have several local champions, so yeah it's an awesome group.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#433193 - 07/10/11 06:34 PM Re: street vs sport [Re: gojuman59]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Originally Posted By: gojuman59
Weighing in from the TMA perspective I like the disipline of the classes and the regimented class structure. That's just me. That being said one would be crazy not to have some kind of blending of techniques found in other arts.
I believe that TMA can enable one to defend ones self in most situations. This is of course if your training includes some non-traditional work.


I agree, Mark.
One of the reasons that I went with traditional martial arts was the discipline and regimented classes. It suits my personality and I feel comfortable with that mindset.
I lucked out because in addition to traditional training, my school mixes in non-traditional methods for self-defense as well.
Their motto is "use whatever works", and we'll include any method in our self-defense training from any style as long as it's effective.
I also agree with prizewriter's perspective. Doing what you enjoy will allow you to get good at whatever it is that you're doing without having it seem like a struggle.


Edited by choonbee (07/10/11 06:38 PM)
_________________________
Insert profound martial arts quotes or tough guy phrases here.

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#433194 - 07/10/11 07:49 PM Re: street vs sport [Re: choonbee]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
Whatever floats your boat, I always thought the highly regimented faux military structure was kind of cheesy. You can have discipline and everythign withotu that.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#433195 - 07/10/11 09:26 PM Re: street vs sport [Re: Stormdragon]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Geez, this again.

Here's how this argument goes:

MMA Guy:

"I saw this [censored] thing in this [censored] magazine that wouldn't work, so what you do must be worthless and no TMA guys train alive or pressure test.

TMA Guy:

"But I can kick you in the groin, therefore I don't need to know X, Y, or Z."

It's really an argument for people who drink the kool aid and believe in the One True Way (tm)...on both sides.

Not something worth discussing if you train seriously, either your stuff will work when it counts or not, if you have questions that it won't, or you aren't testing and verifying the things you learn go train something else if physical self defense skills is your goal.

There are plenty of people teaching vital, effective TMA, and there are people teaching 'street' oriented MMA.

Almost without exception people who argue otherwise can't put up anything but a weak straw man to knock down.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (07/10/11 09:30 PM)

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