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What martial art shall I take?

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Martial Art?  

15 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Martial Art?

    • Brazilian Jujutsu (Gi)
      1
    • Brazilian Jujutsu (No Gi)
      1
    • Brazilian Jujutsu (I don't know what a Gi is)
      1
    • Muay Thai
      1
    • Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
      5


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Well, for a long time now, I've wanted to start up a martial art like Brazilian Jujutsu. I know a lot of people on here do one, so I decided to ask on the best forum online. Now that I have the chance, I am trying to decide which martial art I should take that is offered at Gracie Barra Orlando (http://www.marciosimas.com/)

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Nick, go for MMA. Think of that art as martial arts sluts. They take what is useful out of all sorts of different styles and discard the flashy BS.

After all who would you rather be?

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Nick, go for MMA. Think of that art as martial arts sluts. They take what is useful out of all sorts of different styles and discard the flashy BS.

After all who would you rather be?

lol

I was thinking what is most practical in a fight, like UFC. Royce Gracie was straight up Brazilian Jujutsu.

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It all depends on what you wanna do. Want to learn self-defense? Want some kickass moves to impress the ladies? Want a good sparring experience? It all depends.

I've always wanted to learn some martial arts grappling, and not the whole wrestling scene either. I became a black belt in TKD at around 17 but I quit and my health has been rotting away, quite frankly. I've always been tubby, but I'm becoming tubby and unhealthy now. So, when I move out of the house I plan on finding a good martial arts place in the city if I can afford it.

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It totally depends on your goals, theres no 'best' art. If you mainly want to be able to defend yourself then boxing/Muay Thai/Krav Maga would probably be best, but if you think that grappling and groundfighting look fun then wrestling/BJJ/MMA are worth considering

If you want to impress people at parties then Capoeira all the way.

Nick, go for MMA. Think of that art as martial arts sluts. They take what is useful out of all sorts of different styles and discard the flashy BS.

After all who would you rather be?

If youre completely new to martial arts do you not think it would be better to pick one thing (eg Muay Thai or BJJ) and stick with that for a year until youve learned the basics, rather than trying to learn 2 things from scratch at once?

Edited by eriatarka
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I am looking for the most effective, which, IMO, would be MMA. But I always had a thing for Royce Gracie, and how great he was vs. MMA fighters. Straight up Brazilian Jujutsu. Which is where I'm confused. Should I take up MMA or straight up Brazilian Jujutsu, based on what is more effective?

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MMA is basically Traditional Jiu-Jitsu simplified with most of the throws and some of the kicks and strikes taken out. Learning it is not the equivalent of taking two styles, it is one martial art and it's dominance in the UFC is no mistake.

I do agree that what art you want to take is determined by what you want to do. But if I were to start all over I'd have taken MMA instead of JJ... except there was no such thing as MMA when I started Jiu-Jistsu in 1987. :lol:

Edited to add*

The Canadian Forces recently reworked it's Unarmed Combat techniques, it has now moved away from the Karate style and has adopted a simple form of MMA.

Edited by Zip
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I am looking for the most effective, which, IMO, would be MMA. But I always had a thing for Royce Gracie, and how great he was vs. MMA fighters. Straight up Brazilian Jujutsu. Which is where I'm confused. Should I take up MMA or straight up Brazilian Jujutsu, based on what is more effective?

I took MMA lessons for a short stint, before college classes took priority. They focused almost exclusively on ground-fighting based in Brazillian Jutjutsu, with some striking thrown in. My experience is that Brazillian Jujutsu is effective both as a form of self-defense and in the ring, so as other have said, it depends on your intent. Personally I am more for self defense. I'd never want to enter the ring and risk my body being destroyed by some over-hyped Attila with something to compensate for, but you may actually enjoy that risk.

Either way, you are best off learning as much as you can about ground fighting, because as others have said, most fights end up on the ground. If you don't know what to do when you're down there, you're already dead or beaten. Of course, there is always cross-training.

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MMA and all the variations of Ju-Jitsu are really good if either of these are true:

a) You want to enter competitions

:lol: You don't mind ending up on the floor / believe all (or most) fights have to end up on the floor

c) [This isn't exclusively true for any martial art] You like the idea of using an opponent's force against them.

However, I personally have no interest in entering competitions. Also, I don't want to end up on the floor - this isn't just about not messing up my nice clothes, this about the fact that the floor is the last place I want to be.

Now, you say you want what is 'most practical in a fight'. I can assure you MMA (and I suspect, though I don't know enough about it, Ju-Jitsu too) will not give you this. The fighting you see in the UFC is about as realistic as our economy is Capitalist - yeah, you can still fight on inspite of those restrictions, but compared to a real, unregulated street fighting, it isn't all that helpful (that said, you train half-assedly in any martial art, even Capoeira, you'll come out of 70% of fights better off).

For example, I train in Wing Tsun. Although there are many different ways you can attack an opponent, the most effective are the ones which would be banned in the UFC. Say someone comes to grapple you in the waist - my first instinct would be to shift with the grip so I don't fall over (moving with the penetrating force, or 'stick', is a foundational principle of Wing Tsun) and then, depending on where my arms are, to use the most effective strike: perhaps an elbow strike to his spine or neck, or just grip his skull and stick my fingers in there. 'Dirty' blows like these are banned, for good reason, from the UFC - if you applied them, you would really be injuring someone.

I have my gripes with the UFC, namely that it has this attitude of 'drop and clobber'. I'm basing this off of the fights I've seen on TV and what I've grasped from reading MMA/UFC forums and websites. The first ten seconds of a fight have a bit of sizing up, a few well placed strikes are sent in, then someone catches hold of the other guy and they drop to the floor and start pounding the shit out of each other - frankly, I'd rather land my foot in the guy's ribcage before he even had those hands near me.

I don't want to insult flat out MMA/UFC/Ju-Jitsu. This is based on what I value in martial arts training. For some people, they just want an (albeit, hardcore) sport, and that's fine. When they apply those techniques to real life, like I said, knowledge of any martial art will give you an edge on most opponents (considering most people don't know how to fight), but that's not how I like to approach my training - I train with the mindset that I want to be able to beat the meanest, toughest sucker that comes at me (and I often end up training with him anyway)... that way, I'm prepared for anything lower.

Also, to reiterate what I said earlier: a lot of fights end up on the ground, yes, but that's a cyclical thing. They only end up on the ground because people who end up bringing it to the ground loose their balance - i.e. aren't trained in how to deal with that - or worse, they're trained that you should just aim to get to the ground anyway. It's assuming a defect in your fighting ability, with one side ignorant of it, and the otherside glorifying it. I choose to bypass it altogether and over come it.

So, if you want a good, practical martial art, that will let you defend yourself on the street, I recommend Wing Tsun. All the stuff on the site for our school is written by our Si-Fu, and I judge him as a really skilled and really clever guy who knows what he's talking about. He actually discussed MMA in his blog a while back:

http://www.julianhitchmase.com/SiFuJulianH...20/Default.aspx

My opinion is, drop in on a bunch of different classes. I like Wing Tsun and I do believe it is the best martial art (by the standard of: what will work in a real fight; alongside all the great philosophical and spiritual [in the O'ist sense] stuff that it expresses) but you really have to try, listen, understand and judge for yourself. Ask questions - really, this is the best thing you can do. Just ask the masters what they believe in, why they teach what they teach, what they think the importance of their art is, what they believe being a martial artist means. These questions will tell you so much about whether it is suitable for you.

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Now, you say you want what is 'most practical in a fight'. I can assure you MMA (and I suspect, though I don't know enough about it, Ju-Jitsu too) will not give you this. The fighting you see in the UFC is about as realistic as our economy is Capitalist - yeah, you can still fight on inspite of those restrictions, but compared to a real, unregulated street fighting, it isn't all that helpful (that said, you train half-assedly in any martial art, even Capoeira, you'll come out of 70% of fights better off).

I have to disagree with anyone who says that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn't one the most effective if not the most effective martial arts "in a real fight". For example, consider an effective jiu-jitsu move you can practice at 100% power with an opponent millions of times before having to use it in real life vs. some high-speed instant kill ninja move that you can only put to the test when you actually need it to survive (all jiu-jitsu moves can be practiced at 100% power), and remember that the vast majority of fights go to the ground (even without the help of a jiu-jitsu practitioner who is intentionally trying to get the fight to the ground where he will dominate). Some fighters will say they won't take the fight to the ground, but if you are taken by surprise, or if you are fighting an MMA or jiu-jitsu practitioner who has even a remote idea of what they are doing, you won't have a choice in this anyway. You might as well pick a technique where you can be comfortable on the ground. The US Army adopted a modified form of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for combatives btw which is how I got in to it.. one of my first experiences was watching a 130 lb asian kid arm-bar a 250 lb guy and leave him moaning on the floor at the end of the fight. Of course "who has the best martial art" is an ongoing debate throughout the martial arts community which is in no way settled and you will need to make a first-handed assessment of this.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

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I have to disagree with anyone who says that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn't one the most effective if not the most effective martial arts "in a real fight".

I'm not denying it is 'effective'. My reflexes are not good enough - hell, I've not even started Chi Sao yet - for me to deal with a good grappler and I bet most people, when faced with a medium to high level (actually, like I said, in 70% of cases, even a low level) grappler, would be completly taken down.

My point though, is I don't want to go to the floor. I mean, there's more danger from the floor itself than anything the person might do to me there: I might hit my head, there could be broken glass on the floor, I could be falling onto a busy road, there could all kinds of stuff I don't want to land in (syringes, condoms, more broken glass; do you get the idea that I really don't trust the floor?).

For example, consider an effective jiu-jitsu move you can practice at 100% power with an opponent millions of times before having to use it in real life vs. some high-speed instant kill ninja move that you can only put to the test when you actually need it to survive

You are correct. There are martial arts - I think even most Wing Tsun (Or 'Wing Chun' or 'Ving Tsun') practictioners do this. In other martial arts, you might be taught a sort of, 'When you see this, do this' or 'Now, when he is not expecting it, perform the five point palm exploding palm technique!'. Inside Wing Tsun, there are many schools where they train with:

a) No protection - thus never seeing how effective their strikes are

;) Lots of protection - you'd think this is good, but no, all this means is that the person who is attacking never learns to focus their strikes, and is tempted to just land them anywhere on the body armour.

I know my school, and we are made to train at top speed and at full power. Obviously we do not do our strikes to the actual effective part of the body, or it would be an increasingly small class. Instead we meet a compromise of wearing a chest guard, about length and width of the average human head. We focus all our strikes (elbow, fist, palm) on there, to gain control, speed, and strength (also to teach you to take a punch, even if you aren't getting the 'full' blow of it).

I know there are many schools, Wing Tsun and otherwise, that do things limp and loose, throwing pretend punches and kicks and never then knowing how effective their defenses or attacks are. I think, then, this raises an imporant thing NickS should look for: do they actually train you to try what you're doing, or just to 'play fight'.

and remember that the vast majority of fights go to the ground (even without the help of a jiu-jitsu practitioner who is intentionally trying to get the fight to the ground where he will dominate)

Again, this is an ambigous statement. Just because a lot of fights end up that way, doesn't mean they should end up that way. I believe that most fights don't have to end up on the ground, but that they do, because people don't know how to deal with this.

Some fighters will say they won't take the fight to the ground, but if you are taken by surprise, or if you are fighting an MMA or jiu-jitsu practitioner who has even a remote idea of what they are doing, you won't have a choice in this anyway.

Again, if you are 'taken by surprise' anything could happen. We could be fist fighting when you suddenly drop a concealed blade from your sleeve. No amount of preparation will allow me to handle that. In Wing Tsun, although, as with anything, there's no '100%' defense against anything, but a surprise grapple can be dealt with, because a Wing Tsun master is not stuck to any single position, but is rolling and following from what the opponent is doing, and is able to shift with it. Therefore, it takes something really exceptional to land him on the floor.

Of course "who has the best martial art" is an ongoing debate throughout the martial arts community which is in no way settled and you will need to make a first-handed assessment of this.

As I said, it is my belief that Wing Tsun is the best, but it is something one really has to decide for oneself - I think the real difficult thing though is not finding people who will give you good answers, but instead knowing how to ask good questions in the first place, knowing what is important to ask about a system.

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Tenure is right. there are times when I do not want to go to the ground. Especially in a situation where I might find myself fighting multiple opponents. Having said that, that is why I choose MMA/Jiu-Jitsu over BJJ. I have the flexibility to stay on my feet.

The best advice on this topic yet has been to try out the MA's that interest you and select one. It's as much abut what fits as it is about what works.

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I am looking for the most effective, which, IMO, would be MMA. But I always had a thing for Royce Gracie, and how great he was vs. MMA fighters. Straight up Brazilian Jujutsu. Which is where I'm confused. Should I take up MMA or straight up Brazilian Jujutsu, based on what is more effective?

I vote for MMA as well. I began with Aikido, studied a japanese form of ju jutsu, then gracie, then a guy who combined Brazilian, catch wrestling, muay thai, and tai chi(which was incredible, btw) recently I studied a little ki aikido and train now sporadically with an open club where people from many different systems come in and show a few things.

Something to remember regarding the gracies is that when they started their tournaments in the early 90's, they turned down offers by other ju jutsu schools(including mine at the time) to participate. They put jiu jitsu up against TKD, Karate, etc and seemed to do very well because groundwork beats stand up every time(back when it was "vale tude"-anything goes) and no one else did ground work. Then everyone started cross training in muay thai/ju ju or sambo/shoot etc. Once that happened it was quickly discovered that ground beats stand up but standup/ground beats ground alone. Now it's harder to differentiate the quality of arts because of the increase in rules that have eliminated its realism, but it's pretty well established and stands to reason that if you are not comfortable fighting anywhere, your going to loose to someone who is because they will take the fight to where they know you can't go.

I have not studied MMA, per se, but I have cross trained. So if someone else has cross trained and gone to the trouble integrating it into a system, it's probably worth taking advantage of. That said, the system is always secondary to the quality of the teacher.

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I just want to lodge my objection, so it is there and it is clear, so that this (what I believe to be) myth about groundwork is not to sway you: Groundwork does not trump Stand up. It is not practical for streetfighting, any streetfights that do end up on the floor are not intentional (and are avoidable) and it is altogether something I would avoid. Grapples can be defended against and, if you want to defend yourself on the street, I recommend an art which focuses instead on good footwork - that is, learning how to stay standing up, rather than how to fall.

If you want to go for sport and for a participatory art, where you get to do a lot of fights each week, be my guest, Ju-Jitsu is a lot of fun, and I bet if you wanted to take a guy to the floor on the street with your Ju-Jitsu, you will be able to do it - but do you WANT to be on the floor, that's another matter.

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I just want to lodge my objection, so it is there and it is clear, so that this (what I believe to be) myth about groundwork is not to sway you: Groundwork does not trump Stand up. It is not practical for streetfighting, any streetfights that do end up on the floor are not intentional (and are avoidable) and it is altogether something I would avoid. Grapples can be defended against and, if you want to defend yourself on the street, I recommend an art which focuses instead on good footwork - that is, learning how to stay standing up, rather than how to fall.

If you want to go for sport and for a participatory art, where you get to do a lot of fights each week, be my guest, Ju-Jitsu is a lot of fun, and I bet if you wanted to take a guy to the floor on the street with your Ju-Jitsu, you will be able to do it - but do you WANT to be on the floor, that's another matter.

I don't wish this to be a "my martial art is better than your martial art discussion," and did not mean my comments above to imply that. In fact, I have a good deal of respect for Wing Chun(as we call it this side of the pond) and would be disappointed if I do not find the time and opportunity to study it before I die. That said, I have some criticism of what I understand you to be saying.

First, to clarify, when I said groundwork, I should have said grappling(which most often turns into groundwork very quickly). I apologize for not making that more clear.

Which, brings me to my first point, which is that there are phases of engagement. Out of reach, within striking distance, within grappling distance and short striking distance(which I understand Wing Chun is especially good for) and within grappling distance but too close for effective striking. In disregarding this last range, I think you do yourself a disservice. It's fine to say that it is not part of your system and you are going to get around to it a little later, but to argue as I think that you are, that it is essentially unnecessary so long as you are good at stand up, is a little incorrect. Fights have no rules and happen very quickly, so to think that by punching well and having good footwork you can guarantee avoiding having to operate at that distance, is overstating your case.

I have been in a fair number of physical altercations(what can I say? Construction attracts a certain element of society.) And without exception, every one of them involved grappling. When someone gets hit, the first thing they do is try to grab hold of the opponent. Even without training on their part, and with extensive grappling training on my part, this is extremely difficult to evade completely.

A second point I would like you to consider is how quickly a good grappler can move past striking distance. Generally in fighting/sparring with people, I find that they have enough time to land one strike before I can get connection for a grapple. If the strike connects well on a good spot, what you say is completely true, but if I'm guarded well as I enter, most of the time it's just going to slip off or crack my forehead, forearm, elbow, or shoulder, which is fine by me. Once a grappler has hold, a pure striker is going to be all but immobilized unless he can create space, which requires grappling skills. So I would not be so quick to write off this whole element of fighting as superfluous.

I will agree that in a street fight, hopping on your back, gracie style, and trying to catch someone in a guard is probably not good strategy, but if you find yourself on the ground despite your best efforts to end the fight with a well placed strike or two, then a fella better darn well know what to do while he's down there.

I generally don't care for forms because the rote process and muscle memory seem only marginally useful as compared to conceptual understanding paired with full sparring integration. So I stayed away from martial arts systems that use them a lot, for quite along time. At one point, however, I had the opportunity to study Iaijutsu, the art which studies the Japanese sword draw. Completely made up of forms and seemingly useless from a self-defense perspective. I, however, discovered very quickly that I did get a heck of a lot out of it in terms of more subtle muscle control and a deeper inherent understanding of my center as it interacts with my opponents.

The last point I wish to make is that in speaking and sparring with people from multiple systems in the last couple years, I have found a peculiarity which drove this previous point home for me. It's that fairly often, someone who is easily worse then me, can beat me,so long as they have one single trick or maneuver that I have not yet seen. Once I see and understand it, then it tends not to work, but that one time it can lay me out and leave me bewildered. I would suggest that if ignorance of a single maneuver is enough to change the outcome of a fight, then ignorance of an entire realm fighting will prove even more damaging.

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I don't wish this to be a "my martial art is better than your martial art discussion," and did not mean my comments above to imply that. In fact, I have a good deal of respect for Wing Chun(as we call it this side of the pond) and would be disappointed if I do not find the time and opportunity to study it before I die.

Yeah, I apologise as well if what I say comes off as that. I try to make this clear distinction: I do think 'my martial art is better than yours', but I try not to make my argument that. I try instead to just point to what I perceive as being incorrect elsewhere.

First, to clarify, when I said groundwork, I should have said grappling(which most often turns into groundwork very quickly). I apologize for not making that more clear.

I tend to use the two words interchangably, since unless you are a professional grappler, generally the two of you are going to loose balance and end up on the floor. :dough:

within grappling distance but too close for effective striking. In disregarding this last range, I think you do yourself a disservice. It's fine to say that it is not part of your system and you are going to get around to it a little later, but to argue as I think that you are, that it is essentially unnecessary so long as you are good at stand up, is a little incorrect.

If I understand you correctly, you mean that it is possible for someone to get you in a grapple where your strikes are ineffective, and the only recourse is to grapple in return. I honestly cannot think of a grapple that would do this - if someone is grappling you, you always have some limb open to use. One of the focuses in Wing Tsun strikes is to think less about the fist or the palm, and more about the elbow - this way if your strike is compromised (i.e. your fist is knocked out the way) you just fall-back to the second line of defense/attack, your elbow. The same goes for kicks and the knee.

So, even if someone is right up in my face grappling me, I mean, he's grappling me and can do very little actually to me, whereas I am free to launch any strikes into him. I mean this is what I see as a big weakness of grappling, that it leaves the grappler himself locked as well as the opponent. Correct me if I'm wrong. I imagine there must be more to grappling than JUST locking/pinning (I mean, whilst locking/pinning; I don't mean then rolling on top of them and punching them).

As for your experience of fights, I'm afraid I've barely been in as many fights. I agree, though, that ALL of them have involved grapples and I have had my ass kicked because I couldn't break the grapple (I might point out though, this was before I started training and that I was also just too scared to dare hit the guy holding me).

A second point I would like you to consider is how quickly a good grappler can move past striking distance ... I would not be so quick to write off this whole element of fighting as superfluous.

No, it would be unfair of me to say that it is just apish 'rugby tackling' as I think I alluded earlier. Actually, I do keep trying to make clear that against most fighters, a grappler is going to get to the guy and control his centreline (and his whole freaking body!) immediately. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is just really, really good at what it does. You meet a guy good at that and you don't know what to do you are screwed.

That said, the reason I call it superfluous is not because it doesn't happen, but because it needn't happen. I think this is something I should actually clarify, because in defending against grapples I'm talking about two things: stand up AND groundfighting. That is, I believe one can defend oneself on the floor and whilst standing up against grapples (although, obviously it takes a lot more to do the former than the latter), but my opinion is that the reason most people end up on the floor is due to lacking the balance and control (which come from good footwork) that Wing Tsun (and some other arts) teaches you.

but if you find yourself on the ground despite your best efforts to end the fight with a well placed strike or two, then a fella better darn well know what to do while he's down there.

Indeed, and Wing Tsun does have a position (for lack of a better word) on groundfighting, although it's really more an application of the basic principles, as with everything in Wing Tsun.

It's that fairly often, someone who is easily worse then me, can beat me,so long as they have one single trick or maneuver that I have not yet seen. Once I see and understand it, then it tends not to work, but that one time it can lay me out and leave me bewildered. I would suggest that if ignorance of a single maneuver is enough to change the outcome of a fight, then ignorance of an entire realm fighting will prove even more damaging.

Indeed I think you have a very good point here. One must never be ignorant of what others might do. Of course one can't gain omnipotence, and nor should one try to learn in a way that one thinks, 'Ok, when he does this, I must do that', but you are right, that one should at least expose oneself to all kinds of attacks so one knows what that situation is like and how they could defend against it.

I think it boils down to this: grappling does occur, and you should be prepared to deal with it. Your position is that one should learn how to grapple in return, whereas mine is that one should consider it a minimal part of conflict - that is, if someone comes to grapple you, or tries to do it up close, you should be able to diffuse it very quickly. I do believe that one can do this, that one doesn't need to learn to grapple (this is not a matter of shirking the effort of learning something [i'm all for increasing your knowledge of one thing by learning about everything else] but avoiding ending up on the floor); I spoke to my Si-Fu on this matter and he said that he has had to fight Ji-Jitsu masters from time to time and that the basic rule he picked up from it was 'they can grab me all they like, but they can't stop me from pumelling their head in'. I think it's a bit unfair to use the example of a Si-Fu in this though - he's been training for almost ten years and he breathes the art, so anyone who has that much dedication to their art can deal with any problem, grappling or otherwise.

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Muay Thai anyone?

The upright portion of MMA is a derivative of Muay Thai (I like to think of MMA as Muay Thai + juijitsu). I know someone will take issue with that. Oh well.

My ex was an MT instructor. Conditioning regimens is the best, bar none. It's completely full contact, and knees and elbows are legal. How much fun is that!

The Thai's have perfected it almost to an art form, and it is devastating. Having seen world class level fights in Bankok I can vouch.

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Yeah, I apologise as well if what I say comes off as that. I try to make this clear distinction: I do think 'my martial art is better than yours', but I try not to make my argument that. I try instead to just point to what I perceive as being incorrect elsewhere.

At least your honest. :dough:

I tend to use the two words interchangably, since unless you are a professional grappler, generally the two of you are going to loose balance and end up on the floor. :D

It often times seems like a fall, but it is very possible to fall intentionally and break a limb in descent. A large part of training in grappling is learning to fall without injury to yourself.

If I understand you correctly, you mean that it is possible for someone to get you in a grapple where your strikes are ineffective, and the only recourse is to grapple in return.....

You understand me, but there are such positions. Not very many where striking is impossible, but I can think of a lot where any strikes thrown are without significant effect. Even a simple arm bar makes it all but impossible. Most striking derives its power from, essentially, kicking off of the floor and redirecting that force into your opponent. There are some positions where moderately effective strikes can be thrown from the ground, but usually I find that is not the case because the ground in combination with your opponent immobilizes you to such a significant degree.

As for your experience of fights, I'm afraid I've barely been in as many fights. I agree, though, that ALL of them have involved grapples and I have had my ass kicked because I couldn't break the grapple (I might point out though, this was before I started training and that I was also just too scared to dare hit the guy holding me).

They grab you even when you know how to grapple and hit them first. This is seen even with boxers after they get tapped hard(the don't grapple well of course). I think it's a pretty natural impulse because it seems to happen regardless of training.

That said, the reason I call it superfluous is not because it doesn't happen, but because it needn't happen.

...

I think it's a bit unfair to use the example of a Si-Fu in this though - he's been training for almost ten years and he breathes the art, so anyone who has that much dedication to their art can deal with any problem, grappling or otherwise.

I agree with this sentiment to a certain point. In that if you are significantly better at fighting then your opponent, then it can usually be avoided, but that's a pretty big if. Usually someone does not attack you unless they feel they have some advantage in terms of size or position. I had more problems when I was 22 and 160lbs then now that I'm 33 and 200lbs.

To summarize, I think being prepared for anything is a superior strategy to hoping that a chaotic system like fighting works out like you plan. At least until you train long enough that you are significantly better then anyone you could come across. I've trained with a mind toward self-defense for the better part of 15 years and I'm still not sure I am at that point because I've met enough guys with 35 years experience that can toss me about like a rag doll.

I will say this, that in terms of you common miscreant without any training at all I feel comfortable that I would not need to go to the ground and agree with your estimate that someone with decent training is probably 70% likely to succeed.

One other point I thought of last night in defense of grappling is that physical altercations are not always, and not usually of the type that involves being assaulted on the street. More often it is "drunk uncle Harry at the family picnic." In the first case, caving in a temple or wrecking his insides with a reverberation strike might be a good idea, but doing that to uncle Harry might put you on the outs with your family. I find grappling to be superior in this area especially, because control can be maintained and pain inflicted without seeming to be hyper aggressive.

Muay Thai anyone?

The upright portion of MMA is a derivative of Muay Thai (I like to think of MMA as Muay Thai + juijitsu). I know someone will take issue with that. Oh well.

My ex was an MT instructor. Conditioning regimens is the best, bar none. It's completely full contact, and knees and elbows are legal. How much fun is that!

The Thai's have perfected it almost to an art form, and it is devastating. Having seen world class level fights in Bankok I can vouch.

With some exceptions, Muay Thai/Ju Ju is the clear victor of effectiveness in regard to the pride/ufc fights.

I love it too and enjoyed studying it. Amazing fighting for stand up, but as a self-defense system I would still consider it to be somewhat lacking because of the very limited grappling in it.

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