The title covers a typical exchange between the MMA and traditional martial art crowds when they start arguing. Usually, the arguments are something like this:
- You need to know how to fight at all ranges, including the ground.
- MMA is “real” because there are minimal rules and traditional arts suck because they don’t fight for “real”.
- Traditional arts are better because they focus on fighting without rules and the techniques used are ultra-mega-instantly lethal.
- MMA doesn’t protect you against multiple opponents or weapons. In fact, MMA tactics get you killed in those situations.
Now at face value, all of these points are valid. There’s something to be said for each of them and to a degree, you can’t really fault the logic behind. There’s only one thing: they’re all totally missing the point. As in, missed it by a mile. More on that later.
It reminds me of the old arguments of judo vs wrestling or boxing about 50-60 years ago. Later on karate hit the scene and it was compared to those too. This happened with every “new” martial art or combat sport to hit the big time over the decades. Just page through a few MA rags of 20-30 years ago and read the articles. You’ll find it’s all there.
With the rise of the Internet, it got worse. I’m old enough to have been training in the arts before there were chat rooms and bulletin boards. If you are too, you know what I mean. If you’re not, here’s some perspective: It used to be a big ass argument about who would beat the other in a real fight: Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris. We all know what happened on film at the Colosseum but what if they’d have gone at it for real?
You got long winding arguments that Chuck had fought in and won dozens of tournaments where Bruce never competed in anything so he sucked. The kung fu lovers would counter that Chuck only fought within rules where as Bruce had plenty of street fighting experience where anything goes. These are just two of the arguments and there were many, many more.