Author Topic: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.  (Read 13096 times)

Offline dastars

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2006, 07:46:54 AM »
Professor, with all respect, I must disagree somewhat with your above post.  While Kajukenbo is revolutionary in many ways, it does hold ties to traditional aspects, particularly from the view of comparing it to "pure MMA" training.  As you suggested yourself, there are titles used, and those titles hold roots in traditional martial arts, albeit from different Asian nations.  I doubt MMA gyms use titles at all, certainly not Sifu, Sensei or anything close to it.  As a second point, in my experience training traditional Judo, semi-traditional BJJ, and very traditional Parker's Kenpo for a short time, I found that none of the schools were any different than my Kajukenbo school regarding the core curriculum 'freedom' you suggested.  Each of them have requirements, but also recognize that not every technique is perfect, comprehensive, or ideal for that particular practicioner.  "Ad-libbing" is also prevalent in Parker system (for obvious reasons), but it also finds its way into traditional Judo training as you learn combination throws, and later add atemi (striking) and self defense moves as such. 

There is a gym in Athens, GA; the HardCore Gym.  Forrest Griffin trains there, if you follow him at all.  I saw their ad for "Jeet Kun Do, Thai Boxing and BJJ" training - I called and asked how it worked.  I was told that they do not do ranks, they wear work-out clothes, and train for MMA/street fighting.  They had a ring for the controlled/competitive sparring, but many drills took place on hardwood.  They also were "actually no holds barred" for the street portions (in other words, no excuse of "that strike is against the rules").  Each of the instructors held legitimate rank in the arts advertised, so it was not outright false, but I did not train there because I sought (at the time) the structure and advancement of traditional martial arts.  I firmly place Kajukenbo in this category.

Don't get me wrong; Kajukenbo is very revolutionary for its comprehensive nature; starting from outside striking distance, I have learned moves that put me into range, and end up with my opponent six feet under.  However, it is improper to state that Kajukenbo occupies some special place outside all other traditional martial arts, despite the presence of many parallels, at least in regard to the discussion of this training compared to MMA gyms..
Geoff Hurd - Student of Professor Walt Andrae (SGM Halbuna) - Augusta, GA

University of Pittsburgh Kajukenbo

Offline curry

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2006, 08:43:45 AM »
with all due respect i have to say, all this no holds bar stuff, we watch on the tele, headlines what's the greatest martial arts style? who is the greatest martial artist in the world. all these headlines are maybe a little reminiscent of WWF.
  in my opinion martial arts is a serious thing, not to flaunted on tv, not to be used to impress the masses, my hat  is off to all those who train regularly to acheive prophisciency. it takes alot of time and dedication to make martial arts a lifetime pursuit.
  as far as effectiveness of kajukenbo goes for me, i know that it works for me. i am happy with the structure and respect of our art. evolution of technques is inevitable, however the aggresive nature of the human race coupled with media fueled fighting tends to worry me. without tradition and respect, this world could be in for alot of pain and misery.my apoligises if i have offended anyone here. respectfully, curry
phil curry
reyes kenpo student on sabatical

Offline Jason Goldsmith

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2006, 08:52:09 AM »
I actually strongly agree with Professor Bishop's point.  Kajukenbo (as I view it through WHKD) has never been a traditional martial art, but an eclectic one.  The only traditional aspects of it are the forms and ranks (I don't encounter Gi's since WHKD doesn't employ them).  The forms are really just specialized conditioning exercises, which can be highly effective in building a strong center, strengthening muscles, and giving one an ability to "root" themselves.  Ranks are really just an effective teaching method (by breaking down the set of knowledge into manageable chunks), motivational tool, and organization scheme.  In regards to organization, many MMA schools simply don't have the logistical size of Kajukenbo (which has hundreds, if not thousands of school internationally), and thus ranks to establish legitimacy simply aren't needed. 
In regards to our requirements and curriculum, that really doesn't make us traditional (at least from my perspective), because they are constantly evolving and changing.  Rather, they are a learning tool to train people in specific ideas/techniques that on the street will get all mixed up anyway.  As for "no holds barred" I think it depends on the Kajukenbo school and the students in it. With my most advanced students, we sometimes go "no holds barred" (besides fingers in eyes, no lethal force, no shots to the knees--which I imagine the HardCore Gym also stipulated else people would never be able to train again after one such session), but with my more novice students, we tone it down to a level appropriate for them. 
Sifu Jason Goldsmith
5th Degree, Wun Hop Kuen Do Kung Fu
Under GM Al Dacascos
Instructor--WHKD
Durham NC and Philadelphia PA
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Offline NYKaju

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2006, 10:50:48 AM »
I hope no one here is putting Kajukenbo into the same category as "traditional" martial arts.  We may have some traditions we follow like traditional titles and uniforms, but that's where the resemblance to "traditional" arts ends.

Ahh I don't think that there's a proper definition to describe "traditional" here, and people seem to be under the impression traditional = outdated and bad. Lets go to the good book for answers (ie: dictionary.com)

traditional

adj 1: consisting of or derived from tradition; "traditional history"; "traditional morality" [ant: nontraditional] 2: pertaining to time-honored orthodox doctrines; "the simple security of traditional assumptions has vanished"


Hrmm...time-honored orthodox doctrines? Well if Sigung Badsifu is correct in his assertions of Sijo's methods, then I think re-evaluating and rethinking the techniques and the training methods is very much "tradition." People fail to realize that the most effective MMA styles (Muay Thai, BJJ, Boxing, Wrestling) are very much traditional styles, that follow their tradition...their tradition of self improvement, live training, and reinvention to incorporate new ideas. Kajukenbo as you said Professor, was/is the first mixed martial art, and with a history such as Kajukenbo's I'd say it's nothing short of our duty to stay on the cutting edge of (real life) combat taking into account not only MMA sport fights but also new findings within psychology, and human physiology. There is more to real life self defense than just the physical combat part of it, and we should also be evolving our theories on how to handle those situations as well. I believe either on here, or another forum someone posted a study on "fear of pain" and how it effects us. Having a better understanding of that, and how our body reacts to both pain and fear is something that every self defense practicing martial artist should know.

Anyway, do I consider Kajukenbo a traditional style? Yes, as long as it's instructors and practicioners adhere to those traditions instead of just paying lip service to them while enjoying the fancy uniforms and cool patches.
Sensei/Coach James Mayors
Ronin Martial Arts
Kajukenbo under Dan Tyrrell
BJJ under Matt Serra
Judo under Mark Staniszewski
"You don't rise to the level of your expectations, you fall to the level of your training"

Offline Wado

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2006, 12:45:35 PM »
Kajukenbo is listed as an eclectic art just like how Sihing Goldsmith described. Eclectic = mixed style.

When growning up I never heard the term "Traditional" to refer to a  martial art. It was just karate, Judo, Kung Fu, or something like that or it was an eclectic martial art. We did not call boxing a sport or a martial art, it was just boxing. Wrestling was wrestling, etc. Things were just called what they were.

But then I come to find out that "karate" was used to describe a vast number of different martial arts, some having nothing to do with Okinawan or Japanese developed karate systems. So even when people attempted to tell it how it is, it was still full of generalizations.

Now we have these terms "TMA" and "MMA". Both pass on technique, training methods, and principles from one generation to the next. Both DO change. I was in karate long enough to see plenty of changes, but yet some things did not change.

Some how TMA is associated with static and outdated practices, paper tigers, McDojo'ism... and on the other hand, MMA is associated with being progressive AND with a culture of instant gratification, don't want to take the time, tough guy want-to-be's who have no respect for authority.

Harsh statements, and untrue generalizations. Seems we are forever doomed to make generalizations. I know of at least one retired champion level NHB fighter who was one of the most humble and nice people I've ever met. He was not that way always but that is the way he turned out. And I'm sure we could all name a few TMA folks that we would not want to cross paths with in a dark alley.  :o Bottomline is that you get bad asses in TMA and in MMA, you also get people that can't fight their way out of the proverbial wet paper bag in both TMA and MMA. You have people in TMA and in MMA that have big mouths and egos, and also in both you have people that are humble. Both can have the real deal!

If it isn't the art, then I can only think that it is something inside a person that truly makes a difference in what suits them best.

If MMA is about training to be good at all ranges of combat, and in doing so a philosophy is adopted of keeping what is useful and discarding what is not, then what truly can the definition of TMA be?

TMA revolves around the philosophy of "We must not change the Art, the Art must change us."

One of Sigung Mateo's first black belts was a woman who came in to training because her son took classes from him. She started off not wanting any contact but she really liked the forms/kata. She started with just learning the forms. Well years down the road, she had changed on the inside. Through exposure to our contact levels and dedicated training, by the time she was black belt, she was dishing out and taking the punishment just as much if not more than the rest of us. I swear she hit harder than me  :o 

She needed time for the art to change her so that she was ready to explore the martial aspect of martial arts. This is very much the TMA approach.

Some others, day one seem ready to dish out and take some punishment, they only need to learn good control so as not to kill each other... for them a path similar to MMA worked best.

Having experienced both, I would say Kajukenbo CAN be both TMA and MMA depending on how it is taught. However, it is never completely TMA nor is it completely MMA, it is a mix of the old and the new.

Kajukenbo = An integration of the old and the new, taking the best from both.

W. Yamauchi
Mateo Kajukenbo
Seattle, Washington

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2006, 01:05:49 PM »
NYKEMPO brought up a very good point regarding Muay Thai, BJJ and Boxing being traditional, but is it also safe to say that these are considered "sport combat"? I have heard my TKD instructor friend refer to his "traditional art" as a sport and not as a "self-defense" system. To be honest, there are times that I have doubted a few of the kajukenbo tecniques that I have learned or practiced. "Would this actually work on a live person"? That is what drove me to alter a few of my Grab, Club, Punch and Knife Arts. But in Boxing, Muay Thai or MMA their aren't any -- "If the opponent does this, then you do that and that it the tecnique". These guys are just given the arsenal and strategy and the methods in which to instinctively adapt to any given situation within the parameters of their sport.I guess what I am getting to is that the "combat sport" systems are not bounded by traditions that weigh them down. They are just free and flowing and that is why they are so effective. That again is just my opinion and I feel that our Kajukenbo type tournaments should offer some type of free-flowing combat competition (not the "tag" type point sparring). They may have already, but please excuse my ignornace, I have been away from the mainland scene for over 12 years.  :P

I greatly enjoyed reading everyone's thread. We could discuss this topic for years!

Vala Au

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2006, 01:17:33 PM »
I'm not seeing how MMA is much different from the way our founders trained in the Palama days with the exception that was street oriented and didn't use the fancy four ounce gloves.  I think we just need to get back to basics.  The point tournament stuff over the last few decades has molded our emphasis somewhat.  Call me old fashioned, but I'd rather improve what I already have than jump into every new brand name martial art that comes down the pike just to keep up with the Jones.  
« Last Edit: May 09, 2006, 03:08:38 AM by Vala Au »

Offline NYKaju

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2006, 01:20:12 PM »
NYKEMPO brought up a very good point regarding Muay Thai, BJJ and Boxing being traditional, but is it also safe to say that these are considered "sport combat"? I have heard my TKD instructor friend refer to his "traditional art" as a sport and not as a "self-defense" system. To be honest, there are times that I have doubted a few of the kajukenbo tecniques that I have learned or practiced. "Would this actually work on a live person"? That is what drove me to alter a few of my Grab, Club, Punch and Knife Arts. But in Boxing, Muay Thai or MMA their aren't any -- "If the opponent does this, then you do that and that it the tecnique". These guys are just given the arsenal and strategy and the methods in which to instinctively adapt to any given situation within the parameters of their sport.I guess what I am getting to is that the "combat sport" systems are not bounded by traditions that weigh them down. They are just free and flowing and that is why they are so effective. That again is just my opinion and I feel that our Kajukenbo type tournaments should offer some type of free-flowing combat competition (not the "tag" type point sparring). They may have already, but please excuse my ignornace, I have been away from the mainland scene for over 12 years.  :P

I greatly enjoyed reading everyone's thread. We could discuss this topic for years!

Well in order to answer your own questions, you must look at the differences between the styles mentioned scientifically. Boxing/kickboxing/Muay Thai derive their effectiveness from their simplicity. It could take you a week to master all of the different strikes, but it takes years like any other martial art to become proficient at them in a real situation. I see them as the basics of striking combat, and lessons learned from them should be applied to your fighting game no matter what style you learn. But now look at a style that is also "sport" effective, but also high in more complicated technique proficiency such as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. No matter what they tell you, BJJ has evolved since Helio first learned Judo/Jiu-jisu from Maeda and even after the Gracies started teaching their art, and even after Royce began fighting in the UFC. This is because knowledge of fighting has evolved, and what once worked no longer doesn't unless on an untrained opponent. Ecclectic systems like Kajukenbo and Kempo that have a history of evolving shouldn't stop now just because we've hit that comfort stage. We shouldn't fall back on Sensei-worship in place of living their legacy of self and school improvement.

But back to your point about Kajukenbo technique effectiveness. I have not studied Kajukenbo but I see it the same way I see Kempo; a style that seeks to incorporates numerous different ranges of combat in the most effective way. Now if we have systems that limit themselves to only punching, striking or grappling and they are still finding change, then how is it that a style that incorporates all these parts can find stagnation and complacency? Perhaps what you are using once did work, but against different kinds of attacks or fighters it doesn't hold up anymore. Better to train hard and find what works than to cling to what doesn't in the name of "tradition."
Sensei/Coach James Mayors
Ronin Martial Arts
Kajukenbo under Dan Tyrrell
BJJ under Matt Serra
Judo under Mark Staniszewski
"You don't rise to the level of your expectations, you fall to the level of your training"

Offline John Bishop

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2006, 02:20:48 PM »
It's a common misnomer that modern street fighters are any more sophisticated then they were 20 years ago.  For some reason people are under the false impression that street criminals train to improve their fighting skills.  The vast majority don't.  They're normally lazy, drug or alcohol addicted, and not dedicated to anything.  That's why they steal and rob.  If they want to be able to defeat you, then they will arm themselves with knives, clubs, or guns.  Or add a few partners to the fight.  All things that the boxer, and sport MMA's people never train for.
Now is learning "club counters" that can be used against a tire iron, or "knife counters" that can keep you from being cut or stabbed better then learning how to take someone down and submit them with a cross arm lock?  I think so.  And is knowing how to do both even better?  Of course.
MMA's as applied to the sport of ultimate fighting, is still just a sport.  Sure they mix techniques from various arts, but they only utilize the techniques that will help them win a competition under the strick rules of that competition.  Rules that are not adheared to by street attackers.                 
John Bishop  8th Degree-Original Method 
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K.S.D.I. # 478, FMAA


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Offline hunter

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2006, 02:27:54 PM »
I've always liked the word, ECLECTIC.

Not only does it courteously connote someone who is slightly odd or crazy...
its meaning is far better than just mixing or blending or combining....it
is SELECTIVE !   This implies much more thought, discrimination, testing.

Greek: eklektikos, from eklegein to select, from ex- out + legein to gather -- more at LEGEND
1 : selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles
2 : composed of elements drawn from various sources.

Little under the sun is original.  I'm sure many ancient Chinese warriors were eclectic
with their martial systems.  But Kajukenbo does have a historic tradition of being
very eclectic.   :o   Certainly evolutionary.  Thank goodness it's not completely
rooted in techniques that haven't shown to be proven.  [In most cases, the human
body reacts universally. And obviously KJKB has been time tested in real situations.]

The main problem of learning something that is heavily technical (techniqued), is
the dread of thinking that it won't work!!!   Then it really becomes an art, artistic,
a dance....which is fine, but call it what it is and don't mislead students/practitioners.
Doesn't seem this is the case with KJKB.  Blessings!

Boston
(where kajukenbo is rare)

Offline NYKaju

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2006, 03:08:29 PM »
Here's a copy of a post someone made on another forum regarding the differences between ineffective MA schools that claim their techniques are more realistic and "deadly" yet are somehow ineffective in the ring, compared to sport MMA fighting.

Quote
I think you're on a hiding onto nothing with the particular "issue" you're highlighting with MMA. If you're facing an opponent of roughly equivalent skill level, you're not going to be able to steamroller them; you have to disengage from situations likely to put you at a disadvantage and engage again on more favourable terms. This creates the clash-retreat-clash you're talking about. Against a much weaker opponent, it's less likely that you'll feel you've lost control of the situation and wish to disengage. This isn't a habit, this is a necessity when facing a similarly well-trained foe.

This is not to say that there are no genuine issues with MMA styles for self-defence. To highlight one concern with a common MMA strategy, if you shoot in and take someone down to avoid his punches, and then on the ground he pulls a knife, you're likely to be in trouble. On the other hand, in the real world the ground is often concrete, and taking people down hard has been known on occasion to drastically reduce their will or ability to fight.

The problems with using MMA styles for self-defence are chiefly found with the ruleset the testing is done under. Unremarkably, the same is true of pretty much every art; unfortunately, many arts fail to test against what one would think the most basic requirement for self-defence, an opponent who's also trying to win.

This is a terrible distinction. To hammer home just how grave I consider it, I'm going to embark on an ill-advised analogy.

Two groups of people are being asked to advise on the best way to train a man for being a Formula One racing driver with limited resources. One group advocates that the man should take his ordinary road car out to a racetrack and drive it round as fast as possible. Now, this hardly captures the experience fully, as his road car is underpowered in comparison, has an automatic transmission instead of a manual transmission, and handles differently on the corners; but, at least he's driving. The second group claim that training on a road car will just instill bad habits, and that instead he should make a mock-up of a Formula One car's cockpit, sit in it, and make the motions he'd expect to make in a race.

Now, some among the second group will, if pushed, admit that well, there are perhaps some minor flaws in their training, and maybe they should drive the road car occasionally as well. However, they then want the first group to legitimise their training in return by stating that driving a road car isn't a perfect solution either, and they should be more forthcoming on the bad habits that driving a road car will instill.

Now, were you a member of the first group, how would you react to this? Any admission of the differences between driving the road car and driving a racing car in a race will be seen as a victory by the second group, a justification for continuing to advocate pretending to drive. How would you go about reasoning with them? You don't want to come to some happy insane place where everyone agrees that driving a road car is good, but pretending to drive is good too, and neither should be considered "best". You want to convince them that training people to race without giving them any driving experience in a real car is nonsense. But how?

I think it sums it up nicely.
Sensei/Coach James Mayors
Ronin Martial Arts
Kajukenbo under Dan Tyrrell
BJJ under Matt Serra
Judo under Mark Staniszewski
"You don't rise to the level of your expectations, you fall to the level of your training"

Offline dastars

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2006, 03:23:36 PM »
That is a good post... a lot to think about there.
Geoff Hurd - Student of Professor Walt Andrae (SGM Halbuna) - Augusta, GA

University of Pittsburgh Kajukenbo

Palma

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2006, 05:12:27 PM »
Awesome post NYKEMPO. That does sum it up.

Thanks for all who participated in my thread.  :)

Offline Moses Okamoto

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #43 on: May 15, 2006, 08:42:35 PM »
I am unfortunately a traditionalist (Tang Soo Do for 25 years), but I ave been giving it some thought to study or learn some type of ground system. I wrestled during highschool and college, but I do not think it would really help me if the attacker was skilled in grappling or Jujistu. I believe the MMA peole have actually awakened the  martial arts community (traditionalist like myself) about the importance of wrestling and/or jujitsu.

"Martial Arts - The Evolving Art Form"

Thank you,
Martial Arts - The Evolving Art Form

Offline c.chambers

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2009, 03:05:27 AM »
The way I see it!  I look at Kajukembo as an eclectic style with tradition and an MMA style for the martial arts at the same time. What I think is that it really depends on what the person is looking for. If he just wants to be a fighter than he will gravitate to MMA. If he wants art and tradition of a heritage and or philosophy than he will gravitate to a tradional art. If he wants self defense than he will gravitate to Kajukembo, JKD, Kempo, ect. ect. However, the problem comes from promotion when all Instuctors promote their schools as one that can teach expert self defense. I think it is more important as martial artist in general to tell the people who are ignorant, not dumb, just that they don't know, that they should shop for a martial art alot like they would a new car. To me , and I am speaking about self defense, if you teach technique and skills, but no philosophy or tradition than you are just as a fighter who is in better shape than the rest of the public. But if you add Honor, Discipline, courtisy, respect and all the other aspects of the martial arts than not only can you be a fighter, but you are so much more in that not only do you want to imoprove yourself, but the world around you as well. This to me is a martial artist and not someone who trains in MMA. Now with Kajukenbo,JKD ect. ect. you get the best of both worlds. We train for the street and alot of times the same rules does not apply as they would in the ring. So we still have an advantage over both MMA and Tradional Martial arts. So when someone ask me  to compare Kaju with this MMA or that Tradional art I tell them that we are both and that our main focus is self defense. I figure that if I am straight with them that they can descide to try it or leave it, but I know that if  what they are looking for is self protection or defense that they will at least give it some time and train with Kaju for at least a little while and then if they find that Kaju is truly what we are and what we say we are than the person will be hooked for life!
Sigung Curtis Chambers. 6th degree blackbelt , American Kajukembo Asossiation member &  student of Professor James Cox.Head instructor in Texarkana Tx. Started Kajukembo "the Knight method" in 2006.