How MMA Exposed Traditional Martial Arts | Martial Arts Explored


How UFC Exposed Traditional Martial Arts Decades ago the world of martial arts was
very different. To begin with – the world Itself was very
different, and not as “small” as these days. Internet and inexpensive global travelling
did not exist yet. If you wanted to learn martial arts – you
usually had to travel far away, either to another country or even all across the world
to find a martial arts teacher or school to learn from. Now, when someone is choosing a training place,
most people choose a gym not based on how good it is, but on how close it is to their
home. You can find a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai,
Kick Boxing or MMA gym in almost every city now. Nowadays these schools are also growing in
attendance with the rising popularity of Mixed Martial Arts, while many traditional martial
arts schools seemingly dwindle in numbers, as some of them are being closed down entirely. This phenomenon has happened not only due
to how the world itself has changed and evolved in the past couple of decades. To a great degree it is due to another phenomenon
known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship or simply – UFC. Yet did you consider how the UFC has effected
the world of traditional martial arts in detail? Hi, my name is Rokas and in this Martial Arts
Journey video we will take a look at how the UFC has exposed traditional martial arts. As mentioned in the introduction, the world
was quite different just a few decades ago. Yet the fact that martial arts schools were
far and in between, that was not the only difference compared to today. One of the differences in the past was also
that people were much less exposed to various martial arts than they are today. As a result many of them were much more mistified. Not to say that mistificiation of certain
practices does not occur today either, yet in the past it was much more common and stronger
for the following reasons. While the internet did not yet exist, most
people knew of martial arts through movies, which portrayed them in hyperbolized ways. Even if someone was training martial arts,
there were few ways to check the various stories and legends told around the training place. It was much easier to claim that a certain
martial arts master was invincible or some master high in the mountains or deep in the
forest was capable of harnessing his ki/chi powers, being able to perform miraculous feets. Martial arts schools being much more rare
to find made it more difficult to test your martial art against another practice too,
or even if that has been done, there were no means to record it and spread the results
in such convenient ways as YouTube – that we all have access to today. Yet that all changed with the birth of the
UFC. Now to be correct, the first UFC was not entirely
a new invention. The Gracie family has already been challenging
various martial arts schools, and prior to that, no holds barred events known as Vale
Tudo or a Japanese version of “fighting without rules” existed, yet it never was
exposed on the same level of global media as the UFC aimed to do. When it was first announced, that representatives
of different martial arts styles will actually fight against each other to “see who’s
the toughest”, many could not believe that it was actually real. It took a few UFC events to actually start
receiving more attention, yet as it did, more and more martial artists, schools and styles
started getting involved. While the event itself evolved from quote
on quote “no rules” and no weight classes to a more safe and wiser pairing of opponents,
the UFC events gave a widely exposed and promoted opportunity for different styles of martial
arts to match against each other, as a result seeing which martial art performed better. And the results became evident very quickly. The very first UFC has been won by a representative
of the previously mentioned Gracie family member named Royce Gracie, who submitted opponents
of various sizes, styles and experiences. To many it was a shock, since Royce was not
the biggest or meanest person in the group. Yet the mastered style of Royce, known as
Gracie Jiu Jitsu, was clearly superior in these specific conditions, compared to other
martial arts styles. Now not to say that Gracie Jiu Jitsu has been
definitively better than other styles in all degrees. It was clearly a very powerful and effective
martial art, but it also used a great advantage which was had over the other martial artists,
and that was of them having a lack of knowledge or experience on how to fight when taken to
the ground. Nonetheless, what was effective and what was
not effective while different styles fought each other, became quickly apparent, when
considering all the bouts. Being so exposed and widely observed, involving
various styles of fighting, the UFC has given a chance for various martial arts schools
and martial artists to observe what works better and what doesn’t work at all. Some styles of fighting and techniques were
clearly superior in the fighting realm, and the martial artists who wanted to do well
started observing them and taking notes, absorbing and mixing the most effective methods, which
gave birth to what we now call Mixed Martial Arts or MMA. Through this process it also became clear,
that while some martial arts had lots of techniques to offer to the table of effectiveness, other
martial arts had very little to offer of what was useful in a more realistic and non-cooperative
fight. While many martial artists before the UFC
believed that they were invincible, only training with their own members of the same organization,
having their students cooperate as they demonstrated their techniques, it was easy convincing others
and even themselves, of their effectiveness. Yet with how big the UFC grew, that knowledge
of what works and what doesn’t became more and more wide spread. Some martial arts and practitioners were eager
to test their skills and learn accordingly, while other schools and styles shrank down
or withdrew to further live in their fantasy. Often times this withdrawal was based on various
stories such as: “Our martial art is too deadly for MMA” or “Our martial art works
only in the streets”, yet it became harder and harder to convince intelligent people
that what doesn’t work in a sanctioned fight between two fighters, would somehow work in
the streets. Not to say that there are no methods of self
defense which would be useful in an actual attack that are not allowed in the octagon,
such a preemptive attack or the use of an improvised weapon, but most martial arts do
not teach these approaches, meanwhile relying on techniques which are designed to fight
in a one-on-one duel, yet taught to be done in actually ineffective ways. Also, with the internet accessible to almost
everyone, we see more and more recorded cases where a certain martial art or fighting practice
such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Boxing is used effectively numerous times in a self defense
situation, further proving it’s efficiency in various circumstances beyond just the octagon,
while meanwhile – suspiciously – most of the martial arts that claim to be “too deadly
for MMA” have very little, or none-at-all recorded footage of it being used in the so
called “street” scenario. There are also various recorded cases of an
MMA fighter sparring a traditional martial artist who’s martial art is often based
on a fantasy, showing that against actual fighting pressure, or an actual attempt to
hurt or injure the practitioner, the fantasy based martial artist completely looses his
composure and is unable to respond effectively at all, making people question – if their
martial art looks completely harmless against an MMA fighter, can there really be such a
dramatic difference when they will be attacked by someone in a daily situation? These days, the formula of what is effective
is quite widely known. Most likely, there is no one single style
which could beat all other effective styles, especially if they are combined, yet if UFC
would have not happened, it is a big question whether today we would know which martial
arts, methods and techniques are superior and what martial arts are based on an unrealistic
fantasy. Today if a martial artist claims that he can
harness deadly Chi and kill someone with a single strike, there are plenty of MMA schools
around which will be happy to test the skills of this “deadly master”. Yet again, we have to be greteful to UFC,
for helping mixed martial arts become so popular and widely spread, to oppose those who claim
their effectiveness based solely on beliefs and stories rather than actual testing. Those martial arts and martial artists who
were courageous enough to jump into the Octagon, to test themselves and adapt from their lessons,
have developed into a superior form of martial arts, which can hardly be opposed by any single
style. Yet those martial artists and schools who
withdrew and secluded themselves, avoiding an actual test or challenge, not only lost
an opportunity to grow, yet also dove even deeper into an unhealthy fantasy, which is
becoming more and more difficult to facilitate. Most unfortunately, this fantasy, may even
cost someone their life or at the least, their dignity, when one day they will eventually
have to face the truth by being exposed to an experienced, actual fighter. As always, my main message is, that if you
are a martial artist and you believe that your style is effective without proof – question
and test yourself. How do you really know it works? What is your source of knowledge? Do you actually have tangible proof, or do
you live in a fantasy based on stories? Testing yourself is not as difficult as it
seems. These days you can easily find an amateur
boxer, brazilian jiu jitsu player or even a wrestler to see if you can at least defend
against them. Or if your martial art is “too dangerous”,
than ask a friend to put on a full contact armor and see if you can apply your martial
arts against real, 100% pressure. And if you are not up for that challenge or
you have an excuse for it – I encourage you to question yourself even more. Thanks for watching this video. I hope this summary and analysis of how UFC
exposed traditional martial arts was interesting and valuable to listen to. Thank you to Marius Tubis for inspiring this
video. If you want to see the original conversation
which inspired the video check it out by clicking on the image in the corner. Also, subscribe to Martial Arts Journey YouTube
channel for more videos like this one. This was Rokas and I wish you to own your
Journey.

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