Traditional MA vs. Mixed Martial Arts: The Great Debate


Hey. Ando here from Happy Life Martial Arts. Traditional Martial Arts and Mixed Martial
Arts. The trash talking between these two camps
has been going on for decades now. Personally, I’ve been training in traditional
martial arts for most of my life, but I’ve also bought more than a few UFC pay-per-views. Yup. I’m a fan of both. Which is why I end up arguing with myself
all the time…

100 thoughts on “Traditional MA vs. Mixed Martial Arts: The Great Debate

  1. How about a person who train by himself a lot video of TMA? Did he considered TMA person or MMA person or even a person who don't train? I have a weird style from training by myself.

  2. mma martial arts evolution?? proof me what did they evolve??????? a punch? a kick? a choke ?? lol fuck you mma fan faggots!!! nothing i havnt seen in a mma match i think wow never seen that before so stfu with your evolving bullshido its all old tricks from tma

  3. True story, approximately 20 years ago I met Frank Shamrock at the Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Battle of Columbus, Ohio. We were in the same hotel and I got to sit next to him for a 10 minute bus ride. I asked him why he did not train with Ken anymore? He stated that he thought the way to train for MMA was to train all the traditional martial arts and combine them as opposed to just sticking with Boxing/Kickboxing, wresting, and Brazilian Jujitsu. He felt that the Lion’s Den was too limiting and was not mixed enough. Frank then founded Strikeforce and sold to the UFC, I believe. Anyway, he was a very humble man and just watch his fight with Bas Rutten in Pancrase. He truly believed more in the Bruce Lee philosophy of mixing and using what works of the TMAs. He felt MMA was becoming too systematic! Best ten minutes in my martial art life! Great video!

  4. These two personas should really have a debate with your inner thespian! 😄 a much-needed talk, master. Thanks and congrats.

  5. Sifu Ando please have a debate with, (Xu Xiaodong, the Chinese MMA fighter who pummels martial arts masters, vows to expose kung fu ‘fakery’) About that please? Talk to Xu about it and not talk to your self…

  6. Great Video! We all fight a battle on day to day basis, which no other person knows about….. Martial Arts makes us 'The Best' at it.!!

  7. Hilarious video. I am trained TMA and been learning MMA through an app and guess what found out something like the kata of traditional karate. It is called shadowfighting in the MMA world. So there is no difference.The only strong advantage MMA has is modernity.TMA is old and the present day ninjas fight in the ring. This is evolution, which isn't better or worse.It is simply evolution.

  8. Great video Mr. Ando, it is a good lesson that everyone should remember. It may sound cliche but doesn’t mean it doesn’t work as a good life lessons eh? Thanks for the video 😁

  9. As you, I trained in TMA for a long time, but then stopped for a while before getting back into it. I think that gives me a unique perspective. Most TMA now are partial artists. There are big gaps in their skill sets. If you want to fill the gaps, you need to train other arts. The problem with that is there is only so much time to do that. Therefore, I do not practice aspects of TMA that have no real practical applications, such as forms, one step sparring, or useless simulated self defense moves with a totally complaint partner. I wish MMA would have the spiritual and respectful aspects of TMA though because I feel that is good for us as human beings.

  10. This is awesome. So funny yet true. I've trained TMA but saw looking around the few of my fellow students could probably take on a real self defence situation (me included after self reflection) so I tried to make it more realistic … with partners who are non compliant. With actual body conditioning instead of just form training. You can't throw somebody over if you have the strength of summer wind. At least if he has any kind of understanding how to keep your own balance.

    Thanks for this video. I hope it brought the people closer together. Great work

  11. I'm a judoka, so I guess I'm a tma practitioner but I also cross train in bjj(tho in my opinion it's just judo with different competition rules) and mma. I don't consider them to be two different things since they both teach you to fight and defend yourself

  12. Karate and Judo are traditional martial arts, but no one questions their effectiveness. On the other hand, Aikido and Tai Chi, for example, are severely questioned. In my opinion, this whole discussion is not about traditionalism vs. modernity in the martial arts, but it's about training methods. More specifically it is about training methods that are limited to punching and kicking the air and doing forms VS training methods with a solid base in sparring and fights.

  13. TMA has the edge provided they spar. Full contact karate (kyokushin) and jujitsu are great. Also , muay thai is old enough to be called traditional and BJJ is copied from Judo and Judo is copied from Jujitsu.

  14. MMA was originally intended as a COMPETITION FORMAT to make possible the confrontation between various fighting specialities (just like how K1 was). I think this is misunderstood today, as many practice MMA as a "martial art" by itself, forgetting that it was originally a format that allowed anybody to use almost whatever technique was in their arsenal. Let's return to the original meaning of MMA: a way of testing and finding out what works, not to exclude any traditional art, rather to better everyone's understanding of what they practice – be it Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Aikido, you name it. Even in training methods: muscle training is great, tendon training is great too, meditation techniques, breathing techniques – the world is very vast on this matter, and it appeals much more to me to discover those methods rather then criticize them based on the performance in a contest – which depend much more on the person who uses it then on the method itself – when I know nothing of it.
    From an evolutionary point of view, it really holds more value – to me – to understand WHY people who went out in war practiced that way, and to take that point to evolve modern fighting, and at the same time re-introduce reality-based sparring mutuated from modern sports in methods that traditionally don't practice that way.
    That's my two cents on the question.

  15. I was watching this while eating lunch. I just about died from choking while laughing. You never fail to get me to at least chuckle. 🙂

  16. Hi Sensei . I really appreciate the work you are doing here and some of your videos helped me. Sorry for the of topic, but as a beginner martial artist, (I am doing Vovinam viet vo Dao and had my first belt exam two months ago) I was wondering if weight and height would be a major advantage or disadvantage in chosing and training in a certain martial art?

  17. I've done traditional martial arts for 7 years, then switched to different spots all together, just to get back to martial arts. I've been training mma for the past 3 years and it's been one hell of a ride. I've had a couple of rude awakenings, realising that katas and shadowboxing are not a replacement for actual pressure testing/sparring. I've also realised that some of my techniques, kicks especially, are much more refined then those of my peers. I've learned that TMA gave me mental fortitude and a sense of self that improved my life in way more meaningful ways than any fighting ability ever could. I love both TMA and MMA, often just as much for the differences as for the similarities. What I'll never understand though, is this absurd fixation on realism. I do a ton of stuff in my MMA training that doesn't translate to self defense and that's totally OK. It doesn't invalidate what I do in the gym.

  18. The only reason why I do a TMA is so I can spar consistently without brain damage.
    The only trade back is that I use a weapon (which is fine since I'm too skinny and dont exercise that much.) And I only body spar, something that most striking arts dont do.

  19. To me the biggest misunderstanding about MMA or boxing is that there seems to be an idea that both lack respect

    I can only speak for boxing, but personally I’d say that because there is full contact sparring there’s an actual sense of what the other person can do, and you will eventually get called up on your trash talk.

    Not saying that TMA doesn’t have respect of course, but for me getting clipped a couple of times with real shots earns real respect

  20. I think the biggest problem mma has with tma is that there are a lot of tma guys with massive egos who basically lie to people in order to get money. Also the ego of some guys who have never thrown a real punch. In general tho I can see your point.

  21. TMA vs MMA ( running to the extreme) MMA: sparring (no mental cultivation ) , TMA : forms, weapons , sparring ( have mental cultivation) : Buddhism, taosim

  22. IMHO (and I know I'm going to get major shade thrown at me.) but MMA fighters started all the trash talking. I was at a TMA school (Tang Soo Do) and an MMA school opened up in my town back in the early 200's and the members would come and trash talk people in our dojo. Some MMA owners would come and poach students from TMA schools. (Hey come over to our school, we're the future. blah, blah) So if TMA practitioners sucked so bad, why did MMA owners (and still do) beg TMA students to leave their dojos? Don't get me wrong, I respect MMA fighters. It's different from what I want to practice. I think MMA makes sense, you need a stand up fighting style and a grappling style. TMA fighters tend to be one sided. That is the main difference between the two.

  23. "Tradational Martial arts have been tested in shopping malls" LOL! Hey have you watched the YouTube original series Cobra Kai?
    TMA school Cobra Kai is now in a strip mall next to a pawn shop!!! (IMHO Cobra Kai is what you call a MCdojo.)

  24. The division is real but I highly respect both and mma is just tma combined with other tma including some boxing and grappling which can also be considered traditional

  25. well ummm ive done karate,jujitsu and muay thai (TMA), but since I use those three TMA styles when i spar….does that make me an MMA fighter?

  26. this was a good debate. the only exception for me is there's no excuse not showing sparring.
    TMA simply need to show sparring without padding and show us how it's done, like here for example https://youtu.be/_VdW4clNL2k?t=1086
    light technical sparring of flow and TMA. why does so little TMA do this?

  27. The opponent isn’t the exact same size and weight they cut weight for a size advantage they only weigh the same or around the same at weigh ins

  28. This reminds me of an episode of Star Trek in which a transporter malfunction splits Capt Kirk into good Kirk and evil Kirk. I was waiting for Spock to sneak up behind one of them with the Vulcan nerve pinch.

  29. MMA have a lot of rules to cripples TMA…cannot strike the back of the head, cannot manipulate fingers, cannot this, cannot that…and MMA fans want to say TMA sucks?

  30. Traditional martial arts were probably tested on the battlefield against other traditional martial artists so I don’t c how that’s a valid argument for y TMA is “better” for self defense or sport

  31. One time a MMA dude was trying to convice me all other non MMA arts don't work and that I should join MMA he put me in a headlock without asking and he said what do you do if someone puts you in a headlock. I felt kinda of assulted he was at lest over the age of 30 if not 40 I know he was trying to be friendly but it was kinda weird. From my experience behaivour like that pushed me away from MMA. The first time I talked with a MMA person I was doing Karate after school and highschool wrestling I had about 2 years of Training in total he had about 2 years in Training in total he told me if he could take me to the ground it would be over and MMA is the best art out there everything beyond it does not work and how I need jiu jitsu and that wrestling and karate alone is not enough. With about 2 or 3 months of wrestling my wrestling skills was at a much higher level than his takedown skills so he could not take me down to the ground. He said my wrestling was good I said I was average Then he told me how I basically am MMA because I do stand up and grappling then I said you were telling me how you were going to kick my ass because what I am learning does not work? now your saying I am your art? TMA VS MMA is pointless its two sides of the same side proggression and tradition both should move as one learn from the other and movie forward

  32. Actually, what IS the deal with tattoos? Nothin' says tough guy like a razor wire neck tattoo wrapping around "DEATH FANG".

  33. Mma is the real deal! But it lacks values, it's only down side, pressure cook to c if it works, have someone try to take ur head off, traditional m.a. is lacking in combatives.

  34. Actually if you want to talk about self defence in the most effective, manner, the hand gun is hard to beat Or at least weapon based, empty hand based is suitable on country which doesn't allow guns. I think in terms of self defence, the laws is a significant factor that affects a self defence outcome. Nobody wants to go to jail even if one were to defend oneself and accidentally killed the other. The hassle and stress having to go through those legal process isn't pleasant.

    Both schools have plus points. I like the forms and discipline of TMA and the intensity and tactics of MMA.

  35. Shaolin Kung Fu kick ass but I prefer MMA if I want quick results in a short time….Kung Fu takes too long to be effective with all those forms …Oh ya I almost forgot BOXING is most effective in a short time to master

  36. This was amazing!!! I've had the opportunity to experience both. At the end of the day, I'm only in competition with myself. Great video!

  37. by far my favorite video debate on tma x mma. love the video. honestly they both are needed. both of them expose the weak links in each other. mma makes you more prepared on what to expect and be wary of overconfidence or macdojo's, and tma has the complete essence and heart of martial arts.

  38. We should agree that TMA and MMA are both good, as for real fighting. MMA isn't real fighting, as well, since real fighters of the 21st century shoot and press buttons of ballistic rockets, instead of using either MMA nor TMA. This is why Persia managed to paralyze the US army in Iran,ever since MMA fighters think that their fighting is real. It isn't real and it shouldn't be real, because real fighting is a fight for life, not either cage matching, nor doing katas.

  39. That's all nice-sounding sophistry, however the fact is when people participate in martial arts they believe they are learning an effective way to defense themselves if need be, to have the capability of being able to actually fight. They are trusting their instructor while the instructor gives them a false sense of the ability. Talking of Bruce Lee, those who have boxed and wrestled for a year will whoop black belt karate. There is so much delusion present within TMA, although I suppose delusion for many is bliss, until real life turns up and shatters the delusion.

  40. MMA's objective is beating the opponent for profit &or competitive success through rigorous physical training. TMA's objective is personal development which can then be used for self defense or competitive success. They are not mutually exclusive. The methodology, however, is different which is implicit in your video.

    The material I've posted about what makes traditional martial arts work is not embraced by MMA because the participants are typically physically centered, athletic & sporting type individuals who want to use that physicality to out compete &/or defeat other people. Physicality makes up only 1/3 of the traditional martial arts equation, metaphorically. In terms of skill contribution, physicality in TMA is actually second to mental discipline. The great divide between the two approaches. Represented to the highest level by none other than kata (forms).

    The two sides will never come together colloquially speaking, because the beliefs are inherently opposing (see above). Furthermore, the commercial MMA establishment makes large profits from it's negative spin on traditional martial arts. With a huge & popularized fan base behind. Traditional martial arts organizations can also strive for profit (all of this as your video stipulates), at the expense of achievement. Human beings being human beings.

    My TMA beats your MMA though. Ciao.

  41. 3:10

    BTW. Use what works for you. Me I used what works in specific situations making it fun to explore a lot of martial arts.

    "You can only fight the way you practice."
    – Miyamoto Musashi –

  42. The real argument isn't TMA vs. MMA. The real argument is techniques vs. principles. Few arts (TMA,MMA, realistic or non realistic) teach principles. Almost everything is technique based. All the money is in techniques because once you learn one technique you begin a cycle of needing more techniques to fill in the gaps. If you know the principles you can answer your own questions. There's no money in teaching people that!

  43. TMA is like the root. from the root, one can branch into MMA fighting, or become a ninja that kills people, or simply for health reasons, or go pick up a spear and fight on the battlefield. Each has their own specialized training. A practitioner that does taichi or karate for health reasons won't be able to stand up to a hardcore cage fighter because their is no kata out there that trains the practitioner to take a punch to the head or stomach or the nose or the ribcage, he's probably never experienced a kidney or liver shot. An MMA fighter that beats people unconscious in the cage will be cut to shreds by weapons on the battlefield. in the year 2020, when the debate of TMA vs MMA comes about, its most likely because people wonna experience a combat form of Tai Chi, or Wingchun, or silat vs western boxing, so hopefully a MMA fighter trained in Tai Chi can step up…

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