JKD vs. MMA

Discussion in 'JKD / Jeet Kune Do' started by Gruenewald, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Gruenewald

    Gruenewald Orange Belt

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    Classic topic of debate, but in my opinion it's not really a debate at all. Let's discuss both the similarities and differences between Jeet Kune Do (founded in 1967 by Bruce Lee) and Mixed Martial Arts (could be considered founded in 1993 with UFC 1, although it has roots quite far back in history).

    In 2004, UFC President Dana White was quoted as saying that Bruce Lee is the "father of mixed martial arts." From this we can make the assumption that Modern MMA was heavily influenced by one of the principle concepts of JKD, which is to "take what is effective and throw away what is ineffective". However, while the first few UFC tournaments were "no-holds barred", more recent rules have limited contestants in order to prevent death or serious injury from occuring; MMA has taken the shape of a bona fide sport, which in many ways contradicts JKD's philosophies against limitations. Also, a lot of people tend to think of the two as being the same thing, and use them pretty much interchangeably.

    Thoughts? Comments? Opinions?
     
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  2. Omar B

    Omar B Senior Master

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    Wow, a style versus style thread, this won't get ugly.
     
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  3. Gruenewald

    Gruenewald Orange Belt

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    Well as mentioned in the op, it's more of a discussion of differences and similarities. Plus JKD isn't a style. Nor is MMA, some would argue.
     
  4. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Purple Belt

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    How different would you say MMA is from JKD's sparring platform? It's all well and good to say that JKD allows this and that. But in terms of what people can actually perform on one another in a reasonably polite society, I think the differences decrease considerably. What we could do to one another in theory is just that. Theory. And Lee wasn't a huge fan of unsubstantiated theory either.
     
  5. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    In effect, aren't these just two names for the same general concept.......applying what is useful in a given framework and situation?
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    OP, no its not a debate, it's been covered several times on this board for a start, look over old threads and posts then don't be surprised when you don't like postsd that come on this one and the thread gets locked.

    Anything that has the title ......v....... never ends well and is pointless.
     
  7. Gruenewald

    Gruenewald Orange Belt

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    Well I think you're missing the point, vs. is just an eyecatcher... as explained above it's not the literal purpose of the thread (controversy will always garner the most attention and online forums are no exception). But if people feel that this has been discussed in every possible facet and that there is absolutely nothing more to contribute to the subject then locked it shall be. I still think that intelligent discussion is imminent if people chose to participate, though.

    There is this existing thread on the subject, but most forums don't take kindly to people (especially newbies) necro'ing two-year-old threads.
     
  8. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Sigh. . . . . no I haven't missed the point, style versus style threads are combatorial by their nature, the 'versus' bit does that. But hey if you know better you carry on.
     
  9. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    Historically speaking as it applies to Chinese Martial Arts it is not uncommon to claim association with a famous person, who is dead, to gain legitimacy for your new style whether or not there is any true association what-so-ever

    It would appear to me that MMA has all the legitimacy it needs without trying to claim connections to Bruce Lee whether one exists or not

    Just my 2 Cents

    And I am with tez on this…. With any style v style titled thread )and there has been a lot of them) I generally say… this won’t end well.

    May have been taken better on MT if it was titled is there a connection between JKD and MMA
     
  10. K831

    K831 Black Belt

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    I think there are far too many that had the same ideas long before Bruce, but I take his point. Kajukenbo blended what they felt was "most useful" from multiple styles a good 20 years before Bruce's JKD. I suppose that Kaju became a more "structured" style than JKD was ever intended to. While MMA (in terms of UFC type competitions) is similar to JKD in that it hasn't become a structured style, there does seem to be a pattern emerging; the vast majority of gyms focus on Muay Thai/boxing/bjj and maybe wrestling. Most people think of that blend when they think of MMA. It is nice to see fighters here and there adding in their TMA and looking to other sources to improve (Anderson doing Akido with Segal for example).

    This is where MMA and JKD are both very similar, and very different. Similar in that both strive to use only what is useful, but the context of that is quite different.

    I have gotten plenty of blank stares in MMA gyms when I asked "would that approach work well if the guy had a knife?" etc etc... they don't care, because they are choosing an approach that works in their competitive context, and it is specialized such that often the context isn't just competition, but dialed in to the specific fighter they are competing against next. Whereas, my FMA class (which is very JKDish in terms of simplifying techs and dropping the ineffective/unnecessary) is blade based, so we don't mess with anything that would put us in a compromised situation if the attacker had a knife. That means we cut out a lot of what an MMA competitor would train to do. I like that, I want techniques that are applicable to empty hand / knife / club / multiple attackers... I don't want to adjust techniques on the fly any more than absolutely necessary.

    The point I am driving at is that there are many styles/schools/instructors who use and apply the notion that Bruce did
    however, what is "effective" proves to be subjective and contextual. I think Bruce would be an avid MMA fan, but I believe there are some techniques and practices in MMA (competition) that he would have cut from his own training and system, as they are highly "effective" in the cage... dangerous elsewhere.

    I had the opportunity to train with a Muay Boran fella.. he constantly pointed out the differences between "competition" MT and old style... it was fascinating to see how the MT we see in MMA evolved from the more SD oriented MT... and the evolution was based on "taking what is effective" but in two different contexts.
     
  11. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    If you are going to maintain that MMA started with UFC1 you need to have at a look at your history and not the ancient type either. It was around in the 1900s,has never gone away plus Japan had it before UFC and we've had MMA fights here before UFC1. History does not start with the UFC.
     
  12. K831

    K831 Black Belt

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    May have been. But aren't we capable of reading the rest of his question and seeing that this is what he meant anyways, overlooking the "vs" and shaping the conversation ourselves by discussing the differences and similarities in a mature manner?

    Or we could walk on egg shells, and lecture each other on how "vs" threads are naughty, further perpetuating the problem with a self-righteous tone... but I think that is even worse than the dreaded "vs" thread. TS asked for thoughts an opinions... anyone who loath "vs" threads can simply avoid it, or take an active role in shaping a positive conversation. I'm not with Tez on this one... members popping in long enough to shake ones finger at another doesn't help.

    Back to the thread, I think this was a great point;

    Likely why he invoked the name "Bruce Lee" as the father of MMA, without naming the earlier "fathers and mothers" of MMA. (Wasn't Wing Chun started by a woman searching to take only what was most effective, specifically for smaller individuals?)
     
  13. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well thats not anyone whos on here now. I'll tell you why I hate the 'v' threads...because when they involve MMA they invariably turn into and despite what you think they could be, a let's bash MMA/TMA thread. You may consider yourself mature enough to resist this argument but I'll bet you it comes along soon enough.
    1. someone is going to post MMA isn't any good for self defence
    2. someone is going to post about the fanboys and yobs in MMA
    3. someone is going to post up that there's rules in MMA and fighters are stuck with those rules and can't do it one the street.
    4. someone is going to post up that Bruce Lee would have/havent done well in the UFC.

    Etc etc etc.


    Bruce Lee can hardly be considered the father of MMA when it was going well before he was born, people think he was because he was within living memory for most of us, recent history for many others ( there, nowI feel old!). Before him though there was Vale Tudo and Sambo.
     
  14. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Purple Belt

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    Dana White citing Bruce Lee has at least as much to do with White's efforts to bring MMA back from the brink of extinction as much as anything else. Historically, the MMA format is older than Lee by a handful of centuries. Fighters crosstrained in boxing and wrestling, competing for trophies, titles, and cash prizes, in front of an adoring throng. Pankration.

    But Gruenewald, you made the point that there's much to discuss, and yet you've only replied to complaints that it's all been done before. Ignoring my attempt to actually discuss. So whaddya say to my earlier post?

    Not trying to start static. But I'm trying to discuss, despite the fact that this has been covered before.


    Stuart
     
  15. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    If you're going to look at the history, you might want to look at the ancient greek sport that is identical to the rules and, in all likelihood, many of the techniques of modern sport MMA......which itself evolved from battlefield combatives.

    And even UFC1 was a direct result of the Vale Tudo that the Gracies were familiar with.

    Everything old is new again.
     
  16. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    It would be most accurate to say that MMA, JKD, Pankration, Vale Tudo, etc, etc, all represent the same concept......which is the individual development of martial skill taking useful concepts from as wide a cross section of disciplines as available in order to create a useful personal style.

    That is in contrast to the dogmatic systems where some esteemed master has determined that these set of skills, in this combination, is the pentacle of fighting, and must be transmitted in exactly this fashion and performed in exactly this way.
     
  17. geezer

    geezer Senior Master

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    I think I agree. BTW, in discussing dogmatic TMA systems I assume you mean "the pinnacle of fighting". Pentacles are magical symbols such as pentagrams and hexagrams... although that would make sense too, as some traditional systems have and almost cultish faith in the quasi-magical powers their training methods are believed to impart. LOL

    Anyway, to get back to the OP, JKD and similar eclectic, pragmatic martial disciplines differ from MMA mainly in objective. The objective of MMA is to best a competitor of similar weight in "fair" competition according to an established set of rules. By contrast, as K831 pointed out, JKD and other eclectic martial or combat training has the objective of self-defense against whatever you encounter. That could be a much larger, stronger person, an armed person, or multiple attackers. That changes the equation and the approach to training. Keep in mind, as Tez noted, many of the techniques trained in MMA as well as the phenomenal conditioning are pretty effective at achieving both objectives. So to my way of thinking, there is considerable overlap between these two branches, and I'd be very surprised to find that any good MMA competitor couldn't also handle himself well in a "street fight"!

    OK, lets grant that MMA with a little common sense "modification" will work for self defense. But is it the best choice for all kinds of people? One thing that I think about quite a bit is how some martial arts can provide a good self-defense foundation for people who physically could not do well at Muay Thai, Boxing, BJJ, Wrestling and the other components of MMA. I'm thinking of smaller, older, weaker or even disabled individuals. These people may never succeed in the arena of MMA competition, but could benefit from other types of martial arts training, including eclectic or mixed arts. Do some MMA gyms also offer classes directed to such individuals? I don't see why not. What about your gym, Tez?
     
  18. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Purple Belt

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    And, as an extension of that logic, for those things that MMA doesn't cover, its fundamental training principles can still be applied. For instance, knife defense. I would back the guy who geared up with the appropriate protective gear and padded weapons and then went at it long before I'd back the guy who's training primarily consisted of one- and/or two-person knife forms work.

    The underlying logic carries over to content that's not necessarily covered in the sports format.


    Stuart
     
  19. geezer

    geezer Senior Master

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    I put more stock in people who have a solid grasp of basic principles and concepts of combat and some experience getting knocked about over abstract and possibly unrealistic training. Principles and concepts translate readily to new situations, stilted training doesn't. BTW Stuart, I got that from and old FMA instructor!
     
  20. ElfTengu

    ElfTengu Blue Belt

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    I'm going to stick my neck out as a JKD newbie (my history is more with the ninjer crowd, in which I am still a participant), and say quite simply, and not be the first person to do so, that JKD surely is MMA.

    It obviously does not have the same largely sporting focus of what we tend to label MMA, and perhaps a larger proportion of training is spent on learning techniques and minutiae than sparring or rolling, and more on stand-up than groundwork, plus all the FMA that fall within the larger JKD picture, stickwork, knife defence etc, but overall is based on the same concepts of taking the best from various arts and systems and amalgamating them into one generic yet ever expanding holistic toolbox, but that this could apply as much to individuals and training groups as to the art itself.

    And although I am still coming to grips as to what the principal differences actually are between the two main JKD 'camps', would it make a difference if you were talking about Jun Fan JKD.Gungfu or JKD Concepts when comparing with modern MMA?

    Or maybe it is the Wing Chun and FMA aspects that are the main difference. These are without doubt excellent in close quarters self defence, but you just don't see the trapping, sticking/pushing hands, vertical fist punches and short range kicks in MMA competitions, but perhaps this is because they are limited against a sweaty oiled up opponent.

    I think that more and more, because of the impact and effectiveness of the grappling aspects of MMA, something will have to give because there are only so many hours in the day and only so many areas in which you can specialise without becoming a jack of all trades and master of none. It seems, looking at mainstream martial arts magazines, that JKD schools are spending much more time on MMA compatible aspects, so my question is, what are they sacrificing in order to do so?

    There is very little footage of Bruce grappling compared to in the free movement stand-up area, but I'm sure no one will argue that he would have taken the rise of modern MMA very seriously and driven some kind of shift to anticipate this himself, even if we cannot say for certain what that would have been.

    Finally, we must remember, without re-opening the same wounds and sores that have been argued to death, that Jeet Kune Do, whilst it's practitioners do compete in the open arena of MMA and other martial sports, is primarily for real fighting and not sport fighting. An MMA or BJJ athlete (for that is what they are, and impressively so), does not tend to spare a millisecond's thought for the possibility that whilst in the opponent's guard, the opponent may have taken a blade or firearm from a pocket, sock or waistband and is about to bring the confrontation to a very abrupt conclusion, without technique or superior 'unarmed combat' ability. Or the age old (it seems) consideration of multiple assailants etc.

    But, should you train with MMAist and BJJ stylists? Of course you should, they are the best in certain aspects of fighting, notwithstanding my comments in the previous paragraph, just as you would go to a boxing, Wing Chun, Muay Thai to work on those areas. I have already been to a local boxing club with my JKD instructor and fellow students, and it really was an eye opener. My instructor is almost certainly a better all-rounder than the boxing coach, but thought that he believe we would benefit from the experience of a better boxer (and to get us beasted without being able to blame him directly!)

    I hope this first post in the JKD section was not too naive and ignorant, and look forward to returning more frequently as I progress in your art.
     

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