Do you think the rule set of UFC makes it difficult to translate a large set of martial arts?

Cynik75

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I would like the OP to give one example of a martial art style that is difficult to translate to MMA, along with the rule or rules that inhibit this translation. Also, how should the rules be changed to include this particular martial art?
Like on the streetz ya know, no rulez.
Fight till one of fighters will not be able (phisically or mentally) to fight.

I can bet MT, BJJ, wrestling, boxing, sambo etc. still would be the dominant styles.
 

skribs

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I would like the OP to give one example of a martial art style that is difficult to translate to MMA, along with the rule or rules that inhibit this translation. Also, how should the rules be changed to include this particular martial art?
OP did include a video of someone talking about how Judo isn't represented in MMA, certainly not in the medal stand. Which I think is false, because Ronda Rousey was one of the most prolific women's MMA fighters, and came in with a strong Judo background.

Judo is probably underrepresented (compared to wrestling and BJJ) because of the lack of gi in MMA. To fix this particular "problem", adding a "Gi MMA" would make a lot of sense. I do believe there are some BJJ competitions that move in this direction a bit (but that doesn't help UFC). A gi in most arts is just a uniform, but in BJJ and Judo is part of the sport as well. Like how a football helmet isn't just part of the uniform, it serves a practical use in the sport.

Some other arts I could think of that aren't represented as much include self-defense focused arts like Krav Maga and Hapkido. I'll use Hapkido as an example here. Most of my Hapkido techniques would be against the rules in MMA, because we attack the weakest part of your body we can get ahold of. 90% of the time, it means we're grabbing fingers, and using those to create a gooseneck on your wrist that will control your arm and the rest of your body. It gets much more difficult if I have to grab your wrist, because I have a worse grip and much less leverage that way. However, rules are there for safety, and relaxing rules creates a greater risk of injury.

Then there's arts like Taekwondo and Karate, where typically striking is for points instead of for knockout. A way to make them fit better is to go away from the 9-10 scores that they currently use, and instead use a point system like Taekwondo uses. (Yes, I singled Taekwondo out, because I believe Karate pauses after each point is scored). There is precedent for this in combat sports. Both BJJ and wrestling do this.

However, because of how complex MMA is, I'm not sure that you could have an objective scoring system that is fair for both strikers and grapplers. Something like:
  • 1 Point: Punches, elbows, knees, leg kicks, recovering position in grappling
  • 2 Points: Body kicks, spinning arm strikes, advancing position in grappling, sweep or reversal in grappling
  • 3 Points: Head kicks, spinning kicks, submission threats, jumping position in grappling
Priority could still be given to KO or tapping your opponent out, but in this way a point-based art could start to fill in the gaps. Additionally, it might incentivize people from Karate or Taekwondo to compete in MMA, if it offers options closer to their style of fighting.

To sum up, the three ideas I have to "fix" the "problem" with the UFC. I'm not saying they wouldn't come with their own problems, but these are ways to get other arts more involved.
  • Add a Judo/BJJ Gi, so there is something for Judo and Gi-BJJ guys to grab onto
  • Reduce the list of banned techniques, so that self-defense guys can go for the moves they want to
  • Change the scoring metrics to reward every landed strike, instead of being a subjective 9-10 score, to encourage point-based striking arts to join the fray
 
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dramonis

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I would like the OP to give one example of a martial art style that is difficult to translate to MMA, along with the rule or rules that inhibit this translation. Also, how should the rules be changed to include this particular martial art?
Judo, taekwondo, Greco-roman, more exotic like Shuai jiao, wing Chun, kali (unarmed) ... list goes on although from time to time we see it but is very difficult to have more than 3 ppl using that tech
 

skribs

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Judo, taekwondo, Greco-roman, more exotic like Shuai jiao, wing Chun, kali (unarmed) ... list goes on although from time to time we see it but is very difficult to have more than 3 ppl using that tech
That was only part of the question. What rules inhibit them? What changes would fix this?

What do you mean by "from time to time we see it but is very difficult to have more than 3 ppl using that tech." There's a ton of context missing.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Judo, taekwondo, Greco-roman, more exotic like Shuai jiao, wing Chun, kali (unarmed) ... list goes on although from time to time we see it but is very difficult to have more than 3 ppl using that tech
Greco-Roman wrestlers have been some of the most successful practitioners in MMA. I dont see how anyone could claim that the MMA rule set discriminates against Greco-Roman.

Judo practitioners less so, because of the need to adapt to no-gi. But there have been a reasonable number of successful judoka in MMA.

I cant recall off-hand any top MMA fighters whose primary foundation is Tae Kwon Do, but there have been a number of top practitioners who have some TKD background and have used TKD techniques successfully in the cage. I dont think theres anything in standard MMA rules which would prevent TKD practitioners from being able to use their art.

Shuai Jiao practitioners would probably have the same challenge as judoka in adapting to grappling without the jacket, but they could probably make the adjustment if there were any out there making the attempt.

Wing Chun practitioners have not historically done that well in MMA, but Id say that has more to do with limitations in their typical training methods than with the restrictions of MMA rules. Alan Orr has shown that its possible to use WC in MMA.

Kali practitioners have a legit claim that MMA rules severely handicap their style. Obviously a system which is primarily weapon based is not going to do well in a competition which bans the use of weapons. (Some forms of Kali do include an unarmed component, but it generally takes up a relatively small percentage of training time and is optimized for taking advantage of the practitioners existing weapon skills rather than being the best possible approach to unarmed fighting.)
 
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dramonis

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Greco-Roman wrestlers have been some of the most successful practitioners in MMA. I dont see how anyone could claim that the MMA rule set discriminates against Greco-Roman.

Judo practitioners less so, because of the need to adapt to no-gi. But there have been a reasonable number of successful judoka in MMA.

I cant recall off-hand any top MMA fighters whose primary foundation is Tae Kwon Do, but there have been a number of top practitioners who have some TKD background and have used TKD techniques successfully in the cage. I dont think theres anything in standard MMA rules which would prevent TKD practitioners from being able to use their art.

Shuai Jiao practitioners would probably have the same challenge as judoka in adapting to grappling without the jacket, but they could probably make the adjustment if there were any out there making the attempt.

Wing Chun practitioners have not historically done that well in MMA, but Id say that has more to do with limitations in their typical training methods than with the restrictions of MMA rules. Alan Orr has shown that its possible to use WC in MMA.

Kali practitioners have a legit claim that MMA rules severely handicap their style. Obviously a system which is primarily weapon based is not going to do well in a competition which bans the use of weapons. (Some forms of Kali do include an unarmed component, but it generally takes up a relatively small percentage of training time and is optimized for taking advantage of the practitioners existing weapon skills rather than being the best possible approach to unarmed fighting.)
I think the way they give points favors more bjj than wrestlers, not just that if we compare in the beginning wrestlers have less knowledge on joint locks than bjj. I have the impression that when grapple successfully you get more points doing a joint lock than ground and pound
 

drop bear

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Greco-Roman wrestlers have been some of the most successful practitioners in MMA. I dont see how anyone could claim that the MMA rule set discriminates against Greco-Roman.

Judo practitioners less so, because of the need to adapt to no-gi. But there have been a reasonable number of successful judoka in MMA.

I cant recall off-hand any top MMA fighters whose primary foundation is Tae Kwon Do, but there have been a number of top practitioners who have some TKD background and have used TKD techniques successfully in the cage. I dont think theres anything in standard MMA rules which would prevent TKD practitioners from being able to use their art.

Shuai Jiao practitioners would probably have the same challenge as judoka in adapting to grappling without the jacket, but they could probably make the adjustment if there were any out there making the attempt.

Wing Chun practitioners have not historically done that well in MMA, but Id say that has more to do with limitations in their typical training methods than with the restrictions of MMA rules. Alan Orr has shown that its possible to use WC in MMA.

Kali practitioners have a legit claim that MMA rules severely handicap their style. Obviously a system which is primarily weapon based is not going to do well in a competition which bans the use of weapons. (Some forms of Kali do include an unarmed component, but it generally takes up a relatively small percentage of training time and is optimized for taking advantage of the practitioners existing weapon skills rather than being the best possible approach to unarmed fighting.)

Yet fluffy karate has done ok. Like wonder boy.

Moontasari was a tkd guy.
 

wab25

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Judo, taekwondo, Greco-roman, more exotic like Shuai jiao, wing Chun, kali (unarmed) ... list goes on although from time to time we see it but is very difficult to have more than 3 ppl using that tech
So, how should the rules be changed to include those?

As mentioned already... there are plenty of fighters from Judo and Greco-Roman wrestling and even a few from TKD. But, I am interested in how you propose to fix this.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I have the impression that when grapple successfully you get more points doing a joint lock than ground and pound
Not really. Of course a successful submission ends a fight, just like a knockout (which you can achieve through ground and pound). But if you don't finish the fight via submission or KO and it goes to points on the judges' scorecards, then ground-n-pound counts for more than unsuccessful submission attempts. And it's really hard to submit a sweaty athletic guy in a speedo who knows all the submissions and is allowed to hit you while you try to execute them.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Every high level modern MMA competitor is at the very least proficient in wrestling, submission grappling, and some form of striking. Some are elite in all three areas as well as having additional skills.

But just for fun, I decided to go through the Wikipedia list of UFC champions and count up the numbers for backgrounds in different martial disciplines/combat sports. Lots of them trained in multiple disciplines before entering MMA, so to simplify things I made up some rough-and-ready guidelines. If you count them yourself using different guidelines, you may get slightly different results.

First, I tried to count each competitor's primary background, not everything they might have studied. So if someone was a D1 wrestler and also had a handful of amateur boxing matches, they got counted as a wrestler. A few fighters had strong backgrounds in a couple of arts and I couldn't decide which was their primary, so both arts got counted. That means my totals will add up to slightly more than the actual number of UFC champions.

I counted a fighter's primary background as "MMA" if they started training and competing at a young age without substantial accomplishments in other arts beforehand. So if someone had just a blue belt in BJJ or a couple of years of wrestling or Tae Kwon Do before starting MMA, they get counted under MMA. I also didn't count disciplines that a fighter became expert in after the start of their MMA career.

I was going to separate out the different flavors of wrestling (freestyle, folkstyle, Greco), but Wikipedia isn't always clear on what each athlete had specialized in and some had participated in multiple forms. I did separate out catch wrestling, because it was more unusual and typically came from a different source (i.e. the Japanese pro-wrestling scene rather than high schools and colleges).

I included the winners from the original UFC tournaments before they abandoned the tournament format and went to championship belts. I did not include the Ultimate Fighter show winners.

So anyway, here are my totals:

Wrestling (including Freestyle, folkstyle, and Greco-Roman): 38
MMA: 21
BJJ: 17
Kickboxing (not including Muay Thai): 8
Muay Thai: 7
Boxing: 7
Sambo: 4
Karate: 4
Catch Wrestling: 4
Tae Kwon Do: 3
Kempo: 2
Judo: 2
Lutre Livre: 1
Sanda: 1
Robert Bussey Warrior International (a Bujinkan spin-off): 1*

*(Steve Jennum entered the tournament as an alternate and got directly to the finals after Ken Shamrock withdrew due to injuries. Due to this I don't think he really earned his place on the list of champions, but I include him for the sake of completeness.)
 

drop bear

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Here is a video I stumbled across that uses the MMA ish system to explore knife fighting.


You can insert ideas in to the basic concept regardless as to what your base art is. Provided you have an understanding as to what is experimentation and what is just being a screaming duchebag.
 

skribs

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Here is a video I stumbled across that uses the MMA ish system to explore knife fighting.


You can insert ideas in to the basic concept regardless as to what your base art is. Provided you have an understanding as to what is experimentation and what is just being a screaming duchebag.
I've had a lot of discussions with folks that have a combat sport as their primary art, and have the attitude that you shouldn't explore and experiment with knife defense or things of that nature.

TMAs get the stigma that they never pressure test anything. And sure, that is true of many schools, and in some arts it's generally considered a sign of disrespect to pressure test instead of just following orders and developing technique. But I would give combat sports the stigma that these things are taboo and not to even be worked on.

It's long been my opinion that if you take a TMA guy with knife defense and pressure test those, or if you take an MMA guy with pressure testing and add knife defense, then you would have a worthy system.
 

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