Has MMA hindered the spread of other hybrid arts?

LoneRider

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I bring this question to wiser folks than I because of observations I've been making. The main two hybrid arts I refer to are Sambo and Pakration. Everywhere I turn around in any major US city and quite a number of smaller ones I see MMA gyms of any imaginable variety. Having seen the Human Weapon episodes on both Sambo and Pankration and done research on my own I naturally became curious about both arts.

I seem to see most Pankration or Sambo schools tend to be localized to certain areas of the country (for instance Sambo has a lot of schools in New York and a few in California) but BJJ/Muay Thai based MMA schools are everywhere. I wonder if MMA has hindered Sambo and Pankration from becoming widespread in the United States?
 

Steve

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I bring this question to wiser folks than I because of observations I've been making. The main two hybrid arts I refer to are Sambo and Pakration. Everywhere I turn around in any major US city and quite a number of smaller ones I see MMA gyms of any imaginable variety. Having seen the Human Weapon episodes on both Sambo and Pankration and done research on my own I naturally became curious about both arts.

I seem to see most Pankration or Sambo schools tend to be localized to certain areas of the country (for instance Sambo has a lot of schools in New York and a few in California) but BJJ/Muay Thai based MMA schools are everywhere. I wonder if MMA has hindered Sambo and Pankration from becoming widespread in the United States?
Hard to say. I think mainly that MMA has just dramatically increased the visibility of Muay Thai and BJJ, not to the detriment of other arts.

Honestly, Pankration is really a hybrid art. From what I've learned, it's based loosely upon what's known of ancient Pancrase, but is really a relatively new label applied to what is essentially MMA.

Sambo I think has enjoyed greater exposure due to MMA. Prior to the initial UFCs, it was a relatively obscure martial art associated with the Russian military.

I'm speaking off the cuff here, so I may have things backwards. This is just my perception.
 
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LoneRider

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Sambo I think has enjoyed greater exposure due to MMA. Prior to the initial UFCs, it was a relatively obscure martial art associated with the Russian military.

I'm speaking off the cuff here, so I may have things backwards. This is just my perception.

From my research Sambo was actually a national sport in the USSR since the 1930s and actually has a hybrid focus (combat sambo - which is the variant that includes striking). A friend of mine called the non-strike permitting sambo bastardized judo (no offense to any Sambo practicioners).

I don't often see too many Sambo schools in the vast majority of US cities the way I see BJJ/Muay Thai schools on every street corner practically, that's why I made the observation I did.
 

lklawson

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From my research Sambo was actually a national sport in the USSR since the 1930s and actually has a hybrid focus (combat sambo - which is the variant that includes striking). A friend of mine called the non-strike permitting sambo bastardized judo (no offense to any Sambo practicioners).
Sambo has a lot of Judo deliberately rolled into it, regardless of what the "official" Russian line is. IMS, one of the 3 (or was it 4?) original founders of Sambo met some amount of ill fate for admitting the contribution of Judo.

Oh, and Steve is right. MMA has people more interested in both MMA and MMA-like disciplines.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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LoneRider

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Yep, Vassili Oschepkov was executed for failure to recant his statements that he derived what became Sambo from Judo.

Oh, and Steve is right. MMA has people more interested in both MMA and MMA-like disciplines.

Well, when you guys put it that way...you are right. I was just curious why we don't see many as many Sambo or Pankration gyms as we do MMA/BJJ/MT gyms. My guess is probably brand recognition. I ask the average non-martial artist what Sambo is and I sometimes get called a racist before I hastily explain it's the Russian martial art that means Self Defense Without Weapons. I ask the same person what MMA is and because of the UFC they know exactly what I'm referring to.
 

Gaius Julius Caesar

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I think in the long run MMA will help other "hybrid" arts.

Many will try MMA and although it's great for 1 on 1 fighting, building attributes and a great sport it's lacking when it comes to self defense for assults as they happen.

These people might start looking at hybrid arts that address these issues more, whether they also share some ground with MMA (like Combat Sambo, Pankration) or not.

I hope so at least, my school is beocoming a hybrid with us adding our crosstraining in kali/Silat, Western Boxing and CQC to our core of japanese based Jujutsu.
 

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Is it really necessary for any art to "spread"? What's so bad about having the only XYZ style school in the county, or the state, or the country? As long as the quality of instruction at that school is good, nothing else matters. I don't think styles need to be spread out like an empire. I think doing so often compromises the quality of instruction and training, because often new schools are opened by people who aren't really ready to be teaching yet.
 
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LoneRider

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Is it really necessary for any art to "spread"? What's so bad about having the only XYZ style school in the county, or the state, or the country? As long as the quality of instruction at that school is good, nothing else matters. I don't think styles need to be spread out like an empire. I think doing so often compromises the quality of instruction and training, because often new schools are opened by people who aren't really ready to be teaching yet.

Well, it depends on the purposes of the martial art in question. Vassili Oschepkov intended Sambo to be taught to the masses in Russia, not just the military elite. Many southern Chinese styles of Kung Fu (including Wing Chun, some traditions state) were begun by rebels attempting to overthrow the Ming Dynasty in China, so they wanted it to 'spread' among those with similar aims.

FC, you do bring an interesting point with that question.
 

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Many will try MMA and although it's great for 1 on 1 fighting, building attributes and a great sport it's lacking when it comes to self defense for assults as they happen.
This is a highly charged statement and many will question exactly how much is lacking from standard MMA training as it applies to "assaults as they happen," which is, in itself, an ill defined, nebulous statement.

I'm not harassing you. However, you should be aware that many will take exception to the suggestion that modern MMA training is less suited to preparing a person for "assaults as they happen" in comparison with most other Martial Arts options that are available. And they usually have pretty good points and reasoning to back up their assertion.

If you make statements such as that, you should be prepared to answer the near inevitable critique from MMA fans and explain why the alternative you proffer is superior.

I hope so at least, my school is beocoming a hybrid with us adding our crosstraining in kali/Silat, Western Boxing and CQC to our core of japanese based Jujutsu.
Sounds like a pretty good mix to me.

In my experience, the hardest part of combining disparate martial arts sourcing into one cohesive system is integrating them. For instance, Silat, Boxing, and Jujitsu all have different responses to a given action from the opponent. Figuring out which response is preferable, or at least generating a hierarchy, is difficult and requires a lot of time and work.

I wish you success.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Flying Crane

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Well, it depends on the purposes of the martial art in question. Vassili Oschepkov intended Sambo to be taught to the masses in Russia, not just the military elite. Many southern Chinese styles of Kung Fu (including Wing Chun, some traditions state) were begun by rebels attempting to overthrow the Ming Dynasty in China, so they wanted it to 'spread' among those with similar aims.

FC, you do bring an interesting point with that question.


Good point, but I suspect that in the modern US of A, the spreading out of schools is more closely related to the size of the headman's bank account.

Once upon a time, if an art was being used as a tool for political upheaval, some groups may have had a need to spread it to as many people as possible. Kind of like training an army. All the soldiers need the skills and tools they need to be effective soldiers. But nowadays, that's not really necessary.

I think nowadays, people just want money, and they want to be emperor of their little world.

Personally, I'm glad that almost nobody else knows one of the sytems that I study. I like that you can't find a Tibetan White Crane studio on every streetcorner, or even in most large cities, or even in most states. The fact that it is rare makes it a little bit more special in my mind. But that's just me. :p
 

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Excellent post Iklawson, thank you for that so I don't have to heh.
I personally find the method of training in MMA to be MUCH more realistic and likely to allow me to protect myself than _any_ other martial art I've studied over the last 25 years. And, it's gotten me into better shape and condition.

As far as the OP's question, I don't think it has hindered Pankration or Sambo, I think if anything it has brought awareness of their existence to people who previously wouldn't have heard of them. Pankration from my experience, is pretty much MMA with open hand strikes only. Again, that's limited experience in Pankration.

As far as Sambo goes, I take techniques and theories from it when I can. Reilly from NYC Combat Sambo (and Steve of course) have put out many videos and I converse with Reilly regularly on techniques. Wonders of the modern age :). I've literally watched a technique (on Lockflow), then drilled it in training that day, then asked questions and corrected things that night online. The day I caught my coach in a flying triangle sambo-style (from a single-leg shot) that Reilly showed me, was gold heh.
 

Gaius Julius Caesar

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This is a highly charged statement and many will question exactly how much is lacking from standard MMA training as it applies to "assaults as they happen," which is, in itself, an ill defined, nebulous statement.

I'm not harassing you. However, you should be aware that many will take exception to the suggestion that modern MMA training is less suited to preparing a person for "assaults as they happen" in comparison with most other Martial Arts options that are available. And they usually have pretty good points and reasoning to back up their assertion.

If you make statements such as that, you should be prepared to answer the near inevitable critique from MMA fans and explain why the alternative you proffer is superior.

Sounds like a pretty good mix to me.

In my experience, the hardest part of combining disparate martial arts sourcing into one cohesive system is integrating them. For instance, Silat, Boxing, and Jujitsu all have different responses to a given action from the opponent. Figuring out which response is preferable, or at least generating a hierarchy, is difficult and requires a lot of time and work.

I wish you success.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

Kirk,

O.K. I will bite, so to speak.

MMA is great for making a fighter tougher, well rounded in a skill and attribute sense but like any art or methodology it has weaknesses.
Some people can see those weaknesses right off and personally want to address them for their own needs.

1. Most times, if the fight starts where you and the other guy can throw up your hands and go at it face to face, this is not an assult, this is a fight aka duel.
Most of the time someone could have simply walked away from that situation.

Now for an old school, strait on parking lot duel, MMA would be a great choice.

An assult has little to no warning involved. Many times you have no option of walking away.

2. Weapons- Now I am sure there are MMA stylist who have anti weapons training, but it's not generaly part of MMA instruction.

Assults will involve weapons more often than not.

3. Numbers- Trouble comes in 2s....and 3s and 4s.ect.
Now we all can go round about the likelyhood of surviving a multiple assult, let alone dominateing in one, but it has and can happen and the odds are better if you train for multiple attacker.

4. Sportive rules- If all you do is fight by the rules, that is what you will do in a fight or flight mindset.
Now combineing sportive training with training in more injurious and fatl techniques is hedgeing your bets nicely.

My point was not that MMA is useless, far from it but it has a very narrow focus insofar as it is geared towards winning a contest.
I would put my money on a MMA stylist handling an assult better than a McDojo stylist or one who does no sparring for sure.

I have picked up students because they went to MMA gyms but saw a need for a more SD oriented school.

My statemnt was not that MMA is useless, far from it but is based upon the above points.

On your second point, you do point out a pitfall, that is most dangerous when the weaknesses of such combinations are not addressed.
We actually are seeking to build a school where ther are conflicting points of veiw, we are more interwested in finding what works for an individual than for a whole. I like the boxing inut but will not use a closed fist on the head, others will.

Kind of like the Shaolin Temple had multiple styles within it's walls, we seek to do that with the system to a degree, while identifieing the contradictions or weaknesses.

Shugyo!

Dylan
 

lklawson

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Kirk,

O.K. I will bite, so to speak.
I'm not an MMA guy. That's not what I do. However, I do have friends who do MMA so I'm more than a bit familiar. If you want, I'll play Devil's Advocate, but that's all it is.

MMA is great for making a fighter tougher, well rounded in a skill and attribute sense but like any art or methodology it has weaknesses.
Some people can see those weaknesses right off and personally want to address them for their own needs.

1. Most times, if the fight starts where you and the other guy can throw up your hands and go at it face to face, this is not an assult, this is a fight aka duel.
Most of the time someone could have simply walked away from that situation.

Now for an old school, strait on parking lot duel, MMA would be a great choice.

An assult has little to no warning involved. Many times you have no option of walking away.
MMA Response: MOST fights start with plenty of warning. The vast majority of fights have some amount of lead up and posturing. Though ambushes do happen, they're rare. Further, the point of an ambush is to take the person unawares and in a position of inability to offer an effective resistence. The goal is to negate the training of ANY martial arts, not just MMA. However, because MMA trained guys are used to getting hit, being hurt, and fighting through pain, confusion, and injury, MMA produces a fighter better prepared to regroup and come out of the other end of an ambush than most other Martial systems.

2. Weapons- Now I am sure there are MMA stylist who have anti weapons training, but it's not generaly part of MMA instruction.

Assults will involve weapons more often than not.
MMA Response: FBI statistics show that most altercations do not, in fact, involve weapons, but are, instead, empty handed. Further, most martial artists do not train realistically either with or, more importantly, against weapons. The few that do lack other important attributes which are developed by MMA training. Again, pressure testing, high percentage techniques, and the ability to fight through pain with the mindset of prevailing are all attributes which MMA excels in and produces more readily than most other standard Martial Arts.

3. Numbers- Trouble comes in 2s....and 3s and 4s.ect.
Now we all can go round about the likelyhood of surviving a multiple assult, let alone dominateing in one, but it has and can happen and the odds are better if you train for multiple attacker.
MMA Response: Actually, trouble doesn't seem to really come in twos. Experience seems to indicate that fights tend to be more one on one than multiples against one. Further, NO Martial Art can train a person for defense against multiples with anything but a slim chance of success. Multiples is simply too much of an advantage. Finally, because of the nature of MMA training, hard, tough, fast, with high percentage techiques executed against fully resisting opponents, MMA training has the best chance, if any does, slim though it may be of producing a fighter which can prevail against multiples.

4. Sportive rules- If all you do is fight by the rules, that is what you will do in a fight or flight mindset.
MMA Response: MMA fighters are not stupid, regardless of the prevalent opinion. They can easily apply a fight-to-survive mindset and, in fact, may be better equipped to deal with the fight-or-flight adrenaline dump than "non sport fighters" because competition in the ring elicits exactly that sort of Sympathetic Nervous response. Thus MMA fighters have more experience in working with the FoF effects.

Now combineing sportive training with training in more injurious and fatl techniques is hedgeing your bets nicely.
MMA Response: The high percentage techniques and high percentage defenses, though often decried as "simplistic" are more likely to work in high stress situations against fully resisting opponents who are equally trying to seriously injure the fighter, in contrast to what much other non-MMA training produces. Further, it is fallacious to think that MMA techniques are non-injurious or any less injurious than what non "sport fighters" train. MMA kicks are designed to injure legs, joints, and soft targets on the body and can target the head. Punches are designed knock out, break ribs, blacken and swell shut eyes, and damage the opponent. Throws and takedowns can be highly injurious without the benefit of a padded ring, in fact, the most common way for people to die from a "street fight" is by hitting their head on something hard when they fall. The grapples are designed to wrench tendons, ligaments, and muscles as well as to dislocate and break joints and bones.

And all of these highly injurious, potentially deadly, techniques are performed against fully resisting opponents, trying their darnedest to prevent you from doing them while equally trying their darnedest to do them to you.


My point was not that MMA is useless, far from it but it has a very narrow focus insofar as it is geared towards winning a contest.
MMA Response: In fact, it is far from useless and, experience tends to show that MMA training actually produces the best results.

Me: I hope that my playing Devil's Advocate has helped you understand the typical responses, many of which have validity to them.

My statemnt was not that MMA is useless, far from it but is based upon the above points.

On your second point, you do point out a pitfall, that is most dangerous when the weaknesses of such combinations are not addressed.
We actually are seeking to build a school where ther are conflicting points of veiw, we are more interwested in finding what works for an individual than for a whole. I like the boxing inut but will not use a closed fist on the head, others will.

Kind of like the Shaolin Temple had multiple styles within it's walls, we seek to do that with the system to a degree, while identifieing the contradictions or weaknesses.

Shugyo!

Dylan
Good luck with your training and lots of success.
 
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LoneRider

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Wow, I never had any clue my thread would one day warrant a nomination to be stickied.

As far as the OP's question, I don't think it has hindered Pankration or Sambo, I think if anything it has brought awareness of their existence to people who previously wouldn't have heard of them. Pankration from my experience, is pretty much MMA with open hand strikes only. Again, that's limited experience in Pankration.

As far as Sambo goes, I take techniques and theories from it when I can. Reilly from NYC Combat Sambo (and Steve of course) have put out many videos and I converse with Reilly regularly on techniques. Wonders of the modern age :). I've literally watched a technique (on Lockflow), then drilled it in training that day, then asked questions and corrected things that night online. The day I caught my coach in a flying triangle sambo-style (from a single-leg shot) that Reilly showed me, was gold heh.

I'm a firm believer in gathering information from anywhere and anyplace I can, then looking through it, testing it, and then applying it. I've trained in many MA styles throughout my life. TKD as a boy (Ages 11-14), Western Boxing as a young man (Ages 19-21) and Wing Chun (Ages 22-25) before starting to train in Modern Army Combatives/Jiu Jitsu (Age 25-present day).

I intend to train in MMA out of interest in the sporting aspect of the martial art, and to make sure I've got a well rounded fighting base.

What do fellow posters make of the fact that a lot of MMA schools (typically Gracie affiliates) having Krav Maga or Haganah training camps under their aegis?

Once upon a time, if an art was being used as a tool for political upheaval, some groups may have had a need to spread it to as many people as possible. Kind of like training an army. All the soldiers need the skills and tools they need to be effective soldiers. But nowadays, that's not really necessary.

Well FC, it depends where in the world you live. If you live somewhere like Darfur, the Sudan, Chinese occupied Tibet you might want to know some unarmed defensive tactics should your personal weapon become inoperable in a close in, CQC type engagement.
 

Gaius Julius Caesar

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"What do fellow posters make of the fact that a lot of MMA schools (typically Gracie affiliates) having Krav Maga or Haganah training camps under their aegis"


I think it helps make my point, and these are schols that see an advantage to adding a more "tacticle MA" component to their skill base.

My above was not a "Trad is better than MMA" point at all.
I see value in MMA for combat, but it is not the pinnicle that many believe it is.

Some of the above points is why, when we split off from our Sensei, we did add MMA style training into our school, to add it to our combat Jujutsu, FMA/IMA and mixed in a focus on scenario training. We were sick of a semi myopic structure and outlook that flew in the face of our expeiences and much of the data out there.

It does not have to be an either or thing here.

I think there are valid arguments in the MMA camp, the traditional MA camp (probably the broadest, in the sense that you could put a large varity of styles in that catagory) and the RBSD camp.
My point is that instead of firmly sitting in one camp, IMO it's better to try to get the best that each has to offer for your purposses.

We could all go Devil's advocate all day, for sure and I did try to balance it by pointing out that I found value in MMA but I do have students who left it because they wanted a school that put surviving assults over fights as the 1st priority. Some tool calling me out in a bar or a parking lot is not my biggest concern, some creep with a busted bottle, a gun or a bat is.

We all are scewed by our own lives, I have come across the above creep to many times in my life so he is a major concern over a fight I can walk away from or frankly deploy a weapon and make clear there will be no fight, just a killing if I am not allowed my exit. I am concerned with the ambush and sucker punch situations that do not allow me to walk away or deploy a weapon. (And I have been in the duel type of fight to many times in my life and now that I am older I know I could have avoided half of them with no lose of honor or safety, that too scews my veiw.

My original point was in response to the OP's question and I think that is one of the factors where MMA does not allways hurt the other hybrid arts (most arts are hybris if you look at them.) Not everyone wants to do MMA.

Shugyo!
Dylan
 
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LoneRider

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My original point was in response to the OP's question and I think that is one of the factors where MMA does not allways hurt the other hybrid arts (most arts are hybris if you look at them.) Not everyone wants to do MMA.

Sounds good. I figured that MMA is obviously the most visible hybrid MA out there due to the fact that the UFC and similar promotions have propelled it to the center stage of the MA realm.

I figure anytime I can find a Krav Seminar or better still an MMA school that offers Krav or Haganah or something similar I will attend it. I'm just trying to make sure that it isn't a poorly attached add on like some McDojos have.
 

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Well FC, it depends where in the world you live. If you live somewhere like Darfur, the Sudan, Chinese occupied Tibet you might want to know some unarmed defensive tactics should your personal weapon become inoperable in a close in, CQC type engagement.

It's not a bad idea for anyone, anywhere, anytime, to have some self-defense skills. But I think people get them where they can, and I dont' think there is any particular method that is being systematically and deliberately spread in these regions. If it is, then I suspect it is more by coincidence than by design. It could be that there was only one teacher in the region, and everyone else teaching is a decendant of that first guy, without other options being available. But in a place like Darfur or the Sudan, I suspect fighting skills would be taught from elder to junior as a matter of course. I doubt these methods are codified in a system, and may be connected to tribal or ethnic groups.

As far as Tibet goes, once upon a time they had some pretty powerful empty-hand stuff, but they've lost it. The methods still exist, like Tibetan White Crane which I study. But these are mostly no longer taught in Tibet. I'm not saying that they've got nothing anymore, but they are no longer the martial powerhouse that they were a few centuries ago.
 

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I didn't know about so many other arts and hybrid arts until I started MMA. If I'm out of town and can't find a MMA school to train for a day, I look for other places that might satisfy my adrenaline craving.

I tend to look at schools that combine several arts. And I always bring back something good (drill-wise) for the guys at my home gym.

If there was a Krav seminar in town, I'm sure I'll be there. Learning different perspective is always beneficial. Always.

RSBD courses? Sure. As long as the end goal is realistic and, like it was stated above, not intended to defeat multiple opponents, but to get out of there alive.

I think MMA has spread the knowlege of "hybrid" arts. But in the long run, it's not the arts itself, but the range you choose to fight in. They all have something to offer, as long as you "get it."

And like I've said before: some people never do.
 

James Kovacich

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Yep, Vassili Oschepkov was executed for failure to recant his statements that he derived what became Sambo from Judo.



Well, when you guys put it that way...you are right. I was just curious why we don't see many as many Sambo or Pankration gyms as we do MMA/BJJ/MT gyms. My guess is probably brand recognition. I ask the average non-martial artist what Sambo is and I sometimes get called a racist before I hastily explain it's the Russian martial art that means Self Defense Without Weapons. I ask the same person what MMA is and because of the UFC they know exactly what I'm referring to.

I don't think it's brand recognition or at least not nearly as much as what works best and what is more widely available. It is also true that the UFC and it's offspring MMA, has created much interest in hybrid arts.
 

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