How do you test your MA skill without using the sport format?

drop bear

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I imagine Richard Simmons is the pinnacle of martial arts, and the thought makes me happy. He did defeat a trained MMA fighter once.... Sort of.

Exactly. If you believe you are an expert martial artist. Then you are.
 

Flying Crane

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In the context of this post that the OP started; which you voluntarily engaged my argument directly, is why it matters.

As it proves that what you train, can easily be replicated by a UFC Fighter (if they wanted to) and therefore, proving my point about training MMA being the highest level of MA training and being a UFC Champion, is the highest achievement in the MA's.

And vice versa, you are unable to train the way that a UFC Fighter does.
That is certainly some interesting logic. Thanks for sharing.
 

Shakya

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Hi everyone, interesting points being raised.

I just want to chip in here and suggest that if you are training a traditional MA that doesn't traditionally do modern style sparring (let's say SanDa type kickboxing) and you are training for a combination of hobby/personal interest, exercise/health, 'life philosophy,' as well as some form of edge in a physical conflict, it seems that adding sparring 'sport' practice, in that particular context, only really generally offers a bit of physical and psychological pressure and opportunities to try to hit a moving uncooperative target - which are all good things, but which can also be trained in other ways outside of sparring, and thus sporty sparring might not be useful - and yet, it could even work against one.

Because when it comes to the average potentially physical conflict you will encounter on the streets - some road rager, street thug, or drunk guy who has been in some brawls and perhaps fought with his brothers as a teen, and has learned a few boxing or wrestling tricks, you are probably not ever going to need the tools to take on, say, an amateur MMA practitioner, and so you will not be dealing with someone who is actively 'kickboxing' with you - expecting you to have MMA skills, bouncing around and looking for your weaknesses/openings, etc.

What is more, if you train in a sporty 'bullish' or 'ballsy' competitive martial art attitude in connection with your self defense real world discipline, when both you and the road rager have stepped out of their car, or the street thug has insulted your mom or wife, or the drunk guy is wagging his finger towards your eyeball, will a ballsy sparring martial arts mindset escalate the situation and bring more danger to you, or will it de-escalate it? I think the former will be the case - via an "I can take him" attitude (I am sure we've all been there before, in fact - I know I have, and especially after a few drinks).

Thus, I would argue that traditional MA did not (and often still does not) encourage ballsy/bullish competitive sparring for this very reason - because how are you to know whether that road rager who has just jumped out of his car has a concealed weapon or not, and similarly the street thug (and where are his gang members? Perhaps they are already on their way, or just around the corner, or watching from a distance?), and the drunk guy - does he have friends, a weapon, and a contagious disease, even? Lol - there's so much to consider before you 'get intimate' with these people on the streets.

Sporty sparring can thus encourage a competitive, risk-taking egotistical fighting spirit that can escalate a situation and attract danger, not to mention that when the potential aggressor shows their attitude, and you DO choose put your hands up in de-escalation mode ("Everything's cool, chill," etc.), there will likely be very little feinting, bobbing around, footwork, etc. coming from the aggressor. Instead, there will be different kinds of psychology and body movements and posturing from that experienced in sparring - like opponent's hands in coat pockets, potential multiple attackers, passive-aggressive holding out a hand to offer a handshake, finger wagging towards eyeball, hands held out to sides whilst closing in on you, deceptively trying to put arm around you like a 'friend' would, and so on. Ask any bouncer.

So on the street, the line between what is clearly a psychological and physical conflict are a lot more blurred and are constantly drawn and re-drawn - body language appearing 'suspicious' yet not really very clear - sometimes a ballsy competitive statement or posture is tried on for size, and then the guy is "just messin with ya, buddy" - drawing you in to a false sense of security before launching his ambush attack. It is VERY RARELY some sporty style face-off, and if it is, then the two guys deserve to get a kick in the nuts and their face rubbed in dog sh*t for their stupidity (not seeking to de-escalate and instead declaring a 'samurai battlefiled duel,' but without swords, lol). Because that appears to be the reality of such street fighting - it's half-assed martial art behaviour (competitive 'sporty' nonsense) - and often nasty and un-gentleman-like even though it might begin from a sporty angle.

Real men/warriors don't risk their life, their ability to go to work the next day, or good-looking appearance for mere street conflicts. They know the true war is with their self/ego ... and perhaps their wife ;P .

Anyway, there's my essay, lol. I hope it adds anything interesting or useful to the discussion.
 

jayoliver00

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Real men/warriors don't risk their life, their ability to go to work the next day, or good-looking appearance for mere street conflicts. They know the true war is with their self/ego ... and perhaps their wife ;P .

Sounding more like an excuse, due to your fear of being hit in the face, medium to hard. I worked for a Fortune 50 company, and never had to worry about going to work the next day with bruises. They rarely happened with 16oz sparring gloves on. Only slight black eyes, but very rare. Unless you're a male model or something.
 

Shakya

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Sounding more like an excuse, due to your fear of being hit in the face, medium to hard. I worked for a Fortune 50 company, and never had to worry about going to work the next day with bruises. They rarely happened with 16oz sparring gloves on. Only slight black eyes, but very rare. Unless you're a male model or something.
I don't have a problem with sparring - it's fun, useful for practicing hitting a moving target under threatening pressure, good for getting exercise, getting used to being hit, etc., I said street conflicts. Perhaps your Fortune 50 company is working you too hard.
 

Buka

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SIXTY years?! That beats my 55 (with a couple of layoffs). MA, at least TMA, is indeed a lifelong pursuit for some. Sure beats watching the grass grow and getting old. I think I'll be good till I'm eighty.

You mentioned your past use of both right and left leads. I (not a boxer) never understood why southpaw is looked down upon in boxing as a more dangerous stance. I worked a little with one of Kenny Norton's sparring partners who once tried to explain it to me - let's just say I couldn't grasp the concept. It seems to me that any disadvantage or advantage would be reciprocal, depending on who could best capitalized on it. In karate, being ambidextrous and able to switch leads is a huge plus.

A surprise grab that ties you up from behind is certainly tough to handle. Defender's reaction must be immediate, each fraction of a second reduces the chance of escape/counter. I think a lot of repetition, including "surprise" attacks, is needed to become skillful, as you cannot see the approach or tip off of what might be on the way and must make your move at the first touch (hopefully it's not your wife coming up with a hug.) I will admit it's not my strong point (rear body grabs, not hugs - I'm good at those.)
You quoting Hanshi and discussing.....man, I love this place.
 

JerryL

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it's you that putting arbitrary definitions on things
For example?

its clear that training fights in the gym counts as fights at least as far as my statements go
Hence the "no true scottsman" fallacy you are using.

and as it's my statement I get to pick what I mean by my statement
Bald assertion fallacy. Words have meanings. If you can't use them correctly, you suck at communication.

nb sniping is cowardice not fighting, anyone who is killing whilst staying well out of range is not fighting, they are executing, its little different to making them kneel and shooting them in the back of the head, it just requires a better shot
Tautological / no true Scottsman again.

the uneven weaponry when fighting the wars america keeps invoking its self in, make and comparison of fighting ability very difficult, but as they have a bad habit of loosing wars against ill trained but war experienced goat herders you've answered your own question
Simple trolling
 

J. Pickard

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I think sport is a good place to start, but free sparring with other schools/systems at various levels of contact is more beneficial. A lot of sport Karate is light to no contact which is still good but doesn't help prepare you for when you actually get hit. You see this a lot in the newer Karate Combat competition; sport karateka are too used to the light hit and are easily overwhelmed if they don't adapt. I like that many TKD competitions are moderate to full contact but the lack of punching is just plain stupid. Sport BJJ has the same issue but with strikes in general. I have had visiting TKD black belts at my dojang that are fantastic at playing the sport of TKD but when we free spar at my dojang groin shots, punches to all targets, leg kicks, sweeps, and takedowns are all allowed at black belt level and the TKD players usually have no idea how to cope with a punch to the face followed by a double leg takedown. Open mats can be a great opportunity to test your system by making open to everyone and not just your own students.
 

drop bear

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I don't think of sparring as sport. I think of it as part of training.

Sport as a part of training is the premis of this thread.

My coaches heavily stress competition as a training tool. And why they compete in so many different arenas.
 

Buka

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Sport as a part of training is the premis of this thread.

My coaches heavily stress competition as a training tool. And why they compete in so many different arenas.
I agree. Which is why I always competed. But sparring in the dojo, to me anyway, was just part of overall training. It was the easiest part by far.
 

drop bear

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I agree. Which is why I always competed. But sparring in the dojo, to me anyway, was just part of overall training. It was the easiest part by far.

Our fight training sparring is pretty onerous. Nobody wants to do that. Especially when we start getting in to shark tanks.
 

Buka

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Our fight training sparring is pretty onerous. Nobody wants to do that. Especially when we start getting in to shark tanks.
I'll bet it is. Ours was primarily striking, all kinds of striking. But it was like a night off compared to training. Except, you know, for the getting hit part. But getting hit is the one and only way to learn how not to get hit. A person can train blocking all they want, slipping all they want, avoiding all they want....but if there's no chance they'll actually get smacked...it doesn't mean much.

We always believed that competition was like a day at the beach compared to training. And it really was.
 

isshinryuronin

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We always believed that competition was like a day at the beach compared to training. And it really was.
Ain't that the truth. You know that old saying, "Sweat in the dojo so you don't bleed in the street." But wait a second - I bled a few times in the dojo too! Those old sayings don't always tell you the whole story.
 

Buka

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Ain't that the truth. You know that old saying, "Sweat in the dojo so you don't bleed in the street." But wait a second - I bled a few times in the dojo too! Those old sayings don't always tell you the whole story.
I made certain promises to my students. Once I knew they were in for the long haul - you could usually tell after three to six months - I promised them "you might lose in a competition, you might even lose in a real fight, but I promise you you will never lose to someone who's in better shape than you'll be in.

We trained our butts off. Sparring was every Thursday night. We might spar at any other time, and everybody was responsible to have all their gear at every class, but we always sparred Thursday nights. Everybody came because it was like a night off, like being at the movies or at a picnic. And it was open to all visitors to watch or come spar. We didn't care who you were or where you were from.

It's why all the guys were relaxed in competition, and relaxed whenever trouble arose in real life. To them, it was a night off.

Bleeding in the dojo....you know what we did in all the kid's classes? Anytime a kid got a bloody nose for the first time everyone ran over at full speed saying "What color is it what color is it!?!"
The kid would look at his hand, which was holding his nose. And everyone would say "it's the right color, thank goodness!" Then help him up, pat him on the shoulder and teach him the medical term for a bloody nose.

Then the next time a kid got his first bloody nose, the last kid would lead the charge over asking what color, what color!?! And he'd teach the newer kid the medical term for a bloody nose.

Yeah, sparring was always fun. How could it not be?
 

sangchae

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When I said, "Sport is the path, combat is the goal". Some people may not agree that "Sport is the path". What's the other option besides using the sport format to test you MA skill?

Your thought?
I agree that sport is a path, and should not be avoided. I think that the important thing is to get out of your school/community. If you only train with people from the same school then they probably all fight the same (generally). Fighting as many different people as possible is good! If you stay in your school and don't compete how do you find these people?

Sport competition exposes you to total strangers, who are taught differently to you, so that is a good thing.

Fighting in an old style MMA competition (before MMA became a style of its own) is even better I think, but those are hard to find these days?
 

Graywalker

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Get rid of the person that can stop the match, then you would be closer to reality.
 

jayoliver00

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I don't have a problem with sparring - it's fun, useful for practicing hitting a moving target under threatening pressure, good for getting exercise, getting used to being hit, etc., I said street conflicts. Perhaps your Fortune 50 company is working you too hard.

My mistake, I didn't read it carefully (prob. b/c it was so long & I just skimmed it).

But do you run away in the streets then?
 

jayoliver00

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Fighting in an old style MMA competition (before MMA became a style of its own) is even better I think, but those are hard to find these days?

Most of those pioneering NHB fights were very sloppy and less skilled compared to now. That's why Royce Gracie was able to take them down & keep them there w/o any disqualifying rules; so they could literally do anything they wanted to Royce, but all of them lost. Royce would get destroyed in today's UFC.
 
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