Hybridization of Martial Arts

LoneRider

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I've been involved with the MA as a student since my childhood at various stages (TKD as an 11-13 year old, Western boxing as a 19-21 year old, Wing Chun as a 22-25 year old and recently Army combatives) and I'm wondering if the popularity of MMA, JKD, and similar types of hybrid arts has led to what I observe as an increased hybridization of the Martial Arts?

I do like Bruce Lee's approach of learning the useful elements of every martial art, and I've recently been bitten by the Jiu Jitsu bug (to the point that after my deployment I'm looking for a good BJJ school, but that's a different bird all together).

I am definitely interested to see how this perceived increased hybridzation continues decades from now...
 

jks9199

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I think there are a couple of factors driving the growth in eclectic/hybrid/mixed arts.

MMA popularity hasn't hurt... but I don't think it's really one of the primary drivers, either. Same thing with Bruce Lee's popularity...

We have a much more open culture here in the US than many of the Eastern countries where many of these arts originated. That's led to a lot of sharing of information that might not have happened in a more stratified culture. More sharing means more blending...

We also have a lot less patience to learn an entire art... There are lots of people who started trying to fill holes they perceived in a style because they didn't wait long enough to really be exposed to some of those elements. So, rather than spend years working in a particular style, until the grappling or other elements that where hidden with the style, they go take a few months of BJJ or judo or whatever. Related to this, we have a lot of folks who just aren't content to keep working slowly at something, until they really master it. They just jump to whatever seems more interesting or catches their eye next. (And, yes, I know, there are plenty of exceptions, too.)
 

BLACK LION

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Bruce Lees concepts was the single most driving force behind the "hybridization" of martial arts for me... JKD was THE turning point in my life that began my evolution away from the "conventional" or "traditional" instruction/teachings. I do not feel that alot of what has gone on has held true to his original concepts even in JKD itself and especially in MMA.... It seems as though the "hybridization" has diluted things into a "combat sport" and no longer a tool that was used in battle.

Alot of what I see now is just "cockfighting"
 

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I've been involved with the MA as a student since my childhood at various stages (TKD as an 11-13 year old, Western boxing as a 19-21 year old, Wing Chun as a 22-25 year old and recently Army combatives) and I'm wondering if the popularity of MMA, JKD, and similar types of hybrid arts has led to what I observe as an increased hybridization of the Martial Arts?

I do like Bruce Lee's approach of learning the useful elements of every martial art, and I've recently been bitten by the Jiu Jitsu bug (to the point that after my deployment I'm looking for a good BJJ school, but that's a different bird all together).

I am definitely interested to see how this perceived increased hybridzation continues decades from now...
I really think it is what the indivigual gets out of it. Whether punching kicking or grappling, we are, for the most part, looking for dominance over someone else. As a side note, my son had a friend that was very good at dojo sparring, and ever thou he was young, he had many years in martial arts. After completing marine corp training, part of the final test was a free for all, the last week. He said he did well but all he knew and learned, all those years, went out the window, in the heat of battle. Because of his sport karate back ground, it may have been his demise. I fully agree with jks9199 that a perceived lack of well roundedness in many stand up arts gives way to looking around for what seems to be missing. Your observations may be right, after this generation of dedicated practitioners, passes on.
 
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LoneRider

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I really think it is what the indivigual gets out of it. Whether punching kicking or grappling, we are, for the most part, looking for dominance over someone else. As a side note, my son had a friend that was very good at dojo sparring, and ever thou he was young, he had many years in martial arts. After completing marine corp training, part of the final test was a free for all, the last week. He said he did well but all he knew and learned, all those years, went out the window, in the heat of battle. Because of his sport karate back ground, it may have been his demise. I fully agree with jks9199 that a perceived lack of well roundedness in many stand up arts gives way to looking around for what seems to be missing. Your observations may be right, after this generation of dedicated practitioners, passes on.

I hope, good sir, that dedicated practitioners do not die out. I'm sure that there will always be those who stay devoted to a martial art and learn its intricacies. They may be rarer in this day and age but I have faith they will be there.

However, I also do advocate that different arts can learn a lot from one another.
 

jarrod

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MA hybridization is nothing new; it's just accelerated currently due to the factors mentioned above, plus the availability of learning media & schools within a given area. virtually every modern martial art is a hybrid art at some level.

jf
 

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I am definitely interested to see how this perceived increased hybridzation continues decades from now...
Hopefully, I have decades left. What I know for sure is back when I started, in the mid 60's, things were a lot different. I don't want to sound antiquated but I was there then, and I am here now. There weren't a lot of schools "dojo's" then, so you made do with what was available. Then you pretty much stayed with one art and got the most out of it. Kata was important, and there was no suing if you got roughed up. Now, with clubs on every street corner and so many options, it is crazy. A lot has changed from my first day, so I can only assume that down the road what I know and remember will be history. Thats progress I guess. I will add this much, my one art saved my butt many times, what we had worked just fine in all situations. Just my thoughts. :asian:
 

grydth

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I've been involved with the MA as a student since my childhood at various stages (TKD as an 11-13 year old, Western boxing as a 19-21 year old, Wing Chun as a 22-25 year old and recently Army combatives) and I'm wondering if the popularity of MMA, JKD, and similar types of hybrid arts has led to what I observe as an increased hybridization of the Martial Arts?

I do like Bruce Lee's approach of learning the useful elements of every martial art, and I've recently been bitten by the Jiu Jitsu bug (to the point that after my deployment I'm looking for a good BJJ school, but that's a different bird all together).

I am definitely interested to see how this perceived increased hybridzation continues decades from now...

First, with respect to your Army service and current deployment - thank you, and all our wishes for a safe return home.

I think hydridization has been with us for a very long time. My daughters study goju-ryu with Shihan Trotman.... and very strong Chinese influences are seen in this style of Okinawan karate. I am told these date back many years to their founder traveling to China to study.

In modern days, I have had the benefit of attending a couple of seminars with Sugano Sensei, an Aikido 8th dan and one of the most impressive swordsmen I have ever seen. He traveled to a variety of different schools and places in his quest to create sword katas for Aikido. I learned two of these.

When you have qualified masters either creating or honing an art, I believe hybridization can make it stronger.... rather like creating strains of hybrid wheat that are superior to either parent strain.

The problem today is that one too often sees fake masters or dilletantes creating systems when they lack the background to do so. A friend of mine approached a supposed Tai Chi class in a local park, and told the teacher he had never seen such things in his long experience. Only then was he told by this rather young person that this art was in actuality a little Tai Chi....and a little Pilates..... and a little Yoga.... and perhaps an eye of newt as well. She simply called this Frankenstein "Tai Chi" to get people to come. I cannot believe that there is much benefit - and perhaps there is some danger - to these sports sausages.
 
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LoneRider

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When you have qualified masters either creating or honing an art, I believe hybridization can make it stronger.... rather like creating strains of hybrid wheat that are superior to either parent strain.

The problem today is that one too often sees fake masters or dilletantes creating systems when they lack the background to do so. A friend of mine approached a supposed Tai Chi class in a local park, and told the teacher he had never seen such things in his long experience. Only then was he told by this rather young person that this art was in actuality a little Tai Chi....and a little Pilates..... and a little Yoga.... and perhaps an eye of newt as well. She simply called this Frankenstein "Tai Chi" to get people to come. I cannot believe that there is much benefit - and perhaps there is some danger - to these sports sausages.

I'll definitely take that anecdote as a cautionary tale and add that to my observation how MMA seems have accelerated or taken advantage of the McDojo Phenomenon of the 1980s.

When I get back stateside I intend to start taking up BJJ at a Gracie Barra affiliate depending on where I go next and start taking up MMA as well (I'll start with the Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai classes and then start mixing it up in the MMA classes once I am allowed to do so).
 

CuongNhuka

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When you get back look up Cuong Nhu in your phone book. You live in Florida, most of our schools are there. The training after a year or two beomces very eclectic. But, you have to be patient.
 
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MA hybridization is nothing new; it's just accelerated currently due to the factors mentioned above, plus the availability of learning media & schools within a given area. virtually every modern martial art is a hybrid art at some level.

jf

Agree completely with that. As cultures meet and mingle, they will adopt martial techniques from each other. Martial artis is inherently practical and when one faces a new potential foe, it is practical to learn that foes skill set and weapons. Thus hybridization occurs.

Another possible reason is that techniques are lost and / or watered down over time. It can be difficult to go back to a root source to regain such knowledge and thus practitioners look outside their systems for add ons to replace the lost knowledge.
 

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In this day and age, any lost knowledge will come from the fact that people just don't trust the old ways. In this day of computers, all knowledge is saved. The fact is, it is easier to cross train, and the knowledge gained from this cross training is much more broad base then any traditional martial art could provide, at face value. I can see everyone's point here, so the problem is in my own mind. I can only state my feelings, but at the same time, I am not trying to be augmentative in any way. I learned an art many years ago, when there was only a limited amount of competition, so therefore, as I have stated in other posts, we worked with what we had. The original question in the op was "I observe as an increased hybridization of the Martial Arts?" He goes on to say, "I am definitely interested to see how this perceived increased hybridzation continues decades from now..." I will agree, there is a vast mixing of the arts, with much to be learned, and I do see it changing the face of what my perception of martial arts was, and is. Also as I have stated, I may be a bit antiquated in my thinking, but it has something to do with old dogs and new tricks :). I appear to be somewhat in the minority here, in my quest to adhere to my original teachings, and I will admit that I only add to my teachings what I perceive to be in my original kata. I came up in the era of, fight them, don't join them. If I came across a technique someone was doing, I didn't incorporate it, I looked into my own trick bag to counter it. I may be a dying breed, but it works for me. Spoken with all do respect. :asian:
 

still learning

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Hello, Everyone changes..there will be always be new ways, faster ways,better ways to do any martial arts..

NOT to Hybridizations...is like not want to change or learn more new things. Man always...wants to improve themselves

For those who don't understand this? ...will fall behind...because everyone else is advanceing..

Caveman use clubs, today we have guns, tommorrow, lazers,

Yes some things will never change much...a punch and a kick or a poke to the eyes....and tires will always remaine round too!

Man still run with their legs and feet on the ground...some things will never change?

Aloha
 

redantstyle

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like jarrod noted, they are all pretty much hybrids, or evolutionary phases.

my view is that each 'style' is actually a type of specialization, and therefore has inherent weaknesses. however, the context that each art was created in has a pretty heavy bearing on it's degree of 'completeness'. there is also a great deal of overlap among individual arts, so practicing one tends to 'qualify' you in several others, excepting a few ritualistic, and maybe tactical, differences.

personally, i dont have time for adding to my art, which is already replete, as a result of prior hybridization.

and in many cases, oil and water dont mix.
 
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LoneRider

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My father would be alot like seasoned in terms of viewpoint, having been a kyokushin kaikan practicioner since his adolescence and training through the 90s as such. Because Filipinos as a whole tend to be shorter, smaller folk he often states in grappling/ground fights we tend to be disadvantaged for sheer size and strength and have to rely on agility, quickness and position to win.

I figure training in ground fighting/grappling can't hurt because most fights do go to the ground.
 

Nolerama

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My father would be alot like seasoned in terms of viewpoint, having been a kyokushin kaikan practicioner since his adolescence and training through the 90s as such. Because Filipinos as a whole tend to be shorter, smaller folk he often states in grappling/ground fights we tend to be disadvantaged for sheer size and strength and have to rely on agility, quickness and position to win.

I figure training in ground fighting/grappling can't hurt because most fights do go to the ground.

Well, take your advantages of speed and agility when you train on the mat. You'd be very surprised going up against bigger training partners.
 

Kwan Jang

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IMO, a lot of it is just the natural evolution of the martial arts, especially in America. A few decades ago, if you lived in Japan, you generally had to train in a Japanese martial art. If you lived in China, you wer mostly limited to the numerous subsystems of wu shu/kung fu. If you were in Korea, your options would be limited to their version of the Japanese arts, but would be told that it was an original Korean art dating back thousands of years (LOL). In most of these cultures, sharing of training methods and concepts were the exception rather than the norm and many instructors kept much of their arts a secret that was only shared with a select few.

In America, and to some extent Europe, it's more of a melting pot. These days you can get first rate training in several arts and a large percentage of American instructors are willing to share and network with each other. You can go to many metropolitan areas and find good traiining in submission grappling whether it be judo, JJJ, BJJ, sambo or any mix of each. You can often find good instruction in striking styles regardless of style and often mix both striking and grappling. Today's student is generally better informed or at least if they are ignorant, the availability of the knowledge is there if they are willing to take the time to be an informed consumer. Finally, instructors as a professional whole are generally better trained as educators and this adds to the mix by being both more effecive and safer for their students.

One area that I still have some reservations is the person who does not have the solid base and just skips around. I do believe that it is essential to have a very solid base in an individual art before you branch off. Then it's mostly a matter of using other arts in cross training to expand. I began in JJJ and judo as a child in 1971 and trained until my instructor had a career change and no longer had time to teach. I began TKD and hapkido in 1977 and my instructors brought the FMA's into our curriculum in 1979. We started training in MT in 1980 and began training in BJJ and MMA/NHB during the '90's. My traditional base is TKD, but I am probably as good or better at submission grappling and muay thai as I am at TKD.

My point is that I feel that for me it has been a natural evolution and progression and most high level practitioners of any of each individual art would consider me to be high level in that particular system. I am not saying this to share "how wonderful" I think I am, but to say that if I am teaching any of these systems, I have a very solid base and have been doing each for a very long time. Most of which I have been very successful at competitions in their sport versions as well. OTOH, I think the problem really occurs when you have somebody who either hops around between styles/schools and never gets a base and then decides they are ready to teach their own hybrid version. Or you have the stereotypical first or second dan in TKD who either went to a few seminars or bought an instructional DVD and now believes (or at least claims/ advertises) that they are qualified to teach grappling, FMA's ect.
 

Josh Oakley

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In a culture as thoroughly syncretic as the USA, hybridization of the martial arts was inevitable. We're called the "the great melting pot". Of COURSE it was going to happen.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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When I was growing up and first was introduced to the martial arts, it seemed that unless you wanted weapons training, you simply stuck to one art for the most part. I think that this was partly because of a perception different arts were superior to other arts in the eyes of different people (which art was superior to which depended upon whom one spoke to). Also, because dojos were sparse in those days, opportunities to crosstrain were not so great. Most crosstraining was the wrestling and maybe boxing one had had in high school or college coupled with whatever martial art they happened to be taking.

Now, there are dojos on every corner and to a great extent, many arts curriculums have evolved in the direction of sport/competition and away from the strict traditional. With the advent of MMA as an organized event and taekwondo becoming an olympic event (judo already was), this has become accelerated. Consequently, people are crosstraining in things that they otherwise would not because those things are advantageous to competition. The rule set in the UFC, for example, favors a certain skill set, and one which is not likely to be found all in one art most often. So to a great extent, people had to crosstrain in order to devlop that skill set.

Now, you can go to an MMA school and pick up that skillset and train specifically for MMA competition and do so without the traditional trappings of a dojo. In fact the trappings seem (from what I have seen) to be more akin to boxing or wrestling.

Another byproduct of this is that many traditional schools are working in techniques that may not have previously been included and arts that are already a hybrid, such as hapkido, are getting a second look from people who may have passed it over a decade ago.

To a great extent, today you can get a curriculum for almost art and almost any application, from sport to fitness to self improvement to breaking people, and probably for things that I have not thought of.

This is a good thing, but it also means that the consumer needs to be much more educated and that there are greater opportunities for the huxters.

Daniel
 
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LoneRider

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Well, take your advantages of speed and agility when you train on the mat. You'd be very surprised going up against bigger training partners.

Nolerama, I figured because I'm usually smaller than my training partners (I'm about 161 lbs and stand at 5'7") I'm at a disadvantage grappling. My old man, experienced in both kyokushin kaikan and street fighting (the latter because he grew up in one of Manila's rougher neighborhoods), states that as an MMA fighter I should have a ground game yes, but you'd be better off as a striker.

This is a good thing, but it also means that the consumer needs to be much more educated and that there are greater opportunities for the huxters.

I guess this is where prior research comes into play. I use everything from internet searches, word of mouth, and visiting the schools in question to gain accurate information on a school.

It seems MMA is the McDojo of the 21st Century where it was karate/TKD through the 70s and 80s.

And as to the original topic of MA hybridization I'd say Russia's a perfect example of that phenomenon. I re-watched the Human Weapon episode on Sambo and did some of my own research regarding Sambo's origin.

Russia's position as a crossroads of east and west meant exposure to a vast array of fighting arts, judo/jiujitsu from Japan, TKD/karate from Korea and Japan, brutal folk wrestling from a broad assortment of tribes within her borders, Greco-Roman wrestling, savate, and other European fighting arts seem all to have blended into Sambo.

And I think the ancient Greeks were also onto something when they created the art of Pankration for Olympic competition and combat.

I think I revise my observation and now reason hybridization of martial arts has always been around to a greater or lesser degree, but now more than ever in the Information Age. The position of one's culture (for instance Greece and Russia) also meant a good crosspolination of ideas including martial arts, so that meant that certain cultures pre-Information Age were more predisposed to hybridizing fighting arts than others.
 

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