I get the TMA hate now

drop bear

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I just think it comes down to comp format. Not everyone has to compete but without some type of active 1v1, a martial art is basically incomplete. And every (legit) martial art out there has some sort of 1v1 format.

That's how people get to "TMA hate". They usually just want to see some comp or sparring, and it's always a mixed bag. But that just requires further seeking. This is why a lot of TMA guys entered UFC, they wanted to battle. And we all know some worked out, some didn't. For some reason, a lot of great old TMA got thrown under the bus.

Weapon arts must and can be trained with a decent amount of aliveness. That was the case at Shaolin Temple for like the first 1,000 years. All the empty hand trchniques handed down from that long TMA tradition are pretty new compared to say spear or saber which go back to the BC age, but even older is Shuai Jiao > Jiao li > Jiao Di lineage.

Usually you can see the competition format in artwork. This one is from Northern China about 2,000 years ago.

View attachment 30055

Consider Krav Maga, which is a hybrid art based on TMAs that are known to work. Its founder was very skilled, but the Israeli military only recently began holding bouts, because people were starting to doubt it, and that's all due to the "too deadly" guys wearing camo and pretending to be special forces, and the "Civilian Krav Maga" craze/fad. Got to be honest a lot of people who do Krav have no idea of its origins, and have no basic grappling skill. But they love to punch air.

Consider Muay Thai. It's a TMA, with a whole set of training, music, dance traditions. Nobody disses on it because it's clearly effective.

FMA, another wicked art with hand and weapon techniques. As long as you go to a decent school, there is a competition element.

So what makes TMA hateworthy? I thinks it's as simple as "what are you selling?". I think most of us, if we joined any school and there was not at least some 1v1 option, would walk away.

And I think it's hard to name a TMA that doesn't. Schools sure, but actual TMA styles themselves? Hard to name one that is truly fake or has zero competitors, or relatively legit history. I remember Yellow Bamboo but that was afaik totally made up by New Agers. Ninjutsu (the real stuff) isn't made up either, but it's a minefield of BS unless you rely on good sources (and imho, some of worst sources are the schools themselves, you dont knoe who to trust).

Sorry for the long rant but I've had this "TMA sucks" argument for so many years. It used to really get frustrating, now that I'm a few decades into MA training I just point people to sources that I've spent some time vetting.
The issue is the different language. Combat sports basically show their work. And they range from good to crap. But at least you know.

And then you have schools that use everything else as a foundation for their system. And it is a bit ridiculous to epect someone to take that seriously.
 

Oily Dragon

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The issue is the different language. Combat sports basically show their work. And they range from good to crap. But at least you know.

And then you have schools that use everything else as a foundation for their system. And it is a bit ridiculous to epect someone to take that seriously.
I think you nailed this, it's always back to street vs sport, and around MMA coming on the scene you had a LOT of TMA folks talking smack about respected stuff like college wrestling and boxing...

And then someone like Ken Shamrock literally shoots in and most reasonable people go "ok, that dude is a killer" and he lives up to that. Royce Gracie kind of quieted the beefy dude thug crowd when he made Dan Severn tap.

So MMA kind of evolved to crack down on the smack talkers.

And what happened? Now the smack talkers mostly hang out online and make "My Art vs. Boxing" videos and other goofy stuff and stay far from MMA (but still talk smack about it, back to sport vs street)

You will never find "How to Defeat Wing Chun with Boxing" because there is no market for that. Like you said it's self evident especially in grappling arts where you can learn enough stuff in the first few months to be dangerous. Wrestling beats most Wing Chun "streetfighter" types unless they also train grappling, something we all knew/know now, but once upon a time it was a hard sell.

Someone once told me ukemi was useless in the street. Funny, it's saved a me a broken bone or five.
 
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Monkey Turned Wolf

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This whole argument is silly to me. If a school pressure tests against other styles, you have verifiable information that it's good. If they don't, you do not, unless you use the style and pressure test yourself. Most styles, at some point in their history, pressure test, and at other points, don't. If they don't yet that's either because they're not old enough or they came into play far enough into globalization that there will always be someone who does.

But no matter what, there's only so many ways to move your body. And most styles started from someone who was legitimate. So as long as you take what is in the curriculum and pressure test yourself, no matter what, you should be good.
 

drop bear

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I think you nailed this, it's always back to street vs sport, and around MMA coming on the scene you had a LOT of TMA folks talking smack about respected stuff like college wrestling and boxing...

And then someone like Ken Shamrock literally shoots in and most reasonable people go "ok, that dude is a killer" and he lives up to that. Royce Gracie kind of quieted the beefy dude thug crowd when he made Dan Severn tap.

So MMA kind of evolved to crack down on the smack talkers.

And what happened? Now the smack talkers mostly hang out online and make "My Art vs. Boxing" videos and other goofy stuff and stay far from MMA (but still talk smack about it, back to sport vs street)

You will never find "How to Defeat Wing Chun with Boxing" because there is no market for that. Like you said it's self evident especially in grappling arts where you can learn enough stuff in the first few months to be dangerous. Wrestling beats most Wing Chun "streetfighter" types unless they also train grappling, something we all knew/know now, but once upon a time it was a hard sell.

Someone once told me ukemi was useless in the street. Funny, it's saved a me a broken bone or five.
The bjj comparison is a good one. You get lachlan guiles for example describing a move, any move and you can tell he has put that move through a ton of trouble shooting against quality guys. It doesn't matter if it is street or sport or TMA or whatever.

This is what he did. This is what people did to stop it. And how he addressed those issues.

Then you get this story driven dialogue about what happens in the street for example. And how that story justifies this specific drill or method or idea.

And they are not the same degree of evidence. And trying to explain that creates this disconnect because in their minds they have made a point to counter your point and you can't just turn around and dismiss that. Because they base a story or a reputation or a title with the same credibility as what is basically scientific method.

And because of that they don't need to apply scientific method. Or it is invalid. If the story justifies that.

Striking in the street is an example of that. If you train striking you should have an approach that basically works as good as you can make it work due to live sparring with the best guys.

If for some reason you throw that out the window because in the street people don't duel or fight with their hands up or you need to finish the fight quickly. And all these other urban myths that get thrown around.

Then you are literally making yourself worse at fighting.

Now I have had a lot of street. And I have done a lot of RBSD and I have approached the street with a lot of misconceptions. Mostly due to this story based thinking.

But because I have had so much street exposure I could not help but observe that the story doesn't match the science.

So I essentially abandoned the story and just go with what I have found works through trouble shooting.


And by the way. I got sucker punched to many times to be farting around without my hands up. I am more than happy to let people walk away. But I will be screwed if I am going to let people get free shots.
 
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marvin8

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The bjj comparison is a good one. You get lachlan guiles for example describing a move, any move and you can tell he has put that move through a ton of trouble shooting against quality guys. It doesn't matter if it is street or sport or TMA or whatever.

This is what he did. This is what people did to stop it. And how he addressed those issues.

Then you get this story driven dialogue about what happens in the street for example. And how that story justifies this specific drill or method or idea.

And they are not the same degree of evidence. And trying to explain that creates this disconnect because in their minds they have made a point to counter your point and you can't just turn around and dismiss that. Because they base a story or a reputation or a title with the same credibility as what is basically scientific method.

And because of that they don't need to apply scientific method. Or it is invalid. If the story justifies that.

Striking in the street is an example of that. If you train striking you should have an approach that basically works as good as you can make it work due to live sparring with the best guys.

If for some reason you throw that out the window because in the street people don't duel or fight with their hands up or you need to finish the fight quickly. And all these other urban myths that get thrown around.

Then you are literally making yourself worse at fighting.

Now I have had a lot of street. And I have done a lot of RBSD and I have approached the street with a lot of misconceptions. Mostly due to this story based thinking.

But because I have had so much street exposure I could not help but observe that the story doesn't match the science.

So I essentially abandoned the story and just go with what I have found works through trouble shooting.


And by the way. I got sucker punched to many times to be farting around without my hands up. I am more than happy to let people walk away. But I will be screwed if I am going to let people get free shots.
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Oily Dragon

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Which by the way is reflected in the behaviour of people from sketchy neighbourhoods.

What the hell is the matter with these people. It's amazing how even after they know they are being filmed, some guys just didn't care and were ready to throw down.

That was an impressive fast draw by the security dude.
 
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This whole argument is silly to me. If a school pressure tests against other styles, you have verifiable information that it's good.
Yes and no. There's an old saying, "Don't judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree."

Take a boxer and put him against any other martial art in a boxing match, and that boxer should win. A few arts might give him trouble, most should be a cakewalk. Even against a kickboxer, the boxer is going to have spent more time on the boxing side and is going to have trained for a style in which only boxing matters. Wrestling isn't bad because it doesn't prepare you for boxing.

Similarly, if a boxer gets beaten by kicks or by grappling in an MMA fight or "street fight", it doesn't mean the boxing is bad. It just means that there are gaps in his game because of the specialization of the art.
 

marvin8

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The bjj comparison is a good one. You get lachlan guiles for example describing a move, any move and you can tell he has put that move through a ton of trouble shooting against quality guys. It doesn't matter if it is street or sport or TMA or whatever.

This is what he did. This is what people did to stop it. And how he addressed those issues.

Then you get this story driven dialogue about what happens in the street for example. And how that story justifies this specific drill or method or idea.

And they are not the same degree of evidence. And trying to explain that creates this disconnect because in their minds they have made a point to counter your point and you can't just turn around and dismiss that. Because they base a story or a reputation or a title with the same credibility as what is basically scientific method.

And because of that they don't need to apply scientific method. Or it is invalid. If the story justifies that.

Striking in the street is an example of that. If you train striking you should have an approach that basically works as good as you can make it work due to live sparring with the best guys.

If for some reason you throw that out the window because in the street people don't duel or fight with their hands up or you need to finish the fight quickly. And all these other urban myths that get thrown around.

Then you are literally making yourself worse at fighting.
Some don't even have a story. They base theirs on flawed logic or short sightedness. When asked for evidence (e.g., a sparring or fight video), they don't have oneonly their theory and drills.

Along with the scientific method, there are principles and physics (which may be rarely taught in depth) that apply to the interaction of two people in a fight for example: distance, positioning and timing. If I am at a certain distance (with enough room), you can't hit me. If I am in a certain position, I can attack you but you can't attack me. For correct timing, you need enough time to react to an opportunity. If you are double weighted, I can change and attack you.


And by the way. I got sucker punched to many times to be farting around without my hands up. I am more than happy to let people walk away. But I will be screwed if I am going to let people get free shots.
Regarding Ian, outside of "arms length" with a stranger would be a better distance. You don't want to stand in striking range and trade punches. You want to be out of range and enter when the attacker is double weighted. So the guard expands and contracts controlling the space.

Your hands (guard) should move in relation to your opponent to close the lines of attack between your opponent's hands and your face. There are 5 layers of defense. One should not rely on just the guard or blocking.

I agree that trapping and grappling may be useful in close range, not long. Attacking the center should be the objective, not chasing hands (risk).

Cory Sandhagen said:
Most people don't understand striking... There's space, position, then there's your advantages... Space is key because striking happens with your eyes. Striking is like we're playing this game, Okay, hit my hand and I'm moving it around. That's why switching stances works so well. Space is your reaction time because striking happens with your eyes. Instead of grappling if someone's leaning into me, I have the proprioception to feel they're leaning into me. Let me move like this. It doesn't happen with your eyes. In striking, it happens with your eyes. I see your punches come in, I know to block. So the more space I have and the better I can maintain and control space or manipulate space by closing it quickly or using it at the same time you close I close where I could be twice as fast, the more success I'm going to have. For example, I just don't think that people are understanding space in a way where it's your reaction time. So, if you get closer like if you're standing over there and I'm standing here it's not scary, if you throw a punch at me. Because, I have plenty of time to react to that punch. Where if me and you are standing right next to each other, that's like super scary no matter who you are. So, space is reaction time and I really don't think that a lot of people see space like that

Then there's of course position. My position and then your position. My position according to your position: lefty-righty, righty-lefty, lefty-lefty, righty-righty. All of that is important. Because if you're in a different stance, then target's change. What you throw is different. The attacks that you'll have are very different, than the ones that we would have if we're in the same stance if we're in the opposite stance. I don't think that people necessarily pick up on those things too. I don't think people super understand position. My guard, where am I open if I stand like this? Where am I open if I stand like this? The advantages like being a little bit outside your shoulders on each side, so that I can take angles a little bit easier. If I'm standing over here, I know you're going to correct yourself here. So, I'm going to step here. You're going to correct. I'm gonna step here and then eventually I'll be able to build off of attacks. But that to me is what striking is. It's a positional battle. It's a battle for space. It's not like combinations. And. it's not set things

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UFC Bantamweight Mixed Martial Artist, Cory Sandhagen, teaches Joe Rogan the approach to MMA Striking, Stance, managing distance and controlling range that helped in his recent fight against Chito Vera. This podcast clip is taken from the JRE MMA Show 138 with Cory Sandhagen, a spin-off of The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, dedicated to MMA fighters and UFC interviews.

 

HighKick

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Yes and no. There's an old saying, "Don't judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree."

Take a boxer and put him against any other martial art in a boxing match, and that boxer should win. A few arts might give him trouble, most should be a cakewalk. Even against a kickboxer, the boxer is going to have spent more time on the boxing side and is going to have trained for a style in which only boxing matters. Wrestling isn't bad because it doesn't prepare you for boxing.

Similarly, if a boxer gets beaten by kicks or by grappling in an MMA fight or "street fight", it doesn't mean the boxing is bad. It just means that there are gaps in his game because of the specialization of the art.
Agree. The bottom line is all styles that compete or pressure test are rules bound. How well a person is within the rules wins the day.
 

Oily Dragon

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Agree. The bottom line is all styles that compete or pressure test are rules bound. How well a person is within the rules wins the day.
And the corollary to this is all styles that do not compete or pressure test, aren't really training to fight (anywhere), more like talking about it. Ring, basketball court, locker room, home.

Kind of like having a conversation about the parts of a toilet and how to fix them, without actually ever doing it. Anybody can look inside but getting that flush to work takes some practice. Gotta get your hands in the filth.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Yes and no. There's an old saying, "Don't judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree."

Take a boxer and put him against any other martial art in a boxing match, and that boxer should win. A few arts might give him trouble, most should be a cakewalk. Even against a kickboxer, the boxer is going to have spent more time on the boxing side and is going to have trained for a style in which only boxing matters. Wrestling isn't bad because it doesn't prepare you for boxing.

Similarly, if a boxer gets beaten by kicks or by grappling in an MMA fight or "street fight", it doesn't mean the boxing is bad. It just means that there are gaps in his game because of the specialization of the art.
Yeah, that goes with what I was saying though. If you pressure test a boxer against other systems with boxing rules, boxers will win, and it verifies that boxing is good at that.

If you pressure test a boxer against a kickboxer, using an MMA ruleset, and the kickboxer wins, that says that it's not as good as kickboxing, in an MMA-rules fight. Which it's not. But if you put it against kali, and it wins, it tells you that it's a better system than kali at that.

The question boils down to, do you need the best for self-defense, and is that best replicated by MMA? If the answer to both of those is yes, than you should try training what can beat boxing in an MMA fight (or find out what to supplement it with). If the answer to either of those is no, you can find a different art that suits your purpose better, or find a better test for what your goal is - but, again, unless the art you find goes through with that test, against other styles, you don't know that it's the best option.
 

Steve

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And the corollary to this is all styles that do not compete or pressure test, aren't really training to fight (anywhere), more like talking about it. Ring, basketball court, locker room, home.

Kind of like having a conversation about the parts of a toilet and how to fix them, without actually ever doing it. Anybody can look inside but getting that flush to work takes some practice. Gotta get your hands in the filth.
It's the difference between theoretical expertise and practical expertise. The thing about martial arts that allows folks to blur these lines is that it is paradoxically both very low stakes and very high stakes. Low stakes in that the odds that the average person will ever need to use their skills is exceedingly low. High stakes in that, if they ever do need to use their skills, the situation is likely quite dire.

This creates a weird dynamic where the rhetoric is bombastic and highly charged to sell the product, while the success of the training itself depends on never having to use the skills. Add to this that whenever someone survives a self defense situation, it is because of their skill. If someone fails, it's bad luck.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Some don't even have a story. They base theirs on flawed logic or short sightedness. When asked for evidence (e.g., a sparring or fight video), they don't have oneonly their theory and drills.
What's the percentage of MT members have ever put-up personal sparring or fight video in their posts?

When someone got into a street fight, does he always have a camera recorded his fighting? Do people always record their sparring on video?
 

isshinryuronin

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It's the difference between theoretical expertise and practical expertise. The thing about martial arts that allows folks to blur these lines is that it is paradoxically both very low stakes and very high stakes. Low stakes in that the odds that the average person will ever need to use their skills is exceedingly low. High stakes in that, if they ever do need to use their skills, the situation is likely quite dire.

This creates a weird dynamic where the rhetoric is bombastic and highly charged to sell the product, while the success of the training itself depends on never having to use the skills. Add to this that whenever someone survives a self defense situation, it is because of their skill. If someone fails, it's bad luck.
Ed Parker explained MA to me like this: "Life insurance is useful only if something happens to you. Karate is like life assurance that can be used all the time." MA is like insurance in that in the event of need, it is ready to protect you. It's also like life assurance, assuring one of a quality of life every day, including being able to avoid fights thru confident physical bearing and de-escalation.
 

Steve

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Ed Parker explained MA to me like this: "Life insurance is useful only if something happens to you. Karate is like life assurance that can be used all the time." MA is like insurance in that in the event of need, it is ready to protect you. It's also like life assurance, assuring one of a quality of life every day, including being able to avoid fights thru confident physical bearing and de-escalation.
It's a terrific analogy. The insurance is only good if it pays out when you need it. And like martial arts, two things are simultaneously true. One, you hope you never need it. And two, you won't know if you got scammed until it's too late to do anything about it.

Fortunately, when it comes to life insurance, this isn't like the good old days. There is governmental regulatory oversight, and so people being charged usurious rates from companies that would refuse to pay claims are largely gone. Unfortunately, martial arts is unlikely (for many reasons, both practical and philosophical) to follow suit. So, the best we can do is argue for what tangible results can be measured.
 
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Oily Dragon

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What's the percentage of MT members have ever put-up personal sparring or fight video in their posts?

When someone got into a street fight, does he always have a camera recorded his fighting? Do people always record their sparring on video?
I don't think this is so common anymore except for the amateur and pro MA venues.

Anything else gets chewed up online, including people who don't deserve it. Good instructors, good students.

A lot of good videos online turn their comment sections off now, not because they are bad but because there is no stopping the troll hordes looking for fresh meat.

Remember, most people online have no idea what they're on about on any topic, and martial arts is even more niche.
 

Hot Lunch

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A lot of good videos online turn their comment sections off now, not because they are bad but because there is no stopping the troll hordes looking for fresh meat.

Remember, most people online have no idea what they're on about on any topic, and martial arts is even more niche.
I rarely see this in sparring videos, but I often see it in kata and breaking videos.

"They just give anybody a black belt these days!"

And that comment receives numerous likes and loves. Unsurprisingly, they never elaborate on why they're saying that (because they can't).

I remember this happening in the comments section of a video of an instructor demonstrating techniques to his students. What these idiots didn't know was that the instructor just happened to be Morio Higaonna. I don't know if there's anyone anywhere - but there definitely isn't on facebook - who is qualified to criticize Higaonna.
 
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JowGaWolf

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I don't think this is so common anymore except for the amateur and pro MA venues.

Anything else gets chewed up online, including people who don't deserve it. Good instructors, good students.

A lot of good videos online turn their comment sections off now, not because they are bad but because there is no stopping the troll hordes looking for fresh meat.

Remember, most people online have no idea what they're on about on any topic, and martial arts is even more niche.
funny that you say this. I posted a video of my sparring highlights and was told that all they saw was a Kung Fu master beating up on his students lol. People on the internet are quick to make assumptions about what they think they are seeing. Adding context helps, but it can get tiring trying to explain every bit of what's happening in the video.

In terms of what youtube has to say... The best course of action is to just not care. For me, I put videos on youtube so I can share them with who aren't on youtube, For me it's a media storage unless I have some marketing to do.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I don't think this is so common anymore except for the amateur and pro MA venues.

Anything else gets chewed up online, including people who don't deserve it. Good instructors, good students.

A lot of good videos online turn their comment sections off now, not because they are bad but because there is no stopping the troll hordes looking for fresh meat.

Remember, most people online have no idea what they're on about on any topic, and martial arts is even more niche.
There are a lot of garbage videos out there and on here. While I dont plan on adding to the pile, Im not above calling it out for what it is. You may be more generous, better principled, and more learned than I am.
 
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