Is MMA A Martial Art?

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Indie12

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I think the answer depends entirely on where and how it is taught Agreed. Depending on the school, "MMA" could be a training philosophy, a system of techniques, a specific sport education, whatever the instructor knows done in boxing shorts inside an octagon, pure marketing, or a traditional approach to learning a system of fighting in multiple ranges Just for the record, I've never seen any form of Mixed Martial Arts with a philosophy attached. What constitutes what is and isn't a martial art? These kind of distinctions are abritrary anyway. In 1993 when the gracie family brought into the question which was the better Martial Art and therefore started UFC, was that abritary, in your opinino? We're all learning violence, what we call it is more a matter of personal preference. Agreed, but violence has several distinctions, such as violence in sport, violence in life or death combat or self defense, violence in behavior, psychological, neurological, etc. MMA practitioners may learn to fight if they a have a good instructor teaching quality material and they are diligent students. That's enough for me. But I also consider Western Boxing and Olympic Taekwondo martial arts. For me, "martial arts" means studying fighting. If they did that in an MMA school, they'd pass my standard. I'd agree/disagree, from my own personal experience, I've witnessed several so called MMA Coaches or Instructors teach MMA, however none of their students could barely fight! Now was it the students or the Instructors talent? I dunno! If the material is quality high and the students are diligent, I could see how that may happen or occur.

I do personally consider 'boxing' and 'Tae Kwon Do' both Martial Arts, same as 'wrestling' and 'fencing'. I will however disagree to some extent with Olympic Tae Kwon Do, although it uses Tae Kwon Do Philosophy, and Other aspects of TKD training, the flashy kicks, acrobatic kicks, and spectator stunts, I don't consider 'Martial' and therefore I (in my own opinion) do not consider those techniques practical for Martial use. (I've been involved with Olympic style TKD- for over 23 years, on and off!) But again, that's my own opinion!




-Rob


*In Bold*

I will add this, I believe (again in my own opinion) that in order for Martial Arts to be called Martial Arts, it needs to have three elements attached, the physical, mental (philosophy), and spiritual components. When you break down 'Martial Arts' you have literally translating into "The ART of Combat". Therefore Art, meaning some form of expression, or belief, with Martial being forms of military components, I.E. Combat.

Mixed Martial Arts (and I've rarely seen it) with the exception of a few fighting systems (combat systems) does not have in general any form of philosophy, or spiritual component. But then again, I haven't seen any sport MMA program or system with the other two elements attached!

Just my two cents:
 

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Agreed! It it virtually impossible to combine complete systems, although (for the record) I do know several MMA's who claim to have done so.

Are you referring to fighting system as in 'combat' or fighting system as in 'sport'?
Irrelevant - Much like how TKD or Karate or Judo or JJ or any host of other stuff can be taught as Combative or Sport oriented, MMA can be focused on both and still be a Fighting System.

The distinction I make, is that I consider a Martial Art to be something designed to Remove ones Foe. Be it in Combat, or in Self Defense.

I consider a Fighting System to be a collaborative means by which to Incapacitate ones Foe.
MMA, Self Defense Schools (Like, SD Classes, etc), and Freestyle (Not necessarily Freestyle Kickboxing or something. Just outright Freestyle) are examples of what I consider to be a Fighting System.

Fighting Systems are typically more Sport themed, but this is where it gets a bit tricky.
By definition, if Youre Teaching someone to Punch Straight, arguably, it could be considered Teaching them Martial Arts.

"Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development.The term martial art has become heavily associated with the fighting arts of eastern Asia, but was originally used in regard to the combat systems of Europe as early as the 1550s. An English fencing manual of 1639 used the term in reference specifically to the "Science and Art" of swordplay. The term is ultimately derived from Latin, martial arts being the "Arts of Mars," the Roman god of war.[SUP][1][/SUP]
Some martial arts are considered 'traditional' and tied to an ethnic, cultural or religious background, while others are modern systems developed either by a founder or an association."

And so on.
Hence why I feel the need to draw a distinction.
By definition, MMA is Martial Arts.
But I feel that while it is Martial Arts, it isnt a Martial Art.

I truly hope that makes sense.
 
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Irrelevant - Much like how TKD or Karate or Judo or JJ or any host of other stuff can be taught as Combative or Sport oriented, MMA can be focused on both and still be a Fighting System. Agreed!

The distinction I make, is that I consider a Martial Art to be something designed to Remove ones Foe. Be it in Combat, or in Self Defense.

I consider a Fighting System to be a collaborative means by which to Incapacitate ones Foe. I agree/disagree. Since in combat or self defense, the object can either be simply to 'back off the opponent', disable, incapacitate, or kill.
MMA, Self Defense Schools (Like, SD Classes, etc), and Freestyle (Not necessarily Freestyle Kickboxing or something. Just outright Freestyle) are examples of what I consider to be a Fighting System. I consider a fighting system, based on Martial Art-techniques, but no philosophical or spiritual attachments.

Fighting Systems are typically more Sport themed, but this is where it gets a bit tricky.
By definition, if Youre Teaching someone to Punch Straight, arguably, it could be considered Teaching them Martial Arts.

"Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development.The term martial art has become heavily associated with the fighting arts of eastern Asia, but was originally used in regard to the combat systems of Europe as early as the 1550s. An English fencing manual of 1639 used the term in reference specifically to the "Science and Art" of swordplay. The term is ultimately derived from Latin, martial arts being the "Arts of Mars," the Roman god of war.[SUP][1][/SUP]
Some martial arts are considered 'traditional' and tied to an ethnic, cultural or religious background, while others are modern systems developed either by a founder or an association."

And so on.
Hence why I feel the need to draw a distinction. Well I agree, there's definitely a distinction between the two. I would also add (in my own view) that sport fighting systems and combat fighting systems, do vary since they have different approches, one is for sport, and the other for sd or combat. On the other hand, you could say they use the same based techniques and therefore equally match. (I'm just saying)
By definition, MMA is Martial Arts.
But I feel that while it is Martial Arts, it isnt a Martial Art.

I agree! By that specific definition MMA is MA. But I would also add that while MMA may be based in MA techniques, the philosophical, and spiritual aspects of Martial Arts (although vary) are not in general apart of MMA. Therefore making MMA not a 'Martial Art' (But again, just my two cents. ) I truly hope that makes sense.

Good point!
 

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1) I do hope you mean in general and not specific towards anyone or anything!
2) Yeah, it's a sticky subject, but easily discussed.
3) I'm not too fond of popcorn, worked in a film theater for years (projectionist) and after a while 'popcorn' just didn't smell or taste right!

I do mean it in general but MMA seems to be the only style/system that non MMA people seem to think they are experts on and can discuss with knowledge they don't actually have. Watching the UFC doesn't give you the expertise even if you practice a martial art, to discuss MMA knowledgeably. So many people say you can't learn a martial art from a video yet so many people also think they can learn what MMA is all about from watching fights on television.

It's not easily discussed I'm afraid, you will find that people when they want to portray stupid or thuggish in the martial arts point to MMAers. One person has already said that brawling is part of MMA, it's not but hey everyone and their uncle seem to think they know what MMA is, why bother listening to what MMAers think.
 

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I do mean it in general but MMA seems to be the only style/system that non MMA people seem to think they are experts on and can discuss with knowledge they don't actually have. Watching the UFC doesn't give you the expertise even if you practice a martial art, to discuss MMA knowledgeably. So many people say you can't learn a martial art from a video yet so many people also think they can learn what MMA is all about from watching fights on television.

It's not easily discussed I'm afraid, you will find that people when they want to portray stupid or thuggish in the martial arts point to MMAers. One person has already said that brawling is part of MMA, it's not but hey everyone and their uncle seem to think they know what MMA is, why bother listening to what MMAers think.
Throw in Wrestling.
I remember in School, that alot of folks thought that after watching WWE for a night, They could Suplex each other :p
 
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I do mean it in general but MMA seems to be the only style/system that non MMA people seem to think they are experts on and can discuss with knowledge they don't actually have. Watching the UFC doesn't give you the expertise even if you practice a martial art, to discuss MMA knowledgeably. So many people say you can't learn a martial art from a video yet so many people also think they can learn what MMA is all about from watching fights on television. Agreed! Actually in #1, I was referring to something else, but thanks for claring that up!! :)
I will add that sadly, (I personally know a few) there are many MMAists who believe they know just by watching or attending a once a week 1 hour class in MMA.


It's not easily discussed I'm afraid, you will find that people when they want to portray stupid or thuggish in the martial arts point to MMAers. One person has already said that brawling is part of MMA, it's not but hey everyone and their uncle seem to think they know what MMA is, why bother listening to what MMAers think. Agreed! This is a complex issue. Although, I will add that sometimes listening to MMAers viewpoints is "entertaining!"

:)
 
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Throw in Wrestling.
I remember in School, that alot of folks thought that after watching WWE for a night, They could Suplex each other :p

We had a so called 'boxing club' at my school. Alot of guys with no formal training would duke it out during lunches and breaks. They thought they could "Rocky" eachother until the bell rung! Amazingly no one ever got seriously injured, although we did have quite a few bloody noses!
 

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We had a so called 'boxing club' at my school. Alot of guys with no formal training would duke it out during lunches and breaks. They thought they could "Rocky" eachother until the bell rung! Amazingly no one ever got seriously injured, although we did have quite a few bloody noses!
Hehe. School Boxing Programs tend to be mostly for Fitness, by means of Punching.
If Theyre not Teaching You how to beat Your Opponent, and only how to throw Punches at each other properly, it aint Boxing :)
 
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Hehe. School Boxing Programs tend to be mostly for Fitness, by means of Punching.
If Theyre not Teaching You how to beat Your Opponent, and only how to throw Punches at each other properly, it aint Boxing :)

That's just kind of the ironic thing, my school didn't have a sanction or "supervised" boxing club of any recognition. It was basically a bunch of high school guys getting together (illegally I might add, at least with the school) with 90% of them having no 'formal training' what-so-ever. And then punching eachother with boxing gloves until the other dude KO'd or there was a draw!

Ironically, as a result of this "illegal gathering" the city actually came in, and made it an actual city law "there wasn't one prior" that no boxing, martial arts, brawling, or street fighting, could take place on city property. (Which is where we had these so called "fights")

Myself and a few other local Martial Artists, Boxing Coaches (litigimate ones) and a few others tried unsuccessfully to defeat the new law proposal but obviously we lost. It's now a civil infraction with a $300 fine!
 

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That's just kind of the ironic thing, my school didn't have a sanction or "supervised" boxing club of any recognition. It was basically a bunch of high school guys getting together (illegally I might add, at least with the school) with 90% of them having no 'formal training' what-so-ever. And then punching eachother with boxing gloves until the other dude KO'd or there was a draw!

Ironically, as a result of this "illegal gathering" the city actually came in, and made it an actual city law "there wasn't one prior" that no boxing, martial arts, brawling, or street fighting, could take place on city property. (Which is where we had these so called "fights")

Myself and a few other local Martial Artists, Boxing Coaches (litigimate ones) and a few others tried unsuccessfully to defeat the new law proposal but obviously we lost. It's now a civil infraction with a $300 fine!
LOL - So, basically they called ineffectively Punching each other Boxing, and tried to make something out of it? Hehe.
 
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LOL - So, basically they called ineffectively Punching each other Boxing, and tried to make something out of it? Hehe.

Basically, It was punching each other using 'boxing' gloves!! Nothing ever came from it!
 

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It would be easier if you didn't put your answers in the same box as I've written in...you see what happens when I try to quote you.

I'm so glad that you find MMAers points of view 'entertaining', I'm sure we are gratified by your laughter. Personally I don't know any person who practices MMA who thinks they know just by watching it on television, the people I know, and I can say this without boasting...that I know just about everyone in the UK who does MMA... they don't for one minute believe they know that much, they believe there's always more to learn, more to discover.

I have no idea btw what you mean about you referring to something else and I haven't cleared anything up at all, I just stated my opinion on something. Your posts seem to confuse things more than clear anything up?
 

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It would be easier if you didn't put your answers in the same box as I've written in...you see what happens when I try to quote you.

I'm so glad that you find MMAers points of view 'entertaining', I'm sure we are gratified by your laughter. Personally I don't know any person who practices MMA who thinks they know just by watching it on television, the people I know, and I can say this without boasting...that I know just about everyone in the UK who does MMA... they don't for one minute believe they know that much, they believe there's always more to learn, more to discover.

I have no idea btw what you mean about you referring to something else and I haven't cleared anything up at all, I just stated my opinion on something. Your posts seem to confuse things more than clear anything up?
Personally, most MMA Practitioners I know of work the way Youre stating.
Ive seen a couple of exceptions, but theres always bound to be one or two guys who think theyre harder than they are. It comes with the territory.
 

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Personally, most MMA Practitioners I know of work the way Youre stating.
Ive seen a couple of exceptions, but theres always bound to be one or two guys who think theyre harder than they are. It comes with the territory.


The laws of human nature say there's always at least one idiot anywhere lol.

Boxing here has long been seen as something to be encouraged especially for the more 'boisterious'. The police started running boxing clubs in the poor areas where youngsters were more liable to fall into crime. There are still many police run boxing clubs around the country, they do teach boxing not just 'punching', they belong to the ABA so can compete as well as train. Youth clubs often have boxing clubs attached and are supported by local councils.
 

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The laws of human nature say there's always at least one idiot anywhere lol.

Boxing here has long been seen as something to be encouraged especially for the more 'boisterious'. The police started running boxing clubs in the poor areas where youngsters were more liable to fall into crime. There are still many police run boxing clubs around the country, they do teach boxing not just 'punching', they belong to the ABA so can compete as well as train. Youth clubs often have boxing clubs attached and are supported by local councils.
Much like here - Where I live, the Police Boxing Clubs are actually better than regular Boxing Gyms.
 

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It's easy to teach the willing how to be a fighter. It's not so easy to teach someone how to be a Martial Artist. To me, Martial Arts are about rectitude, discipline and respect. There are certain protocols, history and life skills that are taught and practiced. Don't get me wrong, I love a good fighting gym, I just like dojos better.

I love MMA, and I really like this thread.
 

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It's easy to teach the willing how to be a fighter. It's not so easy to teach someone how to be a Martial Artist. To me, Martial Arts are about rectitude, discipline and respect. There are certain protocols, history and life skills that are taught and practiced. Don't get me wrong, I love a good fighting gym, I just like dojos better.

I love MMA, and I really like this thread.

So what about where I train? We do MMA and TMA and we are a dojo. Many places here are. One needs to be highly disciplined to train and fight MMA, it's not for slobs. There is a huge amount of respect both for the people we train with and between the fighters. To say there's not would be wrong. To be able to fight successfully one needs to be everything people claim martial artists to be.
 

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I'd consider MMA a combat sport. Just like kickboxing or boxing or even wtf sport tkd. One trains in the sport very much like they'd train in a martial art
 

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