The Difference Between MMA, Self-Defense & Martial Arts

Patrick Fulop

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Hey guys,

Just recorded a quick talk about this, thought it might help clarify if this is a question you were asking yourself.
Check it out:

The Difference Between MMA, Self-Defense & Martial Arts


Let me know what you think :)
 

Hanzou

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Far too many generalizations for video that to be taken seriously.

Just about every qualifier you have for MMA, SD, or TMA can be said about the other. There's plenty of TMAs that have a sport aspect where "winning" is the goal. There's plenty of MMA schools (and disciplines) that teach self-respect and spiritual development. There's plenty of SD schools that have aspects that you attributed to MMA and TMA.

Your system's goals aren't too different than the goals of Gracie Jiujitsu which is a century old, yet you qualify that as "MMA" and your system as something "different"?

IMO, there's no need to split hairs. If you're teaching Kyokushin Karate for example, all three of those qualifiers can apply to that system.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I like it. Thanks!

One minor quibble. MMA takes from TMA only that which is useful in an MMA match, which makes perfect sense. How has this hurt TMA?

I think in the sense that quite often now, we get inquiries from prospective students who want to learn only the hitting and kicking and grappling, learn that quickly, and move on. Instant gratification. Explaining that there is a treasure chest of techniques behind every basic move doesn't interest them, it seems. It can be difficult to explain that TMA is a lifestyle and a path, not simply a means to an end. As you say, however, it is what it is. Those who want more still find TMA, but they have to do the heavy lifting of figuring that out on their own.
 
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hoshin1600

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Just recorded a quick talk about this, thought it might help clarify if this is a question you were asking yourself.
actually this is not a question i have been asking myself...and is something that has been beaten to death here in the forums.
 

DaveB

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I think he acknowledged all those points and though he didn't say it, his definition was essentially the same as mine: the Purpose Defines the activity.

I'm not sure I agree with his definition of martial arts. I am of the sceptics school that believes the philosophy and moralising were bolted onto ma later due to social change and that they are not integral to the practice.
 

Ironbear24

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People should really stop trying to separate mma and TMA because they are so similar, it makes more sense to consider them different leaves of the same tree.
 

JowGaWolf

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I think it was a good effort. The topic is never an easy one to define.
I think what really is happening is that the OP is really taking techniques that they understand and throwing away techniques that they don't understand. I could show one technique to people on MT and half would come back and say that the techniques is useless and a person couldn't really use it with today's modern fighting. Then 2 weeks later I could take this same technique and show demo application and how it's used in free sparring. Suddenly it would have value, where 2 weeks ago it was called useless.

With that said. I also understand that the video wasn't directed to me or anyone else with a deeper understanding of their martial arts system. The video seems to be an effort to attract people who may not be familiar with Kung Fu. MMA gets a lot of hype these days and it's really difficult for some kung fu systems to compete in an MMA environment. The promotional videos on the website are nice and it looks like something parents would buy into.

From a business point of view. Great job on the video and the website. From a TMA point of view. It wouldn't be what I would look for, but not many people look for TMA these days. "Everyone" wants a belt and you got that angled covered. Parents will buy into your video but I think most people on MT will have some disagreement.
 

hoshin1600

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i will call it as i see it
The OP is only using this forum as a platform to get traffic to his web sight and videos. after this thread fades away we will never hear from him again. i feel he is trying to promote his stuff here with no effort in trying to understand this sight and who is on it. i find it distastefull. it would have been better for him to introduce himself and talk to everyone about his product, target market and marketing ideas and his plans on how he is using the internet for exposure rather than trying to sell his version of snake oil to people that know better.
but then again maybe i just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today...:)
 

JowGaWolf

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i will call it as i see it
The OP is only using this forum as a platform to get traffic to his web sight and videos. after this thread fades away we will never hear from him again. i feel he is trying to promote his stuff here with no effort in trying to understand this sight and who is on it. i find it distastefull. it would have been better for him to introduce himself and talk to everyone about his product, target market and marketing ideas and his plans on how he is using the internet for exposure rather than trying to sell his version of snake oil to people that know better.
but then again maybe i just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today...:)
That type of video would be a hard sell on MT. There's a lot of people with knowledge of their martial art system and martial arts in general, who share their thoughts, opinions, and arguments. This video is more geared towards parents and people who don't have a good understanding of Martial arts. One of things I do when I go to someone's website is to see if there is anything about their lineage and there is none.

The other thing that made me grin was this piece from their site. Clearly anyone doing any serious training will get hurt, but parents adore their children and don't want them to experience any pain or discomfort.

Will I get hurt?
No. Although some accidents might occur, we go to great lengths to make safety our #1 priority in training. No techniques are attempted when a student is not ready, and our instructors are constantly monitoring the class to make sure everyone is practicing safely and effectively based on their abilities.

Even in the practice of sparring in the more advanced classes, control and respect are the first lessons taught. Our students practice together, not against each other."

If I put this same question on my school's website the answer would be "Yes. You'll get hurt but we try to prevent injury." lol. Kids get hurt even when they don't do martial arts.

I'm the type of parent that thinks every kid should have the experience of getting the wind knocked out of them. It's the one injury that scares the mess out of a kid their first time but after that it becomes one of the few injuries that people can laugh at. I think it's because of the noise we make which often comes out like some kind of sick hound dog lol. If you have never had the wind knocked out of you then, I feel for you when it happens for the first time lol.
 

Andrew Green

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Here's my take: It's all nonsense.

Schools call themselves whatever they was for the reasons they want. There are some very traditional schools that call themselves "MMA", there are some very sport heavy schools that call themselves traditional martial arts. There are a ton that teach completely useless stuff and market as self-defence and there are a bunch that teach really effective stuff and don't market as self-defence.

The way you choose to separate things in your mind does not effect the industry as a whole in the slightest. People that are training already have their distinctions (if any), and if you are trying to educate non-practitioners it's no good as your definitions don't apply to the industry as a whole, and a lot of people would flat out disagree with them.

Personally I think the whole premise is flawed. MMA is martial arts. Self-defence (when talking physically defending yourself) is martial arts. Different approaches, but it's all martial arts. I mean it reads the same way as "The difference between front crawl, breast stroke and swimming"
 

Bill Mattocks

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People should really stop trying to separate mma and TMA because they are so similar, it makes more sense to consider them different leaves of the same tree.

They are similar only in that there is hitting and kicking involved.

Are football and baseball similar?
 

Bill Mattocks

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Lotta people who don't do TMA seem to think they know a lot about what it is.

Reminds me of the time I drank beer with this German guy in Bochum who had never been to the USA, but he knew all about how everything works in America. He was quite the expert, according to himself.
 

JowGaWolf

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Here's my take: It's all nonsense.

Schools call themselves whatever they was for the reasons they want. There are some very traditional schools that call themselves "MMA", there are some very sport heavy schools that call themselves traditional martial arts. There are a ton that teach completely useless stuff and market as self-defence and there are a bunch that teach really effective stuff and don't market as self-defence.

The way you choose to separate things in your mind does not effect the industry as a whole in the slightest. People that are training already have their distinctions (if any), and if you are trying to educate non-practitioners it's no good as your definitions don't apply to the industry as a whole, and a lot of people would flat out disagree with them.

Personally I think the whole premise is flawed. MMA is martial arts. Self-defence (when talking physically defending yourself) is martial arts. Different approaches, but it's all martial arts. I mean it reads the same way as "The difference between front crawl, breast stroke and swimming"
I don't think the parents would disagree. The people who want to take martial arts but don't do the research before jumping in will find this video attractive. The knowledge that a majority of people out there have about martial arts is what they see in the movies or on youtube. This is who this video is targeting.

I had one parent who had a daughter that used to be a student at our school. He took her out and enrolled her at a Choi Kwang Do school. One day he brought his daughter back to the old kung fu school and brag to my Sifu about how she's one step away from a black belt. He told my Sifu how the teach at Choi Kwang Do school trained differently so that there's less impact on the kids joints when they point and kicked. This father was soaking up how great this other school was. My Sifu was polite but not impressed so the father told his daughter to do her black belt form that she was practicing.

I rarely get as shocked as I was that day, when I saw how horrible she was. She couldn't even do a basic jab punch or front kick correctly. The father was so proud of his daughter and the daughter was happy that her father was proud, and that's all that mattered.
There are a lot of people out there that are just like that.

Not everyone has the desire or heart to actually put forth the hard work to really learn martial arts correctly. Just last month we had a TKD student (13yrs old) join us and he was one belt away from a black belt as well. He tried one of our kung fu classes and we went easy on him and kept everything beginner's basic for him. He was shocked at how much mental work goes into our system, with trying to get the brain to move the body in new ways. During the class he said that he wanted to go back to doing TKD because it was easier.

I've seen many adults go through the same thing where they stop trying when things get hard or difficult. Unfortunately the OP's video is perfect for people like that. The bottom line is that it's a business for them and they are out to make money off of people like I described. In my opinion there's nothing wrong with it, since people like that probably wouldn't last long in many of schools from students in MT.

I'm not disagreeing with your comments, just saying that the OP's video isn't targeted to people who are knowledgeable enough about martial arts to know the difference.
 
OP
Patrick Fulop

Patrick Fulop

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Thanks for your input. Indeed these videos are primarily aimed at people with little or no martial arts experience, so I appreciate getting some feedback from experienced martial artists.

And yes, my goal here is to promote my channel. I'm doing so because I think the content I provide can be valuable for you. Interesting talks to better understand what we do, and quality tutorials to learn and revise your techniques. I'm also interested in getting feedback so I can improve in the future.

I believe in service, paying it forward, and going for win-win.

Looking forward to reading more of your comments.
 
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drop bear

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Here's my take: It's all nonsense.

Schools call themselves whatever they was for the reasons they want. There are some very traditional schools that call themselves "MMA", there are some very sport heavy schools that call themselves traditional martial arts. There are a ton that teach completely useless stuff and market as self-defence and there are a bunch that teach really effective stuff and don't market as self-defence.

The way you choose to separate things in your mind does not effect the industry as a whole in the slightest. People that are training already have their distinctions (if any), and if you are trying to educate non-practitioners it's no good as your definitions don't apply to the industry as a whole, and a lot of people would flat out disagree with them.

Personally I think the whole premise is flawed. MMA is martial arts. Self-defence (when talking physically defending yourself) is martial arts. Different approaches, but it's all martial arts. I mean it reads the same way as "The difference between front crawl, breast stroke and swimming"

Or traditional swimming. Self defence swimming and sport swimming.
 

crazydiamond

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I think he brought some good points up, but yes a promotion for his school and method.

I am still a relative beginner - but to me it does depend on your (or the MA or MMA you studying) goal. Most systems have some blend of goals. I always had a hard time knowing how to define the methods I study - Inosanto JKD/Kali. Is it mixed ? Yes I study boxing, MT, BJJ, boxing and we spar. Is it self defense ? Yes I study weapons and "dirty" tactics and street scenarios . Is it TMA ? Yes I study a bit of Wing Chun, Silat, Kali, etc. also my school is big on honor and respect and beavior.

Even the Gracie's (well Royce) acknowledge that BJJ is a blend or a blur - having its roots in street defense, but also being taught mainly now for competition.


I would also agree with OP that the sport of MMA has mostly degraded into honor less, crude, insulating, disrespectful brawls. Kind of a reflection of our society. It is a pleasure to occasionally see fighters like Holly Holm bring some class into the sport.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Similar does not equal the same.

That's my point. MMA and TMA are not the same, despite similar characteristics. I was originally responding to the usual claptrap stating that they are, according to people who apparently don't know TMA very well, but feel qualified to make the statement.
 

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