The real diff. tween TMA & MMA

mograph

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I eat apples to survive, but I eat oranges for sport.
 

JohnEdward

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I want to share something. Being a bouncer is a dangerous job, and in some clubs you don't go through a shift without having several or more violent encounters, it is the middle ground between fighting for your life, and fighting for sport.

Having a friend of mine who has been a bouncer for about a decade works a club in a really rough part of town. A person who took martial artist lessons, for the sole reason of being better at his job. When we go out for a beer and sitting around bs-ing we talk shop and one day I asked him when he feels the most vulnerable when doing his job. His answer was when he is dealing with a customer. He is always concerned that someone usually a friend of a customer or someone else who will jump his back; stab him in the back, hit in he head with an object from behind, sucker punch him. Then I asked him, how do you eliminate that risk, prevent that if you can? His answer was I have the other bouncer cover my back, I never work my shift alone.


Then I asked him then if the situation calls for it do you go ground, and with someone covering your back do you feel comfortable submitting someone. He said, he never goes to the ground, over the years he has about a dozen standard moves that prevents going to the ground. He explained that after so many years of bouncing it is like any other job, you know the ins and outs of what you have to do. You eliminate that initial learning curve. It is the same as any job, you get good at it, you know what to do to get the job done right and quickly. You become more effective and efficient the more you do it. Because of his experience he developed standard responses of various levels to deal with all the situations he faces. All of those responses are done from a standing position. He pointed out to be successful in dealing with a customer who becomes disruptive you must have control and visually show others in the club (the crowd) you have control. He said, the best way is to do your job where the crowd doesn't notice, or pissing off anyone one of the person's friends. But when someone is drinking or they know the game, they do make a scene and it has to be dealt with quickly with you in control. You have to remove the person and deal with the situation within seconds. If there is a struggle standing or if it goes to the ground that creates attention and then you have bigger problems on your hands. He uses techniques that prevents him from going to the ground. One is having the other bouncer involved, intimidation verbal and physical, being offensive using hard contact, i.e. placing a firm hand on a persons chest and disrupting their balance to keep them from moving forward. And then there are more physical offensive moves if things accelerate from there. All of which avoid going to the ground where he feels most vulnerable because he is more open to someone else coming from being in his blind spot and attacking him.

There are lots of reason being on the ground for a bouncer can work against him even if he is in control. He talked about several reasons, and one was concerning the crowd. The crowd mentally, he said is very dangerous and they can turn against you very quickly. You enforce the rules, you have powers they don't and that can makes you the enemy. He went on with, being on the ground becomes a spectacle fight. It excites the crowd making them a part of a live instant UFC fight where they can take sides, where some want part of the action. He also said something I never thought about, mostly because I was not in his profession, he said, a ring has a few purpose. The first is the obvious, it keeps the fighters fighting in close proximity of each other which makes the fight exciting. It is also a barrier that keeps the crowd from joining the fight. In a club, he said, you don't have that luxury of not having a barrier to keep other someone from interfering in you doing your job. When on the ground he mentioned his vision is limited and his focus is also limited that makes him highly vulnerable to outside attacks. He said if you had a crowd of on-lookers who who are not going to jump in on the fight, then the ground isn't so bad. In included that when a person is on the ground they fight back harder and stronger, which means you have to surpass that effort to control them. Ideally, you don't want the person you are engaged with to fight back harder, people do when they are on the ground. They feel more vulnerable or skilled so they fight back harder. You don't want to make a scene, and you want the crowd to know you have control and the other person has no chance of getting control away from you. You don't want to control the crowd too.

This isn't saying TMA is better than MMA. It is to point out that sport and non-sport are two different venues and a middle ground exists. A middle ground that is not chosen by either the TMA or the MMA fighter. Sport fighting does give you experience it does provide a mind set and experience that is needed for being in a fight. But any fighting sport like kickboxing, shootfighting, boxing, to tournament fighting of TMA. Another key element is the person, not everyone who takes TMA or MMA is a fighter. You might face a MMA fighter or TMA on the street, and they just simply aren't a good fighter. They lack what it takes. I am going to keep this short as I am going on too long, what it really comes down to is the person, how they trained and who trained them. Some people what to prove themselves in the ring, and they train for that. Then if in a street situation they can handle themselves very well against the poorly or untrained person. That goes the same for TMA. I personally have put sport fighting behind me. I am too old to fight in MMA. But not to defend myself. When it comes to that what determines the win or the lose is not if the other person is MMA or TMA it is if they are better in strategy and experience. On the street, I will win if the attacker makes the wrong assumptions. The debate then is really academic and seasoned veteran of the either MMA or TMA appreciated each other and understand it is all martial arts.
 

mograph

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Now there's a reasonable and informative post, JohnEdward.

Personally, I'd like to hear from more law enforcement officers and bouncers -- sober people who are forced to fight (not doing it to prove their manhood) in real-life situations.
 

ilhe4e12345

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i worked as a bouncer for the last 2 years. I worked at a strip club with a good friend of mine. When i first started i was low in martial arts, only taking a year and a half worth of mantis training. I knew the basics and wrist locks and such. When i started i began working with a guy who has been taking martial arts for almost 10 years and he has been working as a bouncer for many years. When you work as a bouncer its not "a game" or "fun". Some people seem to think that being a bouncer is a good time to kick a drunken idiot out of the club or supress some guy who is getting to touchy feely with the girls. Im telling you i learned A LOT working there about self defense situations. I learned a couple different holds, a few new grabs, and what to do in certain situations taught by the guy i worked with. DONT EVER GO TO THE GROUND.....ever....it draws attention, it puts you in an uncomfortable situation and you no longer have the high ground. NEVER NEVER NEVER. I was knocked to the ground once by one guy from behind because he chargered me before the other bouncer could get to me to help. Its not fun and i got ruffed up, but was able to control him in the end after a struggle. It draws attention from other people and other groups might get involved....its scary to think about


I hate to say this because its going to sound cheesey but if anybody has seent he movie Roadhouse, what he says actually makes sense.... expect the unexpected. There were days when i would get into it with a guy ever half an hour and sometimes it was one guy, sometimes it was 6 and each time i had that in the back of my head. You have no idea what they are going to do, anything can be a weapon and when someone is drunk or worked up certain things you learn in a martial arts class no matter how good you are dont always work. I had a knife drawn on me 2 times, the first time if i wasnt with another bouncer i could have been killed, it was a terrifying and eye opening night. The second time i learned to expect the unexpected....and i was able to disarm him and get him under control.

I liked be abouncer becuase it taught me to be ready for real life situations and how to deal with all kinds of people. I have hurt people before because of that job, i did break one guys elbow and i broke a couple shoulders and wrists. Im not proud of any of those, but it is good to know that my martial arts is working at keeping me on my toes when it comes to self defense. Strip clubs are tuff because the girls can attract crazy guys that wont take no for an answer, and we had a girl get almost raped in the parking lot becuase the club was short on bouncers one night. That night the guy was almost beaten to death, granted he got what he deserved but its still not fun or exciting..its scary and dangerous....

Being a bouncer has taught me to keep cool onder dangerous situations, i never had a gun pulled on me BUT there was a gun who had a gun in his truck, and when i found that out i was really afraid. I actually almost left that place the next day but after talking to the owner and a few law enforcement officials (regulars at the club lol) and the guy i bounced with i felt better and since then i have changed. Its a good learning experience.

If anybody has ever thought about being a bouncer at a bar or club its an eye opening experience. You learn a lot about yourself, you can make a decent amount of money, and it will teach you a lot but please....be careful.

Im not sure why this was brought up in the MMA TMA thread but i saw what John said above and at the request of mograph i thought i would throw my experience in there. I miss being a bouncer sometimes, and i was thinking about going back for some exta money but....a part of me still gets that chill
 

Tez3

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I hope the WC people don't mind that this thread which has little to do with their style and is getting ever further away form it don't feel slighted or anything? Seems unfair that their section is hijacked!
For LE and door supervisors stories etc there's a section for that, there's also a general martial arts and MMA section.

Perhaps a mod could move this thread to somewhere more appropriate if posts are going to be about things non WC? There are interesting though ( not criticising!)
 

mograph

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Agreed ... Sorry to perpetuate the OT.
 

Steve

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I want to share something. Being a bouncer is a dangerous job, and in some clubs you don't go through a shift without having several or more violent encounters, it is the middle ground between fighting for your life, and fighting for sport.
Very interesting and informative post. I won't comment on all of the things I agree with or that strike me as very reasonable. But the one thing that struck me as funny (interesting funny, not haha funny) is that bouncing is much like MMA in that you have very consistent "rules" and there is very specific training intended to be useful in what is in many ways a very limited scope of potential encounters.

The question that comes to mind is, ceding the fact that MMA skills can be useful in self defense but aren't specifically self defense training, isn't experience as a bouncer much the same?
 

Buka

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Very interesting and informative post. I won't comment on all of the things I agree with or that strike me as very reasonable. But the one thing that struck me as funny (interesting funny, not haha funny) is that bouncing is much like MMA in that you have very consistent "rules" and there is very specific training intended to be useful in what is in many ways a very limited scope of potential encounters.

The question that comes to mind is, ceding the fact that MMA skills can be useful in self defense but aren't specifically self defense training, isn't experience as a bouncer much the same?

I think all Martial training has applicable qualities for self defense. As does bouncing, police work etc. There really isn't any specific self defense training per se, unless it involves actual fighting, and that's not possible.
I think it's a collective skill, particular to the person, the school and life experience.
 

Steve

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I think all Martial training has applicable qualities for self defense. As does bouncing, police work etc. There really isn't any specific self defense training per se, unless it involves actual fighting, and that's not possible.
I think it's a collective skill, particular to the person, the school and life experience.
Right. That's my point exactly. MMA and TMA are different, but the same. The entire sport vs street thing is, IMO, complete bunk. No matter how you train or where you train, you're always training based on some kind of preconception. Whether it's in the limited universe of bar fights (where your opponent may have a knife or a friend with a knife) or the limited universe of a cage or ring (where you know that your opponent is likely as well trained as you), it's all limited.

There are ways to mitigate this, but the truth is that most people don't have the time or money to spend their every waking moment becoming the ultimate self defense machine. Every school teaches a system that is based on presumptions. MMA has rules. So do one and two step drills. So does kumite. So does bouncing, if you think about it. In fact, as a bouncer, if your every encounter ends with a bar clearing brawl, you need a new line of work. It's not like Roadhouse. There are rules.
 

JohnEdward

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I agree with both Buka and Steve, that is why I call it middle ground. Both MMA and TMA can be applied in that middle ground. MMA isn't all ground work. BJJ is and is effected when the proper situation. Technically, MMA doesn't have to be Muay Thai, or Jujitsu. It can be WC, and any form of grappling. It is what ever traditional arts you want to work into it. Both MMA and TMA have restrictions and conditions they set for each purpose. I just watch a video in another thread where a security guard was fighting a street punk toe to toe. The security guard having martial arts training fought the way he was trained, he fought under the conditions and restrictions of his art. If he was an MMA fighter he may have taken the punk to the ground and beaten him senseless or not, due to the fact he not have train properly, skipped classes, wasn't the brightest student on the block, etc. That goes for TMA as well. If he had better training he may have knocked the punk out cold in a second. If the punk had MMA training the fight would be in the punks favor. If the punk had WC training against the security guard he would have won the fight, maybe if the punk went to class and learn the lessons. Instead, the street punk had his own fight style not based in either MMA or TMA and stood his ground against a trained martial artist. Why is that? It isn't because MMA or TMA is better then the other. It was a toe to toe slug match that exchanged punches and was an endurance fight. Meaning the winner would have been the person most conditioned.

The middle ground is knowing what you can do and what you can't in a situation where you don't the background of the person you are to fight. Where rules exist in a strange sort of way at times and you don't know what those rules are or the ones you set up will be followed. It is using the right technique for the situation you are in, because you don't want to use the wrong technique in the wrong situation. You don't want to take fights to the ground. You don't want to get into toe-to-toe slug brawls. You want to use the right tool at the right time under the right conditions. Debating those which tool is better MMA or TMA doesn't win a fight, it is being skilled in the middle ground.
 

RTKDCMB

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Just felt like sharing some stuff I've been thinking about lately.

These thoughts were spawned by the great "Rules Debate" that commonly takes place between any TMA'er and MMA enthusiast. The conversation usually goes something like this:

MMA: "TMA is fake. You don't fight for reals in The Cage."

TMA: "That's because the cage has rules. TMA trains for The Street. If you put a TMA'er in the cage, you take away eye gouges, rabbit punches, genital-ripping, and throat-smashing!"

MMA: "As if you actually do any of those moves! You can't realistically practice eye-gouges and genital-ripping! Besides, on 'the street', there's nothing stopping a cagefighter from doing any of those dirty, deadly moves either. We could eye-gouge and throat-smash too if we wanted."

At this point the conversation usually becomes a full-on flame-war between TMA-guy & MMA-guy. The TMA guy will talk about how MMA has too many restrictive rules & how TMA is for "the street" and MMA is "just a sport". The MMA guy will then point out how no TMA'er has done well in MMA, and how most TMA's don't have a "ground game". We've all seen (or participated in) these conversations before.

Lately I've been thinking that these things in slightly different terms. And as it turns out, the TMA guy and the MMA guy are sort of both right.

I think that ultimately the difference between TMA & MMA has nothing to do with the rules at play during the fight, rather the real difference lies in the conditions for which it was designed. Lets talk about MMA for a second, & look at those conditions.

When the first UFC's came out, MMA was a competitions between TMA'ers. Remember those days? There were karate guys, kempo guys, kickboxers, WC'ers, judoka, and of course BJJ.

Over the years though, MMA became a style unto itself. It became optimized for a very specific set of conditions. Consider all the things that a modern cagefighter can take for granted:

-he knows the fight will be 1 on 1, and he doesn't even have to consider the possibility that anyone else may jump in.

-he knows there won't be any weapons of any kind involved, so he doesn't even have to consider them.

-he knows exactly what the environment will be. it'll be a flat mat in a well-lit room.

-he can be pretty sure that his opponent wont actually try to KILL him

-he knows there'll be medical professionals on hand, and even if he does get hurt real bad, someone'll get him to a hospital.

-he knows exactly when the fight will take place, so he has plenty of time to psychologically prepare

-he knows he has all the time in the world. a cagefighter doesn't have to worry about cops showing up, the bad guy's buddies showing up, or anything else like that, so he doesn't have to hurry. how many times have we seen a good grappler employ patience as a strategy?

-he knows there's no time limit on training...he can spend as much time as he wants in the gym before choosing to fight

There might be more, but these are a few of the conditions under which MMA has evolved. It's the exact same mechanism as biological evolution by natural selection...there are selective pressures that influence the way a species evolves, and these are the selective pressures that have influenced the MMA style and training approach.

Now let's think about the conditions that influenced TMA and other non-cagefight systems (like Krav Maga or Systema). Of course each system is going to have its own unique set of conditions that the founders were considering when they created the system...some are meant for formation melee war, some for more modern ballistic war and special ops, and some are meant for civilian self-defense on the street. Regardless of which of these sets of conditions we're talking about, NONE of them can take for granted any of the things a cagefighter can.

TMA's tend to assume the absolute worst for every one of the types of conditions listed above. They assume there'll be more than one opponent, that there'll be weapons, that the terrain will be rough, the lighting bad, that the bad guy is out to kill you, that you've got to hurry and win the fight fast, that you'll be surprised, etc. etc.. Considerations for all the variation in these conditions have to be built in to a TMA. This is why no TMA's have a complex, high-level "ground-game"....because that sort of strategy is a horrible idea except in a very specific set of conditions (that being a duel). This is why Wing Chun doesn't spar like how boxers do....WC figures there's no time to fight like a boxer where you jab, get a feel for the opponent, step back, maneuver around, jab, jab....search for the opening, then attack - WC assumes you've got to get in there and get it done immediately...WC assumes there just isn't time to box. It's why Krav Maga or MCMAP doesn't spend a lot of time on the "rubber guard" or Muay Thai shin-kick conditioning; not because the those people don't know how awesome Jiu Jitsu & Muay Thai are, but because those strategies aren't worth employing and aren't worth taking the time to train for given the conditions under which Krav Maga & MCMAP were developed.

To put it another way, it's not that TMA's can do "deadly dirty moves" and MMA can't. In fact, that's exactly backwards. TMA can't do a lot of the things that MMA can. TMA doesn't have the luxury of getting heavily into groundfighting, TMA doesn't have the luxury of a strategy where you can take your time and be patient. TMA's just can't take for granted a lot of the things MMA can, so TMA's strategic options tend to be more limited than MMA's.

This being the case, is it any wonder that TMA tends to lose to MMA in cagefights?!

It's sort of like the difference between a humvee and a dragracer. Who wins in a race...a humvee or a dragracer? The dragracer wins every time...provided it's on a flat, straight track. And the designer of a dragracer has the luxury of optimizing his vehicle for a very specific set of conditions. He can put a huge engine in the vehicle, he can streamline it, he can choose just the right tires, he can forget about gas mileage. A humvee designer doesn't have those options.


Or the difference between a rapier & buckler and a two-handed longsword...the rapier was designed for 1 on 1 dueling from the get-go. All things being equal, the rapier/buckler fighter wins every time. The rapier designer can choose to make a sword that's fast, long, and light because he doesn't have to worry about armor, doesn't have to worry about needing to kill or dismember the enemy with one swing...so the rapier designer has a lot more options, and thus the rapier fighter has a lot more options. A longsword can't be that light...it's got to be able to cut and thrust. It has to be able to penetrate armor. It can't be fully optimized for a 1 on 1 duel against an unarmored enemy like the rapier.

Or it's the difference between a snub-nosed revolver and a customized, competition sniper rifle. What's better? The revolver or the rifle? The rifle's more accurate, has more power, and a longer range. By every quantifiable measure the sniper rifle is better. The competition sniper rifle designer doesn't have to worry about weight or barrel length, how cumbersome the weapon is, the recoil, or how maneuverable the weapon is; he can make whatever decisions he wants that'll optimize it for the competition. But a snub-nosed revolver can go with you anywhere, it's easier to shoot, you can pull it out anytime, and it's a lot less expensive.

So anyway...to summarize...it's not about "rules" vs. "no rules" or "let's see you fight in the cage" vs. "my style is for the street!", it's about the conditions and variable a given system is built to account for. MMA exists solely to fight one enemy in a featureless, surprise-free environment, and so it's silly to even suggest that straight WC or Aikido or Karate or TKD could ever compete with MMA-style BJJ/Muay Thai in a "fair" fight, because those systems were never intended for that kind of fight...MMA is. The advantage to TMA is that you're more prepared for a wider range of conditions, if only by virtue of the fact that your training involves assuming the worst for every variable (or at least it should.)
Well said
 

cwk

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The real difference between sport fighting and self defence fighting - in self defence fighting there is no hugging afterwards.

So, that's where I've been going wrong........:wink:
 
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