Train TMA but fight like kickboxer

Kung Fu Wang

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In another thread, people mentioned that one may train TMA but fight like kickboxer. If the TMA founder had fighting experience, should the style that he created be more like kickboxing?

For example, if an ancient TMA master fought all his life, in one of his fights, he found out that the roundhouse kick and hook punch worked very well. When he created his TMA system, should he include the roundhouse kick and hook punch into his training?

My logic is the following:

If you fight enough -> you will fight like kickboxer -> the TMA style you create will be like kickboxing.

If you don't fight enough -> you will fight like the way you want to -> the TMA style you create will be like TMA.

What's your opinion on this?
 
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skribs

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I hear this a lot from people who don't understand how TMAs work. They look at something in the art, such as a form, drill, or a point-based sparring system and think that's how that martial art would fight. It would be the same as if someone were to watch a boxer do speed bag drills and say he didn't have any power, or to look at a BJJ fighter pull guard and say he didn't have any standup.
 

drop bear

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No. Because Steven Thompson.


The issue you mostly have is anyone who is any good, fights like a kickboxer. So to get trained by someone who has a vague clue what he is on about you nearly always need to turn to kickboxing.

Basically the pathways that lead to being good tend to bottle neck stylistically.

There are people who break this cycle. Steven Thompson for Karate. Moontosari for TKD. There are sanda guys and so on. But they are few and far between. And so harder to access.

So basically if someone wanted to be good. And he had the choice between say a fairly average kickboxer with 20 fights who will generally train guys for chump change. And then access to kickboxing competitions mabye held every weekend if he wants.

Or obscure style from a guy with no fights. And no vehicle to test or develop their ability. And probably for considerably more money.

It is a fairly easy choice.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

Kung Fu Wang

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If your "goal" is to develop a toolbox that contain

- hook punch,
- roundhouse kick,
- elbow lock,
- hip throw,
- side mount,
- ...,

which MA system will you use as your "path" to reach to your goal?

If a MA system doesn't help you to achieve your goal, is that MA system no good?
 

Flying Crane

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If your "goal" is to develop a toolbox that contain

- hook punch,
- roundhouse kick,
- elbow lock,
- hip throw,
- side mount,
- ...,

which MA system will you use as your "path" to reach to your goal?

Speaking strictly for myself, that is not my goal.

If a MA system doesn't help you to achieve your goal, is that MA system no good?
Again, speaking strictly for myself, the system that I train is a good match for me and suits me well. I guess I dont really think in terms of goals in my training.

Taking your above statement as a hypothetical, what it means is that the method is not a good match for you, or you received poor instruction or you dont properly understand it. Any of those possibilities, and probably some others, could be the case. It may be that it is no good, for you. It does not mean the the method itself is no good on some objective level.
 

BrendanF

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I hear this a lot from people who don't understand how TMAs work. They look at something in the art, such as a form, drill, or a point-based sparring system and think that's how that martial art would fight. It would be the same as if someone were to watch a boxer do speed bag drills and say he didn't have any power, or to look at a BJJ fighter pull guard and say he didn't have any standup.

I get your point - I'm familiar with arts which use training/conditioning exercises that are not necessarily intended to reflect the style.

I have however left arts because there were forms and exercises which were explicitly meant to reflect the fighting style, and absolutely didn't. Age 18 I studied Choy Lay Fut for a time, and left because the senior students looked like kickboxers when they sparred.
 

skribs

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I get your point - I'm familiar with arts which use training/conditioning exercises that are not necessarily intended to reflect the style.

I have however left arts because there were forms and exercises which were explicitly meant to reflect the fighting style, and absolutely didn't. Age 18 I studied Choy Lay Fut for a time, and left because the senior students looked like kickboxers when they sparred.

If you're going to leave an art because they don't live up to their claims, you can put pretty much any art on the list. Every single art is overrated by those who train it (and underrated by those who don't).

Look at what the Gracie's say about BJJ in the video below. Especially starting around 2:20.


The sales pitch is that every other martial art just stands there trading punches until someone goes down. This ignores two things:
  1. Every other grappling art, including arts like wrestling and Judo (the later of which BJJ was based on)
  2. The fact that most striking arts are about not getting hit while you're striking, instead of trading blows
What he says about BJJ and the ideas of safe zones is absolutely correct. In fact, it's a concept you see in striking arts like boxing and TKD. But what he says about how others fight is entirely incorrect.

This is actually one of the reasons I'm so critical of the TKD poomsae in other threads. Because if you claim it's how you would really fight, you're selling falsehoods or bad ideas. If you don't make that claim, but rather claim that they are aesthetic versions of techniques done for physical and mental wellness and coordination, then you're above board.
 

Flying Crane

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Training in a traditional martial art is not about collecting techniques. It is about understanding principles of effective and powerful movement. The techniques are examples of those principles in action, so we practice the techniques in order to develop that skill. More complex combinations like forms create more challenging examples of those principles in motion, and make you work hard to keep the principles in tact under a rapidly changing scenario. This raises the difficulty in training, and is part of the process of developing skill. Forms often do not map out what combat should look like. They give you options and they give you a vision of what is possible, but they do not tell you that you MUST fight like THIS.

The techniques can (and should) be useful on some level, but you dont have to use them directly, once you really understand the principles. Then, you can engage those principles in any way that you want. Fighting can look like anything, including kickboxing. If you are engaging the principles, then yes, you are using your system, regardless of what it looks like.

A martial system has a particular look about it when it is being trained. But it can look like anything when it is being used in a real fight.
 

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This just goes around and around and around. It's a strawman argument.

"Here is the ideal goal. Your TMA can't give you that, therefore it sucks."

"That is not my goal."

"Then you cannot fight."

"I do not train strictly to fight, and you don't understand the principles of TMA enough to criticize it."

"If you do not fight, your TMA sucks."

I'm tired of it. I know how to fight. I've been in more than a couple. I don't need to be told what you think my system lacks. I don't train to fight the way you think I should. I don't even train to fight anymore. I train because I'm on a path that gives me something I value.

I do not need or want your validation that my art meets your requirements. It meets mine. Are we clear?
 

Steve

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Training in a traditional martial art is not about collecting techniques. It is about understanding principles of effective and powerful movement. The techniques are examples of those principles in action, so we practice the techniques in order to develop that skill. More complex combinations like forms create more challenging examples of those principles in motion, and make you work hard to keep the principles in tact under a rapidly changing scenario. This raises the difficulty in training, and is part of the process of developing skill. Forms often do not map out what combat should look like. They give you options and they give you a vision of what is possible, but they do not tell you that you MUST fight like THIS.

The techniques can (and should) be useful on some level, but you dont have to use them directly, once you really understand the principles. Then, you can engage those principles in any way that you want. Fighting can look like anything, including kickboxing. If you are engaging the principles, then yes, you are using your system, regardless of what it looks like.

A martial system has a particular look about it when it is being trained. But it can look like anything when it is being used in a real fight.
The idea behind participating in any tradition is to perpetuate the tradition. Priority number one.

Failing to understand that over arching truth is why many (not all) traditional arts atrophy or suffer from people who think they can fight, but who have no idea what that means.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Training in a traditional martial art is not about collecting techniques. It is about understanding principles of effective and powerful movement. The techniques are examples of those principles in action, so we practice the techniques in order to develop that skill. More complex combinations like forms create more challenging examples of those principles in motion, and make you work hard to keep the principles in tact under a rapidly changing scenario. This raises the difficulty in training, and is part of the process of developing skill. Forms often do not map out what combat should look like. They give you options and they give you a vision of what is possible, but they do not tell you that you MUST fight like THIS.

The techniques can (and should) be useful on some level, but you dont have to use them directly, once you really understand the principles. Then, you can engage those principles in any way that you want. Fighting can look like anything, including kickboxing. If you are engaging the principles, then yes, you are using your system, regardless of what it looks like.

A martial system has a particular look about it when it is being trained. But it can look like anything when it is being used in a real fight.
Even better! This we agree on completely.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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This just goes around and around and around. It's a strawman argument.

"Here is the ideal goal. Your TMA can't give you that, therefore it sucks."

"That is not my goal."

"Then you cannot fight."

"I do not train strictly to fight, and you don't understand the principles of TMA enough to criticize it."

"If you do not fight, your TMA sucks."

I'm tired of it. I know how to fight. I've been in more than a couple. I don't need to be told what you think my system lacks. I don't train to fight the way you think I should. I don't even train to fight anymore. I train because I'm on a path that gives me something I value.

I do not need or want your validation that my art meets your requirements. It meets mine. Are we clear?
Another perfectly articulated post. Well said.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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The idea behind participating in any tradition is to perpetuate the tradition. Priority number one.

Failing to understand that over arching truth is why many (not all) traditional arts atrophy or suffer from people who think they can fight, but who have no idea what that means.
No doubt about it there are a lot of low quality schools out there.
 

jks9199

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In another thread, people mentioned that one may train TMA but fight like kickboxer. If the TMA founder had fighting experience, should the style that he created be more like kickboxing?

For example, if an ancient TMA master fought all his life, in one of his fights, he found out that the roundhouse kick and hook punch worked very well. When he created his TMA system, should he include the roundhouse kick and hook punch into his training?

My logic is the following:

If you fight enough -> you will fight like kickboxer -> the TMA style you create will be like kickboxing.

If you don't fight enough -> you will fight like the way you want to -> the TMA style you create will be like TMA.

What's your opinion on this?
I'd modify that...

If you fight enough in a kingboxing ring under kickboxing rules, you will fight like a kickboxer and your style will look like kickboxing.

If you fight enough in a bullfighting ring, your style will look like a torreador.

The environment shapes the function; so does the purpose or goal. Lately, the whole "does it work in the octagon" thing has led a lot of folks down major rabbit holes and they conflate that environment with practical function. Then they wonder why either TMAs don't work in the ring, or why the ring doesn't work in the real world. There's transfer, but it's important to realize that there are differences, too. That's not to say that TMAs haven't got things to learn from the ring or live training... but it's important to reflect on the purposes of activities and training, rather than focus on the activity itself. I don't bench press to be able to push heavy things out from my chest; the combination of muscles worked transfers to several different funtional events, like catching myself in a fall or throwing a punch.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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The idea behind participating in any tradition is to perpetuate the tradition. Priority number one.

Failing to understand that over arching truth is why many (not all) traditional arts atrophy or suffer from people who think they can fight, but who have no idea what that means.
The system I train in and teach includes several traditional CMA styles. It also includes the jabs, hooks, uppercuts and feints of western boxing. It also includes takedown defense etc. it does not include the traditional weapons training and most forms are not taught for about the first year or more. I focus movement with balance, posture, and coordination. So, while we practice TCMA, My Sigung and Sifu have incorporated these other concepts and movements of western boxing and takedown defense into the system. Sifu Woo was continually evolving the system based on real experience with what works. Gene Lebell was a close friend of his, Im certain that had some effect on the way we do things. I guess what Im trying to say is that each system has merits. I tend to think of them as ingredients. In the end, the recipe is about motion. The practitioner in relationship to himself. Humans all have the same parts that work similarly to one degree or another. I think staying true to the foundations of movement and physics as principles over technique or style prevents stagnation. That said, I dont begin to believe that I necessarily know better that my predecessors. Im careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
 

JowGaWolf

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In another thread, people mentioned that one may train TMA but fight like kickboxer. If the TMA founder had fighting experience, should the style that he created be more like kickboxing?

For example, if an ancient TMA master fought all his life, in one of his fights, he found out that the roundhouse kick and hook punch worked very well. When he created his TMA system, should he include the roundhouse kick and hook punch into his training?

My logic is the following:

If you fight enough -> you will fight like kickboxer -> the TMA style you create will be like kickboxing.

If you don't fight enough -> you will fight like the way you want to -> the TMA style you create will be like TMA.

What's your opinion on this?
I think it's reverse.

If you don't fight enough the style you create will be like kickboxing

If you fight enough the style you create will be like TMA

The only reason I say this because the natural development is to find an unexpected strike to hit your opponent with. Once every one knows the basics they expect to be attack with the basics. The fight will be harder because there's no advantage. In order to get the advantage, you create a new technique to attack with. We actually see this play out in MMA.
 

JowGaWolf

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roundhouse kick
I think this is actually in TMA in the form of an iron broom sweep.

I train this sweep to use the rear and lead leg. When it's done from the lead leg it feels more like a round house kick. When my son and I train this on the heavy bags we raise the sweep.

Here are some sweeps here and you can see hints of that round house motion
 

JowGaWolf

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Training in a traditional martial art is not about collecting techniques.
This is where I see many kung fu practitioners get things wrong. There is a mindset where one's skill is tied to how many forms they know. Similar to how some people tie skill level to black belts. A person who could fight using only the techniques in the beginner form would still be seen as a beginner, simply because he only knows the beginner form.
 
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