What styles contribute to this new XMA craze?

Sylo

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When you look up competitions and what not online. Almost all of them (that I can tell) on a national level have more XMA divisions than traditional, and there are tons of schools teaching it now. But, what style of martial arts do most of these XMA practicioners come from? My first thought would be TKD, as it is the most flashy of all the arts I know of. But, I've seen a few that are rooted in Kenpo, and several different forms of Japanese Karate.
 

celtic_crippler

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Blasphemy!

Kenpo is about what is practical, logical, efficient, and effective.

XMA is more about gymnastics than self defense. It's good for what it is, but don't for a minute think it has anything to do with practical self defense.
 

chinto

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When you look up competitions and what not online. Almost all of them (that I can tell) on a national level have more XMA divisions than traditional, and there are tons of schools teaching it now. But, what style of martial arts do most of these XMA practicioners come from? My first thought would be TKD, as it is the most flashy of all the arts I know of. But, I've seen a few that are rooted in Kenpo, and several different forms of Japanese Karate.

no clue, and well to tell you the truth, what I have seen I am not impressed at all with the 'XMA' stuff at all.
 

Brian S

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When you look up competitions and what not online. Almost all of them (that I can tell) on a national level have more XMA divisions than traditional, and there are tons of schools teaching it now. But, what style of martial arts do most of these XMA practicioners come from? My first thought would be TKD, as it is the most flashy of all the arts I know of. But, I've seen a few that are rooted in Kenpo, and several different forms of Japanese Karate.


ATA Tae Kwon Do.
 

Cirdan

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I always thought xma was founded by escaped circus monkeys who had robbed a toy store....
 
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Sylo

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For the record.

I do not think its anything close to efficient. Its gymnastics more than anything else. I call it "Power Ranger Training". I'm just trying to figure out why all the people you hear about these days in the National level are doing this flippy stuff. Who are the "names" in traditional martial arts competition.

You've got the US Open, The Ocean Nationals, The Battle of Atlanta, etc.
Almost everything I have seen on these is over half XMA. I'm a ITF TKD go, and I want to compete on a national level. But, I'm not learning how to do a quadruple back flip, when there is no such move in my art. I'm not wanting to learn how to be a crouching tiger hidden dragon stuntman.

There's all these kids who have instructional videos out, because they have won all these grand championships and such. Half of them are younger than 16. Look up Casey Marks. She seems to be pretty amazing at flipping around a very lightweight bo staff. She doesn't do any of the flippy stuff though.

I just want to know where I need to go. I've googled til I'm blue in the face, and I can't tell which events are traditional, and which ones are this XMA nonsense. For the record, I do give them credit for the incredible amount of conditioning one has to do to be able to do alot of the stuff they do. But, again.. I can say the same thing about gymnastics which is in no way a martial art in any form or fashion.
 

clfsean

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When you look up competitions and what not online. Almost all of them (that I can tell) on a national level have more XMA divisions than traditional, and there are tons of schools teaching it now. But, what style of martial arts do most of these XMA practicioners come from? My first thought would be TKD, as it is the most flashy of all the arts I know of. But, I've seen a few that are rooted in Kenpo, and several different forms of Japanese Karate.

TV-fu... Power Rangers-jutsu...
 

Blindside

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I am not a fan of the XMA stuff, that said, I'll share an observation my instructor made. As a long time competitor on the local and national circuit he thought that the introduction of the contemporary/XMA events was increasing the level of athleticism of the overall participants in tournament competition. Many of these competitors cross over into traditional events, and if you can flip/trick/whatever for one and a half minutes, most traditional forms aren't going to provide much of an challenge in terms of attribute developement (strength, explosiveness, etc).

Lamont
 
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Sylo

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I am not a fan of the XMA stuff, that said, I'll share an observation my instructor made. As a long time competitor on the local and national circuit he thought that the introduction of the contemporary/XMA events was increasing the level of athleticism of the overall participants in tournament competition. Many of these competitors cross over into traditional events, and if you can flip/trick/whatever for one and a half minutes, most traditional forms aren't going to provide much of an challenge in terms of attribute developement (strength, explosiveness, etc).

Lamont


You hit the nail on head.

so whats a traditionalist to do? I can't compete with that. I'm not gonna learn flips and tricks just to do well in a tournament thats supposed to be based on martial arts ability.
 

Flying Crane

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From what I've seen, XMA has borrowed from capoeira, as well as the perfomance-based Modern Wushu.

I am disappointed to see elements of capoeira in XMA, and I am disappointed in Modern Wushu as a whole, but that's just my opinion. I have zero interest in XMA, and I respect it only in the sense that those guys can be amazing athletes. I just don't like pretending that athleticism automatically equates to martial arts.
 

Flying Crane

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so whats a traditionalist to do? I can't compete with that. I'm not gonna learn flips and tricks just to do well in a tournament thats supposed to be based on martial arts ability.


Then don't. Why would you want to compete against that, if that isn't what you do? You'd be trying to compare apples and oranges.

If you compete at all, compete in traditional competitions, where you are comparing apples and apples. Otherwise, don't compete and don't worry about it.
 

Flying Crane

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Many of these competitors cross over into traditional events, and if you can flip/trick/whatever for one and a half minutes, most traditional forms aren't going to provide much of an challenge in terms of attribute developement (strength, explosiveness, etc).

Lamont


Well, I think I understand what you are getting at, but I want to comment a bit here. What the gymnastic XMA forms will not help you develop is strength, explosiveness, and power that is useful as a martial art. These are different kinds of attributes. You gotta train for what you want it to be for. You will develop strength, explosiveness, etc. in both XMA and traditional arts, but you will only be able to apply it in the context of how you have trained it. I doubt an XMA guy could simply cross over and take a traditional kata and do it with proper power and whatnot, if he hadn't specifically trained for it, and that presents its own difficulty and challenge. He may have all the flash, but I doubt he'd have true martial power and stuff.
 

Kwan Jang

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The vast majority of the XMA competitors DO have a strong traditional base (though I am sure there are some glaring exceptions). The Extreme (XMA) division is but one division on the national open circuit. In other words, they have given these guys their own place in the sport to do what they do. If anyone wants to do traditional or creative/open forms, there are still the divisions for those as well. Creative/open allows a competitor to create their own form and highlight their athletic abilities, but is limited to martial arts techniques and excludes gymnastics. There are no inverted (upside down) maneuvers nor any rotations greater than 360 degrees. Traditional forms of course is going by the traditional forms of the practitioners style.

I see nothing wrong with XMA for the advanced kids and teens as a bonus after they're regular curiculum has been worked hard and is solid. Basically dessert after a well balanced meal. In my school, we have a XPT (extreme performance training: our version of XMA) class that they learn competition weapons (tournament-style kama, nunchaku, bo and broadsword on a three month rotation. Our normal curriculum consists of the FMA's for weapons training.) and these aeriel "tricks".

This is our version of "black belt club" and they pay an extra fee for it. However, they are required to be VERY solid on their basics and curriculum and be an A-B honor roll student to be eligible for this. In other words, they have to be solid on the things that count to have "dessert". It helps motivate them and builds their athletic abilities to higher levels which DO carry over to their regular training. In the same classes, we also give the same students additional work on their grappling, boxing, kickboxing, ect. This is just basically a bonus for the students that you have to chase away at night with a stick to close the doors.

At least 3-4 nights a week, I have a group of teens and young adults that stay after classes and are working on this stuff until (and somtimes after) I am ready to close up and go home. These are usually the same ones though that are the best kickboxers and grapplers in their age groups. They will often switch out in groups alternating between "tricking" and rolling (submission grappling) after class. Also many will work basic drills during down time (resting) from their tricks. Personally, I would prefer to have them spend more time on the curriculum drills, but if this motivates them to excel and they are still keeping up their school grades, then I am all for it. Without it, I really doubt that I would be having such a large group putting in all the extra effort.
 

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