BJJ in MMA today
My lourney into the martial arts began a very long time ago and like most people that I have spoken to had there first encounter with the concept of a martial art because of the movies. The movies that I watched when I was young were things like Bozanza, and many other westerns which had stars like John Wayne in them, Kung Fu was a film that had a huge influence on my perception of fighting when David Caradine the peace loving wandering monk would defend the wronged in society.
When a man called Bruce Lee came along doing fast punches high kicks and flips, jumping spin kicks and beetingmore than one opponent at a time that I thaught to myself I have to learn to do this, but from who? Well I got into a Karate club because at that time that realy was the only oriental art taught, so I began my training, this has to be better than doing no training at all, I loved it, well I loved it in the first few years, then I wanted to know more and I suppose it’s the same for most young people, patience in the young is mostly un heard of. Well I did learn from some of the masters and other students but I wanted to what Bruce Lee was doing, there always seemed to be the same answer from all the people at the club, keep traing the basics and then move on to the advanced stuff, the advanced stuff never seemed to arive, the white belts did the same as the black belts, it felt as if once you got to a certain level you just seem to stay there repeating the same thing over and over.
Being a teanager I had no idea that to get better at something you have to do often, I just wanted to learn more and more techniques, I wanted to be like Bruce Lee, I wanted to be able to defeat muliple opponents and not break into a sweat whilst doing it, I think that I was fooled by the movies, well this is just part of learning, but at the time I felt hard done by. I left Karate and decided to find a Kung Fu school, I found one and turned up to see the master, he asked if I had done any other martial arts before and I said yes I had trained in Karate for some years, he dismissed it and said well you won’t be doing that stuff here this is a Kung Fu school, Karate is too stiff and no good, I belived what he was saying because I thought if Bruce Lee did Kung Fu and he’s so great then this guy must be great too.
I began my training straight away, there was no special clothing, no Gi just a tee shirt and either bare foot or little slippers and jogging bottoms, fine by me, the training went very well and after learning how to punch and kick Kung Fu style I was on my way, after training with my master for a while he said would I like to go with him to his instructor and learn Wing Chun, ping on with the light bulb, that was what Bruce Lee did, well this is great my excitement went through the roof, I got there and trained with the master of my master, I trained with them all for many, many years.
Bruce Lee and Ip Man
Leaning Wing Chun was amazing I was able to do door work where I could find out if any of this stuff worked in a real life situation, it sort of did but I found I had to improvise a fair bit, there was no way I could use just pure Wing Chun in those situations, well as time moved on there was a new buzz in the air and it was video going round of bare knuckle no holds barred fighting, I managed to get to watch it, wow this is what I had been waiting for, real fights caught on video with no rules, now we can all see what real fighting is about, the first time I watched it I looked at all the fighters and your mind plays tricks, what you imagine will or should happen doesn’t.
Lucky for me that I had done door work so I actually was involved in cofrontaion on a weekly basis, either stopping fights or stopping fighters from attacking me, well when you try to stop a fight the fighters usually turn their attention to the one trying to stop it, me, anyway the fighters all did what they thaught should work and almost all of them ended up on the ground so I suppose if you can fight on the ground that’s all well and good, there was one man in particular that was very impessive and his name was Royce Gracie, he beat them all, big small tall short and stocky, well that was it forget all the other martial arts do Brazillian Ju Jitsu, this was in the 1990’s, so every one from then on does Brazillian Ju Jistu, but just a minute, fast forward to 2016 and where are all the Gracie’s? If Brazillian Ju Jitsu is the best and only art that you need then where are the Gracie family today, they must be the best at Brazillian Ju Jitsu, they invented it.
When I started my martial arts jounrney almost all of the attacks and defence moves were designed to work against either a boxer or a wrestler, so built into the framework of those arts was anti takedown moves, the arts must have been founded on something that worked in the early days but I think that because most people who practice their arts never ever use them in a real or semi real i.e full contact like MMA with minimal rules situation the confidence needed to make it work is lost, so quite wisely but maybe slightly prematurely people were leaving their arts behind and joining the Brazillian Ju JIstu bandwagon, I am not say Brazillian Ju Jitsu is good or bad my point is each and every art has something to offer, and I believe that the reason that the Gracies ruled for a short while is because they were doing the no holds barred type of competitions for genrations.
Now that the other’s have caught up so to speak with the idea of ground fighting the effectiveness of pure Brazillian Ju Jitsu in suffering the same fate that the other martial arts did in the 1990’s up to now. Imagine for example what would have happened if Mke Tyson was in the First UFC fights and he won do you think that now all the fighters would be boxers?
Holly Holm V Ronda Rousey
This is a good example of not jumping on the bandwagon, in this fight Ronda Rousey was the clear favourite to get her girl to the ground and just do what she always does, use her Judo and get her opponent to submit, now up to this point in her carear all looked very good, she was unbeaten and in some eyes unbeatable by any other female fighter on the planet, her ground game is second to none, so beating any standup up fighter is just going to be a walk in the park, wrong Holly Holm moved very well attacking Rousey with good kicks and good punches she even stopped Rousey who was an Olympian with a bronze medal from taking her down, so what went wrong? In my oppinion it proves that there is no one art that is better than another, it proves that stadup is equal to ground fighting in fact it may be slightly better, the reason behind this is that the fighters always start of standing up, so for a ground fighter to win they must first stand up then get you down, the odds would be stacked in favour of the ground fighter against the standup fighter if you could toss a coin to see where the fight should begin.
Royce Gracie v Kazuki Sakuraba
The video above shows the reality of what happens if you can’t get your man down you either end up with a stale mate or the striker dictates where the fight will take place, so the viewers that in the 1990’s believed the hype about Gracie Ju Jitsu are realizing that all arts have some value and Bruce Lee was right when he said let no art be the art, don’t stick to the illusional and believe that you have found the magic formula and then just sit back and do what you have always done, all the “styles” of martial arts when named just puts restrictions on free thought and makes the people who practice them feel that they must have loyalty to one art, martial arts are martial arts and they don’t really belong to anyone, guilt makes fools of us all at times.