Thursday, July 29, 2010

Clouds Of Childishness

In the past, I wrote about the supremacy of Lyoto Machida's karate. He then lost immediately.

Does that mean what I thought was wrong? I say yes and no.

Karate fighters know better how to create length with their kicks. But Shogun is not heavily reliant on his boxing skill; he has tremendous kicks, and was able to outkick Lyoto. Lyoto couldn't use his counters and hand work because he got stopped by Shogun's kicks.

Also, Lyoto has great clinchwork and he has the ability to determine the distance of a fight. However, Shogun has the strongest clinchwork in the light heavyweight division and was able to take that part of Lyoto's game away.

I still believe diversity is the major charm of the sport, but single martial arts can't win in MMA, and I underrated that aspect. But, karate will remain an important skill for effective MMA because of what Lyoto was able to do with his particular skillset. How to adapt a fighter's background skills to MMA is important, but it will remain an interesting theme to watch how these fighters show off their backgrounds.

I do think that there's a huge value to people who understand MMA and can try to predict the sport by evaluating fighters' skills and fundamentals. However, MMA can't be broken down by theory.

For instance, takedowns and judo throws are completely different skills, but their goal is the same: to take the opponent to the ground. There are different ways to take fighters down, knock them out, to submit them. Considering what kinds of skills comes from what martial arts and what foundations can make this sport's discourse much richer. The more exotic skills of fighters can't be judged by the most common analysis, yet, those skills will determine the new generation of fighters and contenders.

People in MMA claim that MMA itself is the almighty fighting skill. However, MMA can't run from other martial arts and their impact. Their effect will change MMA and for the better. MMA charms people with the whole package -- the idea that a fighter has all the skills necessary to win a fight -- so people want to draw the insane conclusion that MMA itself has all the answers about fighting. In order to not sound ridiculous, you need to be conscious where different elements of MMA come from and how they impact the sport.

MMA is notorious for this kind of behavior, though. It's childish, but then again, MMA has always had a immature essence going back to the style versus style days. That kind of argumentative childishness is in all of us, whether we're conscious of it or not.

If you want to watch my childishness, look at my Twitter.

Big thanks to Jordan Breen (from Sherdog) for English and editing.

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