Generally speaking, when people discuss MMA, they talk about the basics: a fighter’s conditioning, mentality, striking or grappling skills.
But these are only the fundamentals. Of course, these things do affect fights, but I’m often dubious of people who think that one fundamental can dictate the outcome of a fight.
One fundamental affects the others, and the relationship between fundamentals differs depending upon the combination.
For instance, a fighter needs good instincts for exchanging strikes. They can’t pause to think and then trade; those two need to happen simultaneously.
Looking at it this way, one begins to understand that having instincts and thinking are two different things, and that both can affect a fight. There is a structure to how the brain works that can’t be ignored.
Similarly, how you think of the game’s fundamentals can change how you view the game.
MMA is, by definition, a fusion of skills from various martial arts. Applying what I said above as a premise, you can see how different people view and talk about MMA differently.
Basically, when new ideas are introduced to MMA, they’re hard for some to recognize or understand. But, in both life and MMA, new ideas are born from old ideas.
In this way, even when I write about MMA that people have never heard of, it’s still easy to understand.
I read books to get new ideas.
There’s no wrong metaphor that can be used to explain MMA.
What I recommend when trying to explain MMA is to apply ideas from other sports.
But importing ideas directly from other sports can be a bad idea, too.
For instance, I thought Marlon Sandro beat Michihiro Omigawa in their 2009 Sengoku fight. However, many Japanese fans, as well as MMA professionals, felt differently, because they thought that Omigawa had tilted the balance by landing several power shots. In their eyes, that was an important factor.
I don’t agree with their view, but I still think that kind of opposing viewpoint is necessary. MMA isn’t boxing. MMA uses smaller gloves, so I think the importance of power shots must be different.
In a bigger concept, I can apply the same explanation to other sports.
In sports, various skills -- such as the physical aspect, technique, strategy -- carry different levels of importance.
As a beginner, the focus is on the physical. As a mature competitor, the latter two gain more importance.
You can reach these ideas without thinking and making fantasy in your mind. I’m really bored with MMA articles that talk about the writer’s fantasy, so here, I write about method.
Big thanks to Chris Nelson (write for Sherdog) for English and editing.