Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Human behavior at MMA

Regardless of body type, human beings have many common physiological features.
 For example, all people can run faster forward than they can backwards. All people have eyes designed to see a horizontal panorama instead of a large vertical one, making the uppercut the most difficult punch to see.

When a fighter throws a punch, there is a moment when they must bring their hands back to throw another punch. It is at that moment an opponent can take occasion to counter and attack. In this way, basic human behavior defines how to move to attack your opponent, and how you should decide to counter them.

 This is why fighters watch one another and feint, without committing to strikes, to simply gauge their opponent's movements and reactions.

 If you understand that intention, you can watch fights differently. It allows you to understand how fighters use footwork to make an angle to attack, for instance. Certain angles of attack make certain punches easier to throw and land, and you begin to develop a sense of how to track and locate punches.

 Also, in MMA, situations change rapidly. If a circumstance changes -- a fighter gets rocked, or time is running out -- fighters know they need to change their gameplan. That is one of the true joys of MMA. You can see fighters who are competitive, adjusting their gameplans to take the foe out, or, a fighter whose gameplan completely crushed and overwhelms his opponent's.

 MMA gives more freedom than other martial arts, but its governed not just by rules, but how humans move and react to the techniques. Knowing these human behaviors and fighting behaviors shed a new light on combat.

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

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