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Implications of Developing Methodology and Personal Analysis - Pt 1

Posted 05-15-2010 at 03:26 PM by

Personal Analysis and Methodology
In Mixed Martial Arts there is a growing trend, one that has been on the rise for twenty plus years, and in the case of Bruce Lee, forty plus years(though Bruce Lee’s influence on MMA is greatly debateable, his influence on those of his day is irrefuteable). This trend that has grown to unprecidented levels is that the blending of Martial Arts is not only a good idea, its necessary for the further development of Martial Arts in general. MMA is the embodiment of the truest potential of Martial Arts. It’s the eclectic blending of everything that works , and the disregard of all that does not. This trend has led to some of the most innovative steps and rapid jumps in the long history of Martial Arts dating all the way back to the birth of Kung Fu when buddist monks from India traveled to China and shared their knowledge. But in recent years a change has occurred in MMA that is very different from the great sweeping curvature of its previous development. A great many fighters in the world, from the smallest local shows, to the grandest stage of them all in Las Vegas, have begun rabble-rousing that Mixed Martial Artists should limit themselves to just a few basic arts, these arts being, Muay Thai kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and American Wrestling. I believe this comes from a distorted understanding of the concept of Mixed Martial Arts, and a vigorous willing to compete as quickly as possible. I will not point fingers at any individual who believes any such thing. In this analysis I will point my fingers at myself and direct all of my thoughts at myself and interpret things through my own perception. In this way I can not only develop a better understanding of myself and my aims through Martial Arts, but I can also provide an observation into the psyche in a objective way.

There are eight basic concepts that govern Martial Arts. These concepts have various names however I have selected these specific ones since they, in my mind, most aptly described the situation. They are the following:

Strict(training)-training designed to force the body to become something it is not. Training that weakens the body through forceful exercise in the short term in an attempt to strengthen the body and mind in the long term. This training is designed to align the body with the mind’s interpretation of the the body’s potential. Training that could be considered strict training include but are in no way limited to: hypertrophic weightlifting, power weightlifting, muscular endurance weightlifting, vigorous heavy bag training, shadowboxing, stretching, endurance building cardio, fat burning cardio, and body weight training.

Relaxed(training)-training in the relaxed sense is training designed to maintain the body’s condition while leaving openings for further strict training. This form of training revolves around the idea that by temporarily “coasting” in a sense, the body recovers from long stages of strict training and counteracts the effects of plateauing. Training that is included within the umbrella of relaxed training is as follows: dietary control, vitamin supplementation, stretching, and isometric body training.

Rigid(muscles)-muscles than can be described as rigid are muscles used in a matter accociated with rooting, or balance. Rigid muscles can be aptly explained as the muscles necessary to allow a martial arts practitioner the ability to use other muscles in their prescribed manner. These muscles rely on endurance as well as nerve conduction to perform their duty. Rigid muscles include, but do not limit themselves to: calfs, thighs, shoulders, hamstrings, abdomenals, biceps,and trapezials.

Soft(muscles)-muscles decribed as being soft, in the sense of a martial arts practitioner, are muscles used for a moment bu tin many cases are not relied on to maintain body posture, these muscles generally benefit from explosive training in that they are commonly the muscles relied upon to strike. These muscles rely on proper stability provided by rigid muscles to aptly perform their duty. Muscles that can be labeled soft are, but are not limited to, the following: tricps, thighs, hamstrings, shoulders, forearms, neck, biceps, abdomentals, and glutes.

Long(movements)-long movements are the movements designed to close large amounts of distance. These movements, in the sense of a martial arts practitioner, are those used to close in on an opponent. These movements are relegated in many respects to the purposes of striking from afar as well as hopping in at the opponent in an attempt to catch his opponent with his guard low. These movements rely on explosiveness of, as well as endurance of, the legs to appropriate the reaching motion of long movements. Examples of long movements include but are not limited to: J-steps, hopping, horizontal movement, lead steps, and kicks.

Short(movements)-movements that can be explained as being short are those movements designed not to close range for the engaging of an opponent, they are those transitional movements designed to move from one form of striking to another. These movements require more dexterity and use of nervous reactions in that the user is well within attacking range of their opponent. . Examples of short movements are, but are not limited to: the transitional movement from the range of a roundhouse kick, into the range of a punch , also moving from the range of a straight punch, into the range of a hook punch, elbow or knee.

Powerful(contact)-contact made against an opposing object that is designed to force the target in a differing direction than the object was previously traveling. This kind of contact is associated with the majority of strikes. These attacks against the opponent are designed to counter the opponent to place him/her in a disadvantageous position. The following is included as powerful contact: knees, elbows, kicks with the intention to cause pain, render unconsciousness, or to incapacitate, and interceptive blocks.

Weak(contact)-contact made with an opposing object with the assumption that the contact will redirect the opposing object in a direction that is in the advantage of the user. This kind of contact is used to force the opponent to do as the user wills, to move them across the area of interaction in a way that moves in countance to their personal agenda. Examples of weak contact, though not the full extent of weak contact, are: Jab punches or other varieties of punches designed to redirect the momentum of an opponent, thrust kicks, as well as other varieties of kicks designed to force an opponent into a disadvantageous position, and deflective blocks.

In MMA, there seems to be a lack of distinction between some of the previously enumerated areas, while some seemed overtly ignored. In the case of training, there seemed to be no ditinction between strict and relaxed training in this context. There is a difference between casual and deliberate training, but these two forms, which I hold as fully separate entities, are not recognizeably differentiated in many instances. In the case of muscles, the importance of rigid muscles seems wholly unknown. Its expected that muscles will reply as demanded when they are not properly trained. On the subject of movement, the two areas are in most cases recognized as two fully separate items which are of completely equal import, they’re usually described as long range, medium range, and short range, to discribe the distance from the target one is. My interpretation I feel better takes into account the much more important attributes of the muscles being used and puts less import on interpretting distance by the type of strike necessary. The subject of contact is one where debate is constant, in many cases powerful contact is all that is required to end an encounter in victory. While I conceide this point I recognize that though powerful striking can win an encounter easily, weak striking designed to wear the opponent down has proven that it is equally effective at ending an encounter in victory, though it takes more time and its more likely to cause the user injury. On all of these counts, there is no one perfect selection. Powerful alone does not overcome weaker battering contact, constantly strict brutal training alone does not overcome simpler coasting training. Its all a matter of balancing these eight attributes in the necessary quantities, with the innevitable goal of achieving the perfect medium between power and technique, speed and strength.
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