First of all thanks for the great reply!
How isn't MMA a martial art? And don't give me an answer about semantics. Yes, most fighter's of the future will learn 'MMA' as their main discipline, and the will become 'great' at the style of MMA.
But I see it as a question of semantics.
I don't call it a Martial Art, because there is no such thing as perfection in MMA. Everything what you learn will never be as good as if you spend all your time on one style. A guy who trains MMA, does not have the time to really master this style. He can never compete with a high ADCC Wolrd Champion, or a top level Judoka unless he doesn't take the time for it.
MMA is a mix of all the fighting styles out there.. wich is suited for a Sport in a Cage. It's not a phylosophy for me! It's just something made for a Sport!
You can call it a sport.. but not a Martial Art in my eyes!
First of all nobody does anything perfect. Your'e acting like a Demian Maia is more noble for pursuing Jiu-jitsu to a master's level, when, if you change perspective, an MMA fighter is pushing MMA to a master's level while Maia is being willfully 'imperfect' to that end..
Look at the Condit vs Macdonald fight, is isn't like Condit is a specialist, and that fight was incredible. We are going to be watching an era of fighting where everybody can be good anywhere and no one is really afraid to take a fight in a particular direction.
The thing you said about Maia is very true. He is imperfect as a Mixed Martial Artist. But Maia is a Master in something. He is a master at BJJ! Something wich takes a lot of dedication and will to establish.
The same counts for the sport MMA. It takes a lot of time to become a great MMA fighter. Thats why it is logical to start in an MMA gym, rather then a BJJ school.
MMA is introduced for a Sport!
And thats exactly the thing I am so worried about.
Fighters from the future, will only see the Sport in that Cage. Guys who really wanna compete in that Cage, start training in MMA. They will become great MMA fighters. But the Martial Art and all the beautiful aspects wich come with it.. will be gone. And nobody will or can ever revive this, because they can not keep up with those guys who started as a little child, training only MMA right from the beginning.
The Sport will be still there of course! But doesn't this bother you guys?? That the Martial Art will be gone then?
That we only have a Sport left? But the beauty of the sport will leave us?
When I think about this Iuanes.. I could immediately start crying..
The beautiful beautiful background of guys like Lyoto, Nakamura, Shinya Aoki, Demian Maia even Brock Lesnar will be gone then.. and everybody is just that AN MMA FIGHTER! Nobody has a different background anymore..
nobody will try or bother anymore to demonstrate his background as guys like Lyoto, Shinya, Silva or Akiyama. They will just be MMA fighters who learned everything at ones.. but without a background.
MMA schools are the ones who will destroy the beauty of this Sport in my eyes.
You're making alot of assumptions that haven't been proven or have been proven untrue. Just because you work on alot of areas it doesn't mean you won't be master at one or many areas. Also, over specialization leads to irrelevancy and crystallization of form(like learning a reversal of a reversal for an obscure move, or rehearsal pointless movements). Which is where you get you're idea of 'perfection', which is nonsense.
The new generation of fighter's will be fighting at a younger age because of the popularity of MMA and its viability as a profession, and may even surpass some of the specialists of the older era. Look at GSP, his base was Karate but he developed his takedown game to be one of the best in the world. He is well rounded but elite in one area and his style is slanted in that direction.
This happens because nobody is the same. People are different and will pursue different strengths and styles. You just can't assume that because learning all areas will be necessary in the future, that all the style's and fighter's will be clones. This is a leap.
I understand the worry that Andersons Silva's Muay Thai will become extinct and Demian Maia's ground game will disappear, but these discipline's are ancient and won't die. There will always be students who will want to learn these exclusively, and be able impart the knowledge they learn, or even be willing to demonstrate them in combat. The next era of MMA may not see these types of fighters, but instead be made of a new type of martial artist the like's of which we've never seen. A near master in all disciplines (and maybe an actual master in some), with the fluidity and confidence to transfer into any area with ease, efficiency and purpose.
So while you may miss a Silva vs Maia matchup where 2 two tentative specialists play games with each other, I look forward to the day when 2 elite, well rounded fighters, actively leap into each other's strengths, confident in their own, and demonstrate all aspects of the sport.
Most of this is also true! BJ Penn for example is another great example here maybe even the best.