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Author Topic: Your Kung Fu No Good Here (?)  (Read 4772 times)

Snake Blocker

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Your Kung Fu No Good Here (?)
« on: March 18, 2009, 02:14:13 PM »

Your Kung Fu No Good Here (?)
By Snake Blocker

Have you noticed the evolution of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) community in general?  To some people, its evolution has been a good thing, but to others, it has watered down the traditions of the Martial Arts community. It sure has been very profitable for its owners and the fighters.  Top Fighters used to get paid $500 a fight and now Top Fighters see paydays of $100,000-$1,000,000 and growing.  Dana White, the President of the UFC, is the man that made it all happen.  When Dana took over the UFC with the current owners, Frank & Lorenzo Fertitta, billionaires on the new Forbes list, the ratings were down and almost every state refused to issue them state licenses to put on the events.  Senators were publically calling the events barbaric and demoralizing. And at that time, the UFC was barely making it on pay-per-view and audiences were never selling out the seats.   

This was also true for other MMA organizations.  UFC was not on Television and not that many studios taught MMA.  Most anything was allowed in the original conception of the UFC when the Gracie family started it, but with each event, more and more techniques were banned.  The more techniques they took out, the more the state athletic commissions from various states were allowing the events to take place. 

For example: now you can’t knee someone in the head when their on the ground; you can only wear Muay Thai shorts or MMA shorts,  you can’t fish-hook the mouth; you can’t spit at your opponent; you can’t head-butt; you can’t go for the eyes (snake techniques) or eardrums; you can’t attack the groin; you can’t pull hair; you can’t cuss at the opponent to mess with their head (un-sportsman-like); you can’t bite; you can’t pinch in any way; you can’t tiger-claw the face (scratch into the face to tear at it); you can’t attack the back of the head or spine; you can’t do certain straight chokes; you can’t throw the person out of the octagon; you can’t stall on the ground or the referee will stand the fighters up; you can’t force their mouth and nose close at the same time; etc. 

So what they did was, they took out the majority of self-defense techniques that are taught to the Kung Fu practitioners.  They said to the tradition martial arts, “Your Kung Fu No Good Here!”  Once the states were sanctioning the events and the UFC marketing team stepped it up, the money was coming in.  Auditoriums were selling out and the pay-per-view was profiting.  Next, Dana White pitched the UFC events to anyone that would listen to him and finally got Spike TV to air the UFC fights for free. 

Spike TV focuses on the male audience ages 18-35 years old.  A perfect marriage for Spike and the UFC.  Next, Dana and the owners spent 10-15 million on a reality show with UFC fighters, since no one wanted to risk investing in the show.  Spike TV finally picked up the show and the rest is history.  Next, Dana and the owners bought out PRIDE, their Japanese competitor and bought out the fighter’s contracts with it.  They matched up PRIDE champions with UFC champions to unify the world of MMA.  Sounds like a monopoly to me.  PRIDE had fewer rules and was more like the original UFC…and that’s why PRIDE was attracting some fighters with traditional martial arts background. 

We all know that some of the UFC fighters are former steroid users, and that is forbidden in the Kung Fu community.  The word Kung Fu (pronounced Gung Fu in China) means “Physical Man,” “Skill,” or “Skilled Man.” Kung Fu technique is taught to finish your opponent in self-defense as the final goal.  Never to just tap them out or just knock them to the ground and walk away.  But UFC and the MMA community can’t allow deaths in the octagon and it’s a sport like Kickboxing, Boxing, Tae-Kwon-Do, or Judo.  This is how it should be.  It has its place in the Martial Arts community, but it shouldn’t call itself the Ultimate Fighting Championship.  It should call itself the Ultimate Fighting Sport. 

And the MMA community should not call itself a “no-hold-barred” (NHB) fight/event.  It has too many rules for this title.  There are many aspects to the sport that incorporate universal self-defense techniques and like I tell my students, “A kick is a kick and a punch is a punch.”  Every system of fighting has a majority of the same kicks and punches.  “There’s nothing new under the sun,” as King Solomon said.  Now there are a growing number of MMA schools all over the world and it attracts the younger athletics.  I’ve been to several MMA schools and in the majority of the schools, the instructor spends all their time on conditioning and fighting techniques.  I see little, if any, focus on Respect, Integrity, Honor, or teaching the student to be a leader in their community. 

A Kung Fu instructor, not only teaches a student to fight, but they teach them how to balance their life in a positive way.   I’m all for instructors that teach MMA, as long as the instructors aren’t teaching our gang members to become better fighters (which they are) and I’d like to see more discipline at these schools.  I was attending an MMA class at one school last year, and the student (who was on steroids) I was sparring with got frustrated that I kept punching him in the face.  We were sparing at about 50% when he charges at me with 100%.  I could see the anger in his eyes and I simple kept my hands up and defended myself until he stopped and went outside.  The instructor had absolutely no control over his class or his students.  I told the instructor, I would have kicked that student out of my class a long time ago.   A Kung Fu instructor is taught to never teach the art to gang members and criminals.  Bruce Lee (my instructor’s instructor), was the pioneer in Mixed Martial Arts.  He taught students his Jun Fun (Bruce Lee’s Chinese name) Gung Fu or Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist) Concepts. 

The concept was to teach students all ranges of combat and he encouraged them to learn from multiple arts.  Bruce Lee, himself studied Savate (French Kickboxing), Karate, Judo, Wing Chun Gung Fu (5 years), T’ai Chi (from his father), Boxing, Nunchaku, Filipino Sticks, Gymnastics, Dancing, Tae-Kwon-Do, and Fencing from his brother who was a World Champion Fencer.  That’s why you see Bruce Lee in South Paw (right lead) stance when he fights.  Because Bruce Lee continued to develop himself in multiple arts, he could have been a UFC champion for his weight division if it was around at his time.  His speed, agility, and synergy when he fought were superior.  Along with his mindset and competitive spirit, he would have been a world champion. 

Other than strength, speed, and technique…a champion needs the competitive spirit, the heart of a lion (to not quit), and the hunger to do what needs to be done without showing pity.  Bruce Lee had this in him.  For the record, I love the UFC.  I watch it almost every week.  I’ve meet fighters like, Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, BJ Penn, and many others.  I have nothing but respect for these guys.  I fought a few MMA fights in the 80s and early 90s in what was called Pit Fighting back then.  We fought in back yards, in parks, and sometimes on asphalt.  I also fought at a bar when King of the Cage just started. The fights would last until someone gave up or got knocked out.  Looking back the problem with those types of fights was we had no health coverage and you never knew if your opponent had AIDS, HIV, or anything else you could catch.  I came home after one fight and within two day I had 27 warts on my body that I had to get burned off me.  UFC tests their fighters for drugs and things like Hepatitis, HIV, and AIDS.  What UFC has done that is good, is that it opened the eyes to the general public on what are the top arts to train in if you want to be an MMA practitioner. 

If you want to be a UFC champion you need to learn Boxing, Muay Thai, and a Ground Art like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, Roman Grecko Wrestling, or Shoot-Fighting.  Every UFC champion has had to learn techniques from these arts.  On the flip side, a UFC fighter in the street may not fare well against multiple attackers and weapons.  Most street fights don’t end up on the ground and most fights are not one-on-one.  A Kung Fu expert knows how to use weapons (knives, swords, staff, etc.) and is taught to carry weapons on them.  A Kung Fu expert also has been trained to fight multiple opponents.  So I believe that if you had a UFC fighter and a Kung Fu expert that are the same weight and in the same situation on the street with multiple attackers involving knives and/or clubs, I would vote for the Kung Fu expert to do more damage.  After the fight, the Kung Fu Expert will look at the UFC fighter and say, “Your MMA No Good Here!”  I tell my students all the time to remember in a street fight, “If it was a fair fight…you didn’t prepare well enough!”  I also tell them, “Fair is Rare!”   
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 02:20:51 PM by Hock »

Joe Hubbard

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Re: Your Kung Fu No Good Here (?)
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 02:18:03 AM »

Nice article Snake!
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Re: Your Kung Fu No Good Here (?)
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2009, 04:59:35 AM »

Interesting article. I think that the work ethic of the MMA fighters is impressive and that they are better conditioned through hard training and sparring than many others.
On the street this matters as some martial artists have never been in a really hard fight.


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Re: Your Kung Fu No Good Here (?)
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2009, 07:45:05 AM »

Snake Blocker-Excellent review of the status of UFC -I whole hardly agree with what you said about the lack of teaching respect etc in the pro ranks.

These guys study their style full time- its a job with them-plus ego also steps in-

Fortunatelly in a lot of amature schools in neighborhoods around the country the instructors preach safety,respect, treat the others in the school well, as well as helping out in the community

I also agree with your thoughts on "Kung Fu"-

What is most interesting is the fact that many MMA people think that they are
invencable in a streeet fight because they can tap out someone in the ring-they dont train to finish a fight and dont even practise defense against weapons and crazy people

I am home on vacation and trsin in a MMA school that is affiliated with a church-the kids program in BJJ is excellent and they are taught respect to all. The adult classes are made up of soldiers and civilians who treat eadh other respectfully also.

I understand from the forum you are heading overseas-I am in Kuwait-my e  mail is you need assistance in any way contact me if you go through Kuwait
stay safe-Whitewolf (ELB)


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Re: Your Kung Fu No Good Here (?)
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2009, 10:43:32 AM »

Excellent article. Thank you!


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Re: Your Kung Fu No Good Here (?)
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2009, 11:11:58 AM »

 A lot of people may disagree with me. So don't blast me, this is just my opinion.
  To me the evolution of MMA is because basic kicks, strikes,knees/elbow/ and ground work is what works. In the beginning several kung fu guys/ karate guys / tae kwon do/ ninjitsu / sambo/ sumo so on and so on all fought in the UFC. They found out that a lot of the classical stuff just doesn't work. I watched two shoalin -hung gar guys get into it once on the street. Started out good and kung fewy, but by the time it was over all I saw was the basics of all arts. simple kicks, strikes, blocks and they tried to take down in the clinch. I wish I had started my martial training in MMA. It would have cut out allot of time learning stuff that just wont work in the ring or the street . Works great if you fight someone in your own system, but that's it.
   A lot of my friends who are more reality based say that MMA wont work on the streets, because you cant do this or that. But guess what? On the streets the MMA guy can cheat just as much as you can and you have gained nothing. As far as weapons go. Sorry to say but I have taught stick and knife to allot of them in my area and  and most of them have CHLs, and they pack iron just like anyone else can here in good Ole Texas.
  I really believe in my heart that you can take the grandmaster of most traditional system and put him in the ring with a matched MMA fighter , and he will loose. Akido, Mantis kung fu, tiger, dragon, monkey, and all the other animals, just wont cut it. Unless you go to the basics. And That's all MMA fighters focus on. And yes I would allow all the challengers to bite, eye gouge and all that good stuff. They still would loose.
 Even if you had great technique and 30 black belts you still would have to match the MMA fighters strength, endurance and conditioning. Most people would be winded after two minutes into the first round or street fight. Traditional training is great against traditional people. That's why the Marines don't file into battle in a strait line with a flag carrier and a drummer playing Yankee doodle. They had to modernize and addapt. that's were MMA came from, traditional people modernized. Most systems were designed to fight like minded systems and enemies. A kung fu man was not very likely to cross paths with a pissed of spartan or one  of the knights of the round table and same with the other way around.
 But in the end it is all good if you can deffend your self and you in joy doing what you do. Traditional arts have there place, most of it is preserving the past and traditions. I know a hell of a lot of Filipino stuff that I would not do on the streets or ring, but its fun. You just cant kid yourself. If your basic self defence  wont work in the ring with limited rules, then it wont work on the streets with no rules.
 I go by Hocks rule. " Will the Technique work on a football field or is it more suited for a tennis court"


ps. We also must consider the difference between a professional MMA person and just your guy doing it as a after work hobby. Just the same as the Traditional Martial Artist and a hobbyist.
 As far as respect, Ethics and self discipline and all that jazz. That's what parents are for. Not some other teacher or instructor. I got into the Combat Arts to learn how to hurt people. Steven Hayes told me that " Its only a matter of respect and honor, when there are witnesses" A lot of the shotokan and Karate stylists were giving his ninjitsu techniques a bad rap, saying that they were not honorable.  Run wacha brung, or stay home.

« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 01:07:17 PM by redfive »


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Re: Your Kung Fu No Good Here (?)
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2009, 01:19:04 PM »

Nice one Snake!  I think we will see the evolution of MMA instructors toward responsibility and instilling respect in their students.  It will take some time, since we Americans operate differently than most eastern cultures, but somewhere along the line there will be an instructor that goes to prison because he taught felons who used lethal chokes or something. 

Also, we can't expect MMA to evolve in the direction of combatives and RBSD training.  It will be sport driven just like karate, tae kwon do, kick boxing competition.  And if MMA is the end-all method, the bottom line in effectiveness, well...then we have problems.  I disagree that MMA is the most effective survival martial art, I also disagree that kung fu or equivelent are extremely effective for survival.  There is a middle road (or a third road) between these approaches that incorporates the best survival martial art.  And yeah, an MMA guy can eye gouge, etc in the street, but there is a lot of tactics that lead to submissions that are just too risky to use when you are in the real world outside of the safety of the cage.  Likewise, a ton of asian martial arts are just too flamboyant to be effective, no doubt.  I think the CQCG has a good middle road approach with mixed weapons, stand-knee-ground positions, and lethal tactics.  You won't find those training evolutions in the MMA community.   

From 9 to 90, martial arts have something to offer for everybody.  If you want to bang in a cage, perfect your form, survive in combat or the street, or just train for health, you can.  What other lifestyle allows that much flexibility?  We are glad that we can, some places it was illegal to teach or practice any of this stuff.
An armed citizenry fly their colors, an unarmed citizenry wear their colors.


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Re: Your Kung Fu No Good Here (?)
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2009, 05:24:26 AM »

Interesting points.
I think its the duty of every instructor no matter what system to teach their students to be good citizens and  honour and respect to  their students and community.
However there is a time when we have to stand up to bullies and thugs as well.