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Rodrigo Medeiros

Favorite Submissions DVDs

 

The Artist vs. the Beast.

     
 

by our editor, Gus Fant.

 
     
 

More topics:

The evolution of martial arts.

The 8 ranges of combat

Martial Arts As Preventive Medicine

 
 

 

In one of our recent articles, we stressed the importance of Mixed Martial Arts events and their role in the evolution of martial arts. We insisted that martial artists should train in a practical and modern way instead of sticking to forms and traditional routines that lead nowhere. Although I believe that MMA events have contributed a lot to martial artists, I must admit that they had some really bad side effects. They made everyone believe that martial arts are all about hitting hard, taking steroids to build huge muscles and destroying their opponents. As far as true martial arts are concerned, that is never the case.
Since the Stone Age, the small and weak man had to face wild beasts that were a lot stronger and deadlier than he. He had to find ways to survive or he was doomed to extinction. Today’s athletes that compete in MMA events often face the same dilemma. In our days, normal heavyweights have to test their abilities against giants like Bob Sapp and Semmy Schilt.
Against such formidable opponents any so called “hard-hitter” cannot survive if he is not backed up by proper technique. These giants will always hit harder and no matter how strong any normal person is, he will make a small mistake and that will be his end.

Semmy Schilt (Photo by Susumu Nagao)


Martial artists often get discouraged when watching MMA events. It seems that these events prove the superiority of brute strength and killer instincts against traditional martial arts techniques. Recently I was watching some Pride FC tapes along with some friends. After ten minutes they were very concerned about my mental health. “Are you crazy”, they said “how can you watch these matches? These people hit people’s heads like maniacs and almost kill them. This is not martial arts”. I tried to explain to them that this is not the case. I do not enjoy watching people getting hurt. I watch these matches because every once and a while, a true martial artist enters the ring and wins against one of these beasts. And just because of the strength of these beasts, those who beat them are true martial artists.

Bob Sapp (Photo by Susumu Nagao)

I learned more by watching Gilbert Yvel beat Semmy Schilt or by watching Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fighting for his life against Bob Sapp than I ever learned in any martial arts classroom. There are people out there like Mirco Cro Cop, Royce Gracie, Minotauro Nogueira and others that prove the superiority of proper technique against brawlers and giants. I mean that if a triangle choke can stop somebody like Mark Coleman or an armbar can stop Bob Sapp, then I will add these techniques to my arsenal because they truly are effective. So are low kicks and knees from the clinch, etc.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Photo by Susumu Nagao)

Strikes, especially to the head, harm people sooner or later. Fighters that depend on their strength, mass and stamina alone do not last long. Only the ones that know how to avoid getting hit last long. It is like bullfighting; no matter how strong the bull, he will finally go down.
The spirit of martial arts applies to all aspects of life. It applies in MMA events and in martial arts training, whether it is done for survival in the rings or on the streets.
We cannot become giants. We have to adjust our training to be able to fight against bigger opponents. We should not be overconfident about our hard shins, strong punches and finishing holds when we have only tested them against opponents that are the same size. Strength is not everything and there are a lot of techniques that have the ability to knock out larger opponents. We must train smarter and not just harder. The idea is to use simple principles like leverage, body mechanics, proper distance and footwork in order to survive against a guy that has a longer reach and mass and can only be compared to a mountain. I will finish this article by quoting Royce Gracie: “The idea of jiu-jitsu is to give the little guy a chance to beat the big guy.”

 

 

More topics:

The evolution of martial arts.

The 8 ranges of combat

Martial Arts As Preventive Medicine

 
     

© 2009 WWW.FIGHTINGMASTER.COM All rights reserved.