For centuries, practitioners of various martial arts have insisted that their versions were the best. However, there was generally no safe way to put a claim to the test. Then the UFC debuted and all of a sudden, fight fans from all over the world got their questions answered. While MMA has transcended the UFC—and was actually alive and well prior to the iconic company—its biggest cultural impact may be the death of traditional martial arts. Where once there were gyms teaching karate, taekwondo and other traditional forms, you probably won’t see any within another decade.
Why Traditional Martial Arts Are More Dangerous than MMA
This is for good reason. Firstly, traditional martial arts can be much more dangerous than MMA. At first glance, it probably doesn’t seem this way. After all, watching people practice aikido can be akin to observing two dancers whereas MMA fighters often train in something referred to as “a cage.”
The problem is what happens outside the gym. Traditional martial arts can give practitioners a false sense of self-confidence. While you should always avoid a real fight, you also don’t want to be overly confident in your abilities when there’s no backing away.
Traditional martial arts may involve some sparring, but there are too many rules to make it realistic. In the real world, you can’t expect an attacker to play fair. MMA has the fewest possible rules, which will prepare you for anything.
Furthermore, MMA allows its practitioners to take their sparring to the absolute limit. While it’s still very safe, you learn to actually hit people. A real fight should not be the first time you experience that feeling. When you do Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling, you actually apply locks and chokes. Again, this is paramount to being victorious during a real fight.
MMA gives people the closest version of an authentic experience in actually fighting the way it happens in real life.
MMA Is Constantly Evolving
Many people believe MMA started with Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a sport famously founded by Helio and Carlos Gracie. Whether or not you agree, it makes sense that BJJ would be given credit.
After all, it was the son of two traditional martial arts: Japanese jiu-jitsu and judo. The Gracie brothers further adapted it as the years went on to absorb various ground fighting techniques and methods for dealing with strikes.
In the 90s, the sport evolved further thanks to the UFC and its expansion into America. This happened again in the 2000s, as American wrestlers began getting in on the action and adding their own influence.
The evolution of BJJ parallels that of MMA. In our sport, there are no hard-and-fast rules about what moves to use when. As Bruce Lee once said, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”
Whereas traditional martial arts get bogged down in dogma, MMA is one that is always growing and changing. This also makes it perfect for athletes of all body types because there is always something that will work for your specific size.
MMA Doesn’t Have Doctrines
While we do teach BJJ classes with the gi, that’s about as far as we ever get into traditional martial arts (there are also some very pragmatic reasons to learn BJJ with the gi).
Otherwise, MMA is a sport much like any other. It has a specific goal and some rules, and the rest is up to you. Unlike a lot of traditional martial arts, you don’t need to accept a specific set of beliefs or agree to live your life a specific way. Just show up, learn and have fun.
If you’ve always wanted to learn martial arts, but never liked what traditional dojos have to offer, come to Alliance and experience MMA for yourself.