View Full Version : Western/Eastern, part 4.

August 25, 2000, 01:00 AM
I've never seen a UFC or a shootfighting match, but I have some doubts as to whether or not the tactics that I've heard succeed in UFC/Shootfighting would be as successful in a street fight.

I'm given to understand that punches and strikes to the throat and groin are barred in UFC/Shootfighting, along with eye rakes, and that kicks to the groin and knee joint are likewise not allowed.

*sigh* There go my favorite targets.

I've been told that my favorite fightstopper --jumping knee strike to the head--is verboten in the UFC/Shootfighting.

Hmm. Offhand, I'd say it's probably a good thing that I've never considered a career in either sport. :D


August 25, 2000, 07:23 AM
I saw a few videos of UFC matches. The first ones were very interesting: virtually no rules, fighting was all out and seemed pretty true to the styles involved. Later tapes introduced new rules, and contestents had figured out how to adapt styles to the particular contest - both factors turned UFC into a series of hold-him-as-long-as-you-can grappling sessions. UFC seems to have lost the original point and is going the way of IPSC. (Understandable, though, as certain defensive acts really are seriously dangerous, and if UFC is to survive it must avoid killing/maiming contestants.)

August 25, 2000, 01:26 PM
Yeah. What bothers me a wee bit is the trend I'm seeing in the martial arts towards: The Western Moo Goo Gai Pan style won 2 out of three bouts in UFC--ergo it is the best art you can learn for self-defense.

Are there any grappling techniques that are forbidden by UFC/Shootfighting rules? It would seem to me that if some percussive techniques are disallowed, but none of the grappling techniques are, wouldn't that tip UFC/Shootfighting towards the grappling?

Just wondering.


August 25, 2000, 05:22 PM
To clear up a few myths about the UFC:

Actually, in the beginning, there were very few rules (no eye gouging and no biting, but groin strikes were allowed along with every other imaginable form of attack). The first four UFCs were really proving grounds for various styles in cage one-on-one format.

People expected tough strikers like Patrick Smith (winner of full-contact Karate Sabaki Challenge) win easily. But, in fact, grapplers like Jiu-Jitsuka, Judoka, Shoot fighters and wrestlers dominated, primarily because once there was a clinch, most strikers had absolutely no clue what to do. Once the fight hit the ground, these grapplers toyed with strikers, many of whom were purportedly "impervious to pain" and quite muscular.

Because of quick knock-outs, chokes and submissions, there were very few injuries (almost no serious injury) unlike, say, boxing. However, SEG (the promoter) advertised the events as "brutal, bloody, no rules combat" and this brought swift political reaction from the media.

Many states immediately banned these matches. Therefore, UFC had to modify its rules to be more "humane" including the use of gloves, no vital point strikes, no "soccer" kicking a man on all fours, no this, no that and ad naseum. In addition, in order to excite the less-than-educated fans, UFC instituted referee interruptions and re-starts (meaning, if there isn't "much action" on the ground, fighters start stand up again).

So, UFC is now a little more than kickboxing with some grappling. Often, because of "no action" rules, there really isn't much time to work a submission patiently. Kickboxers with some ground training (mainly "how to defend until ref stands me up again) are pre-dominating. There are very few knock outs or submissions (boringly enough, most fights end up with a judge's decision).

Basically two thoughts emerged regarding the UFC. One, some folks disavowed all other forms of martial arts training and saw grappling, particularly Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as the God's gift to mankind. Two, some folks wrote the UFC off as being "unrealistic" (as opposed to what, Tae Kwon Do tournaments?) or even staged (a la WWF)!

Having not only seen the UFC, but much more brutal IVC (International Vale Tudo - held in Latin America), Japan Vale Tudo and Pride (much bigger budget and famous - in Japan) among others, I can make the following rebuttals:

First of all, grappling is NOT God's gift to mankind. In a real fight, ability to ward off attackers and escape (on foot, obviously) is paramount. It ain't a "duel" in the real world.

Secondly, however, UFCs did teach many of us a valuable lesson that many fights do indeed end up on the ground (no matter what our preference - since even fights between two strikers often end up on the ground) and that a scientific, systematic AND DYNAMIC (meaning sparring in grappling like boxers sparring in striking) training in throwing/takedowns and ground grappling are INDISPENSABLE tools of self-defense (as much as knowing how to throw elbows and knees realistically).

I found it amusing that people who view Tae Kwon Do tournaments and "full-contact" Karate events as realistic proving grounds for fighting skills often denigrate or disparage UFC type events as being "staged for grapplers." I also found that many who train in static styles (meaning those systems that train "if-you-do-this, I-do-that" like Aikido or various combatives) discounted the UFC by saing, "well, if I am held like this, I would do this" even though they never have put those "death moves" in practice against an actually resisting opponent who is intent on re-shaping their faces.

Ultimately, what UFC has proven is that a person has to be trained in all ranges of combat - kicking, punching, trapping and grappling - and that that training better be dynamic and realistic (not "I counter your punch with ten of my strikes and death touches!").

I hope this clears up things a bit.


For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

August 25, 2000, 06:16 PM
Ah. Thanks, Skorzeny. Like I said, I haven't seen any of the shootfighting or UFC, so I'm basically going off third-hand info.


August 25, 2000, 09:44 PM
Skorzeny said it well as always. Because of the UFC and other mixed martial arts events, many new schools that teach hybrid martial art styles are springing up. Law enforcement and military personell are slowly coming around and learning the benefit of basic grappling positions as taught in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

If you get the chance to learn in one of these studios, I'd highly suggest it. Many of the good instructors are humble and will show you just how different BJJ is than any of the other arts. True BJJ is very graceful, IMO much more graceful than it's Japanese predecessor. It is an awesome martial art and perhaps one of the most effective and easy to learn. Much of class time is spent grappling with other students as opposed to doing one thousand kicks or a kata over and over. I have tried Karate, TKD, Aikido and Judo as far as the traditional martial arts go and I honestly can say that six months of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is easily as effective as 2 years in the other arts. I know this probably sounds very biased, but I tried it and I'm convinced of it's effectiveness.

BTW, in many of the no holds barred events in Brazil, opponents have frequently cheated and do bite, eyegouge and groin strike. I have several videos in which people have had the aforementioned done to them and still come back to use technique and win. It might not be true streetfighting, but it's excellent preparation should you ever be assaulted practically anywhere.

mixedmartialarts.com is perhaps the best online source on the subject that I can think of. Again, I'm not here to say any style is the best, etc. It's like firearms - go with what fits you, but look into all of them.