New techniques in MMA
I apologize in advance for all the video in this post but I feel that it’s the only way to convey my thoughts.
The sport of MMA is evolving at a dizzying pace with the strong foundation of wrestling, boxing, Judo and Muay Thai, now comes the addition of techniques from other martial arts. If you look at a fighter like Lyoto Machita coming from a Karate background and his unorthodox style you can imagine the possibilities.
In the beginning we saw Karate, Sumo or the Samoan bone breaking art “Lua” Gung Fu, most of these were quickly wiped out by the more competitive disciplines. What I mean by that is; the martial arts that converted into a sport like Wrestling, Kickboxing and Judo reap the benefits of years or centuries/millenniums of trial and error through thousands of actual combat situations. Martial arts like Karate or Gung Fu were designed, as I have said before, often for multiple opponents, based largely on theory and might not be best suited for one-on-one sport fighting. Machita’s win streaks will belie that assumption but you can not deny that he has more skills than Karate! He does rock the traditional Japanese stance but those don’t look like Karate punches and he aint using no Kata on the ground!
A nice example of this is this famous Capoera knockout by Marcus “Lelo” Aurelio of Axe Capoeira in Vancouver when he knocks out Keegan “The Marshall” Marshall at North American Challenge #24 in North Vancouver, BC on April 4th 2009. Marshall is a pretty straight forward kickboxer and in the video you see him watch the first kick fly by which made him flinch and drop his hands then the second kick lands on his chin flush like the cheeks on a red-head skating Lake Ontario!
Edson Barbosa spins around quite a bit for his kicks and backfists, so does Cung Le. Jose Aldo and Jon Jones love the flying knees and land them better than most folks can land a punch.
What ever you do, make sure you get a solid foundation with the basics. There was an article written by Coach Mike Boyle called “There Is a Reason There Is a Box” on strengthcoach.com where he talks about the need for any coach or athlete to start with a good, solid, basic foundation before moving on to specialized movements. Now, granted, he was talking about weightlifting but the same applies to any type of training; before you explore “outside the box” training, you gotta master “the Box”.
Most MMA athletes will have a schedule of rolling Jits, working take-downs and clinch with a wrestling coach and hitting focus mitts and Thai pads along with sparing standup. After the fundamentals are sound, the fighter has to learn the art of putting them all together. We know now how a fighter who is extensively trained in boxing can be thrown off his game by a wrestler shooting in and this is because the human brain can only consciously pay attention to a couple things at once. An MMA competitor has so many things to focus on at one time and it is difficult to train for this. Imagine your opponent brawling it out with you against the cage, then suddenly dropping level to catch a single and finally lifting off to a flying knee to your face. With so many ways to make a mistake and be beaten and yet, be able to pull off a spinning heal kick and actually land it is an amazing feat of mental focus!