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    Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

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    Peter Skillen

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    Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Peter Skillen on Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:02 pm

    I feel the term martial artist is being used in the wrong context when it comes to MMA, after all MMA has now been bastardized into jujitsu with punching, in some cases very good jujitsu and very good punching but is jujitsu with punching a true martial art? I know what you thinking " of course jujitsu is a martial art" (without doubt one of the toughest to master) but my point is, is a person who uses partly learnt Jujitsu with punching a martial artist?

    I really don't get the "Im an Mixed Martial Arts fighter" that everyone is peddling these days because a high percentage of them are not! Whilst I agree that a large percentage of the lads practicing MMA are very good fighters but from what I have seen from most MMA clubs(not all) what they churn out are lads that like rolling around the ring/mat using snippets of partially learnt techniques from jujitsu. Most of these factory processed fighters wouldn't hold a candle to The Old K1 fighters/pride fighters that were martial artists fighting other styles of martial artists at full contact, most of the time with no gloves.(tuff bastards).

    I know and have seen the top end of the MMA lads training and they are without doubt elite athletes with world class fitness, some with fantastic martial arts achievements but they are not who I am getting at here, What I am talking about is the plethora of clubs that have sprung up claiming to teach mixed martial arts as a martial art when what they are really churning out are Fighters (some very good fighters) but not martial artists.

    One question;
    What qualifies a person to be a martial artist?
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    Al Peasland
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    Re: Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Al Peasland on Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:17 pm

    It's a good question Peter

    But what is a Martial Art?

    Should it be something that fits into an existing syllabus of techniques that form a already established martial art?

    So if you take half the techniques from Judo and half from Western Boxing - does that mean you are no longer training in a martial art?

    Is western boxing a martial art?

    Can a martial art be a sport or are they separate things?

    And finally - if someone studying a martial art hasn't mastered or at least learned all of the techniques in that syllabus - does that mean they are not a martial artist yet?

    Just thought I'd throw a few more questions onto the list ;-)
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    Dave Stanswood

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    Re: Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Dave Stanswood on Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:33 am

    I think they are different, i looked at it like this.
    MMA Fighter Similar to a person going to college to learn painting and decorating gaining qualifications using skill as a tool.

    Martial Artist similar to Michaelangelo painting the cistine chapel. Both have paint, brushes etc they are just used for different things.
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    Michael W Wright

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    Re: Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Michael W Wright on Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:42 pm

    For something to be officially defined as art it must serve no functional purpose other than to display itself. In that context, Id say its a fairly accurate description of the vast majority of people in martial arts.

    Id agree that this description doesnt fit with those I have met and trained with in MMA, I would class those who I have trained with as athletes. They think, train and perform in an alive way with everything tested against a resisting opponent. Its not art, but its definitely martial, which for me is far more important. All of that said, the great thing about people in MMA is they couldnt care a less what you call them, they are just on the mat working hard and having fun.

    Personally, I have no desire to be classed as an artist, Im only interested in performance - both in terms of my own development and also delivering a result for those I teach. If I want art (which I dont) then Ill go to the Tate Modern (which I wont).
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    Mick Tully
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    Re: Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Mick Tully on Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:24 am

    Plain common sense Michael...that's what I love about you.
    I think lines get blurred when people think they are are, or becoming something they are not. If you are a pedestrian martial artist/ hobbyist...be truthful to yourself and admit that to yourself. Imo though, Anderson Silva and GSP are exemplary examples of true martial artists and also warrior/scholar/athletes.
    Ps...I'm a hobbyist and enjoy the combination of hard training and hanging with my friends x
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    Dave Stanswood

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    Re: Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Dave Stanswood on Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:12 am

    Some good points there!
    I think it comes down to what the user wants from what he/she is doing. MMA is geared up for one thing normally the fight and everything associated within that chaos. For me i love watching people who are very good at what they do. This is where i see the art as its pleasing to the eye to watch these people operate at a level far outside my own. Honestly i dont see that much difference between the two except the reasoning/motivation behind the technique and the level of science used for training MMA. To often i here MMA guys crticise the traditionalist and vice versa with both parties bathing in the knowledge that what they are doing is better. Better than what? Better for who?
    You only have to look back at most fighting styles/systems to see that they all covered punching kicking and grappling. They probably did not train it like we do today as they could not afford to suffer to much injury as they did not know when there next fight would be. Back then they did not have the luxury of pre fixed dates for fights. So they could not train at a demonic pace all the time it probably was not possible. They had to farm, procreate, live there life, its easy to criticise how other people train but sometimes its wise to ask what they are training for?
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    Mick Tully
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    Re: Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Mick Tully on Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:31 pm

    Now that's a question!
    Start it up Dave!
    Mick x
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    Dave Stanswood

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    Re: Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Dave Stanswood on Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:58 am

    Thanks Mick,
    I will start another topic off of this one it has derailed somewhat sorry! And congratulations on your current accolade, well done mate! Living proof that hard work does pay off.

    Dave
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    Jamie Clubb

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    Re: Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Jamie Clubb on Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:52 pm

    What we have come to define as martial arts is a relatively modern convention.

    Martial arts and philosophy

    I thought this piece might put the discussion in perspective. It was a sequel of sorts to my old article "Martial Academia".

    Dave Turton

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    Re: Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Dave Turton on Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:10 pm

    if we want to start being pedantric and 'nit-picky' then hardly ANY of the arts taught today are actually 'martial'.

    learning to pilot a harrier jump jet is more of a genuine martial art than dodging a katana whilst wearing a hakama!

    perhaps better terms would be 'Combat sports' or arts of personal combat etc.

    MMA is a martial art if using 21st century accepted definitions, but only just
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    Griffin

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    Re: Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Griffin on Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:45 pm

    Well according to the dictionary (Cambridge, not that common Oxford thing) Martial Art is; a sport that is a traditional Japanese or Chinese form of fighting or defending yourself.

    So that would be a no... But if you except the definition of Martial, taken from the same dictionary as being 'war like or combat' then why cant MMA be a martial art? Surely then anything connected to combat is a martial art? Bayonet practise? Hell yeah... Very Happy

    Dave Turton

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    Re: Does an MMA fighter qualify as a martial artist?

    Post by Dave Turton on Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:28 pm

    if you want to be pedantic, then driving a tank is a martial art
    'Martial' meaning "pertaining to War"
    Very very few of the 'martial arts' currently practised around the world are truly 'martial'

    combat arts could also be used, as could combat sports, martial sports etc etc etc.

    its become an acceptable terminology in a similar way to "Gay" now meaning homosexual when up to the 1970's it meant happy.

    whats in a name anyway... you can take this argument and fly with it for ages

    Fencing is now a sport in the Olympics.. it came from sword fighting/duelling, so is that a martial art?

    to me if it involves any form of contact combat its a martial art.

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