Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Mysticism and Martial Arts

Martial Arts, to many, is s series of hi-yas, spinning jumping kicks, senseis, mysticism, broken boards and belt progression.

I don't know whos fault it is, but I blame the Japanese for a lot of it. Karate and the traditions associated with it became intertwined with martial arts here in the US. The popularity of Kung Fu action movies hasn't helped. When I try to explain to people the differences between Muay Thai and Karate, I get a lot of glassed over looks. People just don't understand, and many do not want to understand, and that that is fine with me.

With the surging popularity of Mixed Martial Arts, and the UFC in particular, Muay Thai has been thrust into the spotlight a bit. Anderson Silva is probably the worlds best fighter pound for pound right now and hasn't lost a fight in five years. He is an old Muay Thai fighter (or nak muay) who has taken his standup to the next level.

Here is a video of how to do a "teep", also called a foot jab.

Silva in the fight last Saturday, faked low, then teeped Belfort to the grille for the knockout, plain and simple.

But then you get azzholes like this chiming in.

What a load of crap. Stuff like this sets back martial arts decades if people believe it. The secret kick he was perfecting for 40 years - sure it was. Can Seagal even do a kick anymore? And who says a fat asz like Steven Seagal would be training the worlds best MMA fighter? The techniques that Seagal learned are virtually useless in today's MMA world. NOBODY uses Aikido and hardly anyone uses Karate.

What do they use?

Muay Thai and Western Boxing for standup and striking.
Wrestling for transitions.
Jiu Jitsu for ground game.

That is it. Nothing magical, nothing mysterious, just tons and tons and tons of hard work.

Man I would love to spar Seagal. With all of his blackbelts he should by rights kick my butt. But I know what would happen, I would kill this guy because he is fat and out of shape. He really isn't even a good caricature of himself anymore. And when he says crap like in that interview above, it helps nobody but perhaps himself. That is, if you believe him...


knirirr said...

Interesting - that foot jab looks very much like the "coup de pied direct/de pointe" which used to be used in French boxing but is now prohibited in Savate. The only difference would be that the French used the toe of the boot and your technique looks like the ball of the foot is used.

Dan from Madison said...

Correct Milo you would want to use the ball of your foot else you end up with broken toes, which every MT practioner gets while training.

It is, however a very effective kick if you can use the point of your foot while it is covered by a shoe. Actually, the JKD guys in my gym practice a kick like this to the sternum.

Mark said...

nopadon said...

I also find that lots of us in the west go searching for "it" people are looking for the illusion of the old master. I would blame all the old kung fu flixs for that.

Dan from Madison said...

I agree with that Nop, there is way too much hero worship going on. And thanks for stopping by!