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...