Traditional martial artists need to smell the coffee

Please let me qualify this post by saying that I have nothing whatsoever against traditional martial art styles. I spent the first maybe 10-odd years of my long martial arts odessey studying traditional martial arts: originally goju ryu karate, then choy lai fut kungfu, finally wing chun. (I give a special respect to Wing Chun, as it is what I consider one of the main bridges from classical to modern fighting methodology, not to mention my Wing Chun teacher back in LA was one tough mother-fucker!)

My perspective is not that traditional martial arts are without value. However, their value lies primarily in the health benefits and coordination skills they confer, the meditative state one often learns to attain in studying them, aesthetically (as a kind of performance art), and as living records of culture and history.

If one is studying a traditional martial art for these reasons, great! Down the road I will probably resume my own study for the same reasons.

However, I get annoyed when I hear practicioners of a traditional martial art say things like, “Oh, Brazilian jujitsu’s great as a competetive sport, but it’s not for real fighting.” Or worse, having seen how traditional martial arts fare in free competition (the UFC, Pride, King of the Cage) against modern fusion martial arts styles (without exception, they lose!), the traditional guys make excuses: There are too many rules! You can’t bite! You can’t eye-gouge! You can’t headbutt on the ground! It isn’t REAL!!!

This point of view is annoying enough when it’s held in begrudged, harmless isolation back in the various dojos where traditional martial arts teachers have got their students brain-washed into thinking they’re learning real combat skills. But recently, much like those infamous martial artists of old who thought their bodies could be hardened to deflect bullets, these traditional guys have been coming out of the woodwork to test their theories in the real “open market of ideas”.
With essentially the same result – they get hurt!

The most recent case in point was the last TFKC (the no-holds-barred competition bi-annually held at Warner Village). In it, a 58-year-old Taichi Master actually thought he could hold his own against a 30-something full-contact kickboxer/submission grappler. (I can imagine his students, typically brainwashed, saying, “Gee Sifu, why don’t you go in there and teach those heretics a lesson?”

Needless to say, he left in a strecher. It was just sad. Hopefully next time he’ll think before badmouthing Westernized, modernized “external” training methods!

Another instance was a guy who showed up to the last Brazilian jujitsu competition (held at Living Mall), all suited up in a kungfu uniform. Not that a uniform means anything, but the guy had the nerve to insist that he compete at the brown/black belt level! When dutifully warned that these belts were considered elite in jujitsu, he just shrugged. I’m sure his teacher had told him lots of propoganda about how useless these modern, “external” training methods are. (Much like Western medicine: how many times have you heard this one: “Western medicine only treats the symptom. Asian medicine treats the root cause.” But which kind of doctor would you go to if you got cancer?)

I hope the near broken elbow that guy received probably 10 seconds into the match was a wake-up call!

Now I’m sure if anyone bothers to respond to this post, it’ll be something about the unrealistic nature of having those pesky no-biting rules or fighting on mats. Or else it’ll be some moron, telling me, “Well dude, your modern martial art is gonna be pretty useless too - against my gun!”

Actually, these arguments contain basically the same flaw. When I hear the lame “gun” comment about why it’s useless to study martial arts, I always ask, “So where’s your gun now? May I see it? Do you even own one?” If you’re not packing, it’s pretty damn-well useless to you right now, isn’t it? And even if hypothetically you did happen to pick one up, what makes you think you could use it any better than I could? Or that I might not be packing, say, a rocket-launcher? See, martial arts training precludes neither the usage of nor ownership of modern weapons! It does, however, give one the advantage that, should those weapons not be present or fail to function, one can still engage the enemy!

It’s the same with the biting, eye-gouging, scrodum-sack ripping, what have you argument. Does any of those traditional martial artists out there actually bite, eye-gouge, mouth-hook, etc their training partners? Has any of them ever defended against such an attack? Has any of them ever done full-power throws and falls on concrete? Not likely. If so, they wouldn’t be training long. (Even their arts were, at some point, empirical enough to have found that out!) So what’s to make them think that a practicioner of a modern training method (which emphasizes empiricism over mysticism) is going to be any less able to bite, eye-gouge, or whatever nasty attack you can think up…

…while at the same time, employing a method of combat which is constantly evolving through the laboratory of open competition, rather than being stifled under the weight of centuries of cultism and dogma?

In conclusion, I’d like to repeat that I hold a deep-seated love of the traditional martial arts, probably stemming from romanticism and my particular background. I also like chess. However, I wouldn’t support a chess-player in thinking the strategies he learns in the game will help him kick someone’s ass, or protect him from having someone do so to him – particularly if that someone is a hardened veteran of real competition!

The same goes for traditional martial artists.

Nailed it.

Yes. Tai Chi Chuan; sort the technique on mats then progress to concrete; seen it.

i think the problem with TMAs in taiwan is too many “fad teachers”. the ones who actually come out aren’t that good (he who says doesn’t know, he who knows doesn’t say). my elder always tells me that their “gong fu hao kuh sz lien duh bu hao”. by the way, we like boxers and UFC people cause if you can’t stand up to them, might as well stay home. but i will probably go in, maybe 6 months to a year from now. i would prefer point competition because(not saying i’m big stuff) i don’t want to really hit the way, are there weight classifications,levels?you said they had a brown division. i will ask teacher if i can go.

ran the man

I have three broken bones in my wrist that can’t be operated on. I have been on my back more times than a French whore. Welts on my arms from not moving quickly enough. And I’m always hitting the concrete walls (we need a bigger dojo :s )

If what I’m learning ain’t “real” then I don’t know what is.

traditional martial arts are hard. i used to learn shotokan karate. man i took a beating. it’s not easy. i would never call their stuff not real. just that ageuke (upward block) is pretty awesome. i met a japanese guy who could just make my arm fly off in one direction and my whole body was open where he countered right away. and he wasn’t one, two, like the MA mags complain about. it was like one, ee(a 16th beat). if that’s not fighting what is?

I think the problem with the “traditional martial arts” is not the arts in and of themselves, but the unhealthy transformation they took beginning with the occupation of Okinawa by U.S. Marines who spent a 12-month tour of duty there and then came back to the States claiming to be “Grand Masters”. They learned the basics of punching, blocking, and kicking, but weren’t around long eough to learn that “Okinawan karate” (which is also a westernized term) contained all of the grappling, neurological shutdowns, etc. that jujutsu teaches. Sadly, the days of the great “traditional” martial arts like Chojun Miyagi, Chotoku Kyan, Choki Motobu are over. There are very few left like them around … most were killed off in the fighting during World War II. If anyone has ever heard any of the stories of Choki Motobu, I don’t think anyone at UFC could have touched him. He was one mean, tough son-of-a-bitch who could do it all.

As for my personal training (Isshinryu Karate), I long ago realized its shortcoming, hence I further supplemented my training with Qinna so I could be a better grappler, as well as re-exploring what is “buried” in the so-called “traditional martial arts” that were never passed down to those first Marine students on Okinawa – things like kakushite, etc. Basicaly, it comes down to the practitioner and not the style.

BTW, I have a lot of respect for Brazilian Jujutsu, but I don’t think it is the be-all and end-all of martial arts. The “traditional martial arts” that are ragged on nowadays, or that proclaim to be “traditional martial arts” are not.


BTW, I have a lot of respect for Brazilian Jujutsu, but I don’t think it is the be-all and end-all of martial arts.[/quote]

I agree with both parts of this quote.

Whatever form of martial arts one studies, if you learn to defend yourself in real life situations then it is good enough.

Unfortunately (well, maybe fortunately, hehe), people can’t carry firearms in Taiwan. However, back in the States (and in the wonderful state of Florida where I resided that had some of the most lax gun laws in the country), the chance of someone “packing” is not to be taken lightly. I almost always carried a 9mm Makarov (Russian-made, semi-automatic) handgun with me. I was well-trained and licensed. I love the martial arts, and have even published two books about the history of Okinawan martial arts. But I would always choose a gun first and foremost to protect myself and my friends/family. But that’s a moot point in Taiwan, so I guess I have to keep up my training! :laughing:

Not to nit-pick, but one of the major drawbacks of jujutsu is when having to deal with multiple attackers … a situation which is very real here in Taiwan … one-on-one, the “macho Taiwanese” tend to be wimps unless they 1) have a crowbar (easily dealt with by a trained martial artist, whether it’s karate or jujutsu) or 2) a big group of friends. In the latter, and without the assistance of a firearm, I would trust karate much more than jujutsu. Getting tied up on the ground with one guy while his buddies beat the crap out of you with baseball bats isn’t my idea of a fun fight. If you’re a strong striker with a good understanding of vital point strikes (tuite-jutsu), this situation is much more easily dealt with (if you’re willing to injure someone enough and face the potential legal consequences later).

Actually I’m not a practitioner of Brazilian jujustu per se and didn’t mean to make my post sound like an ad for it. I just spoke of it as an example as a modern martial art which places high emphasis on grappling (which anyone who’s ever seen the UFC or Pride knows is crucial in a man to man match) and knows that not static techniques or flashy pre-set forms but frequent and full-strength scrimaging is the key to success.

From what I’ve heard, even the Gracies have their own ‘orthodoxy’ issues and so have not themselves attained the open-mindedness set as an ideal by Bruce Lee in his art.

As for the multiple opponent issue, I have a few opinions about that. One is that, while grappling training cannot prepare one for that experience, neither can any martial art, and any that pretends to is misleading its students, in my opinion.

In my old wing chun class, we used to play multiple-opponent attack games, but I’ve seen the Taiwanese broken-bottle and lead pipe version of that game and trust me IT AINT THE SAME THING! If you’re ever in that situation, you’d better take your best running-the-ball stance and book like hell or you’re gonna be a sorry sucker, case closed.

And what people forget about grappling, if it’s taught realistically, is that one who knows grappling doesn’t necessarily try to force the fight onto the ground. He may USE the ground as a weapon by throwing his opponent onto it (hard)…

However, the point is not that you should study grappling because you want the fight to go onto the ground. The point is that in SO many instances, the fight WILL go onto the ground, whether you want it to or not! (As happened numerous times to non-grapplers in the last TFKC. Also check out the video tape series “Backyard Fight Clubs” for many instances of this.)

This being the case, shouldn’t you at least no what to do in that situation, instead of rolling up into a fetal position? Moreover, he who trains grappling will develop a very strong base, have good sound takedown defence, and will hence be much harder to take down himself.

That’s why in Pride and the UFC you see a lot more striking these days than you did in the past. Because EVERYONE who goes into Pride or the UFC knows grappling now, which is going to make taking the other guy down a lot more work, and not necessarily the big payoff that it used to be when total non-grapplers went in.

Thus we see how, through the galvanizing forge of open competition, martial combat is allowed to evolve naturally. At first, no one knew how to grapple, so the grapplers just took the stand up guys down and creamed them. Then those guys learned how to sprawl, how to scramble, and grapplers began having to learn how to defend against ground-and-pound, and to strike. Now Crocop is even knocking guys out with head kicks! Good for him! If one day someone goes into the UFC and uses a dragon-tail sweep or “fa jing” to propel the guy across the mat, I’ll stand up and cheer!

The moral is not that grappling is superior. No way! Nothing is superior. There are no “ultimate secrets” or “dim mak” or any of that crap. Only hard work, plenty of reps, physical fitness, and lots and lots and lots of time on the mat with a real live partner doing un-predetermined moves against full resistance.

Bruce Lee put it best: 以無限為限 (Use no limitation as your limation.)

is there a website for the bi annual competition at warner you guys talked about? i need to know about the divisions and rules. also it is true that a broken nose can never look like it originally did? i worry about that cause women love me.

The website is I’ve never checked it out myself, but have a look. There are weight divisions and the rules, at least as of last time, are pretty liberal. Elbows to the back of the head and spine are legal, and I think knees are allowed on the ground (which is getting pretty dangerous for my blood!)

There is (or was) also a 40 second stand-up rule. It was funny, actually, because my sifu fought the all-Taiwan San Da champion and got him in a back choke on the ground after popping him in the head a few times. The dude stood up, with my sifu still locked around his neck, thus nullifying the stand up rule, and got choked out! (That’s not to say he wouldn’t have been choked out anyway, but the clock might have saved him had he not stood up.)

My background is Long Fist / Praying Mantis since age 5. At age 17 I was introduced into Olympic style TKD and trained with various Olympians in ROC and USA.

During my high School days I joined a Chinese Youth gang in NYC and had plenty of experience getting into back alley brawls.

One of the strangest match up I’ve ever experienced was during a local TKD tournament. A boxer joined as a competitor (those tournament official will let anybody join as long as they pay). The long and short of it was that I was at a disadvantage once I entered his punching range. And he was a disadvantage because he could not punch my head. However, I was still able to win by roundhousing skip back counter kicks whenever he open himself up with cross punches.

My experience leads me to the conclusion one trains for the environment one is going to fight in. If it is a sport competition one trains to take advantage of the rules.

Just like I don’t expect a street brawler to do well in a UFC match, nor do I see a UFC fighter doing well in a back alley fight.

I can’t remember where I first saw this (a Miltownkid post?). It’s an amusing video about some martial artists who… See for yourself. WMV file lasts just over a minute.

I’ll throw this one in as well from the same site. It’s a real fight on a TV show - some kind of Russian Jerry Springer show perhaps. One hell of a bust up. Obviously, the video depicts extreme violence so some people may find it disturbing.

what is YOUR wooden man?
i get something out of the wooden man practice that i’d like to share with you all. you know, there are a lot of things in this life that we can’t change. we hit up against things that won’t budge. but we go around them. i think our wooden man is the stuff that we can’t change, the stuff that we have to adapt to. i saw some other forums where we’re talking about people making fun of foriegners and foriegners getting beat up for arguing in traffic. i’m more and more realizing that there are some things that we can’t change no matter how hard we try. in fact our attempts to do so are self defeating. martial arts as a cure for what ails society are really worse than the disease itself.
there is talk of traditional MAs not being effective. i have a more bold theory that i’m willing to say out: what if they were never for combat at all? what if they are really just a form of Zen practice meant to lead us to some truth that can only be experienced to be appreciated? if kung fu really came from shaolin, this makes sense to me. the moves in wing chun are nearly ALL from temple ritual.even my english students who are buddhists have told me this. the bong sao with tan roll is done by the priests. yeah it can stop a punch, but was that it’s original meaning?
there is a guy who put forth this theory. i’m not saying he’s exactly right,but it’s food for thought. the fact that TMAs don’t do so well in UFC might be proof of this. i said might.

Some valid posts throughout and Vay made some really good points…

–“First train (martial) spirit, then power, then finally technique”
–“Brocade foot, flower fist”

These are two old martial sayings which were found invariably to be true after centuries (or millennia) of empirical testing, often in brutal life-and-death situations, namely warfare and personal duels. The first talks about first developing “the killing spirit”, in the terminology of Xing-Yi Quan (form and intent boxing), your hair should stand up on end and you should want to rend the adversary’s flesh from his bones and tear out his throat with your teeth, that sort of thing–in other words to be able to consciously and instantly become a raging pyschopath, ‘completely loose your rag’, only with the presence of mind and breadth/depth/speed of awareness and nervous system to direct this intent.

The second talks about true power. Not many have it, fewer still really have it, and fewer still can receive as well as deliver it. How many elite, world-class boxers fight in these things? Why bother? How many elite, world-class martial artists fight in them? There aren’t that many genuine ones around, and if they can really hurt someone with one shot, possible crippling or killing them, why would they fight? What would they have to prove? The Gracies put out challenge advertisements in the newspapers inviting others to fight them, but who were they to merit a fight? wu-de, martial morality and humility go hand in hand with being able to seriously hurt people, and the most humble and moral will be the ones who have seriously hurt someone and feel terrible about doing it, but there was no other choice. Fighting is a last resort if you’re dangerous, even if you’re an evil, sadistic bastard, there is still the law which you’ll have to deal with, not to mention reprisals from their friends and family, bottles, bats, knives, guns, hit and run, it’s just not worth it to protect a fragile ego. Just knocking someone out often enough causes their heads to strike the hard edge of a table or counter before gravity slams them against an ungiving floor. If you’ve never been hit with real fa-jin, there’s really no way to understand that kind of full-body intrinsic power, rattling you all the way down to your bones, like a car wreak. If you’ve never went against a high-dan aikido “heavy”, there’s no way to explain how it suddenly feels like you ran into a wall, literally, right out of no where, and knowing if you had gone at it 100% fully committed, something would be broken or worse, you would now be dead, again it’s that car-wreak feeling, like going full tilt head to head with an equal in american football, that kind of irresistable force impacting on you. People who can do that kind of thing also might like to “play”, but if you come at them hard, there’s almost no way for them not to hurt you. One of my teachers was from Taiwan, and he had two fellow students of his teacher who were both much better than he (southern, anscestral or shaking white crane), one of them went to prison for killing a man who came at him with a knife, and the other was ambushed and killed by a group with clubs and the like in retribution for him injurying one of their number. My teacher’s teacher quit teaching out of despair, and I’m sure that scenario has been repeated quite often throughout the long history of traditional chinese martial arts. Most of what is left (and proliferating) today is a far cry from what it once was, but there has probably never been that many “real-deal” teachers and respective arts, like anything else, a vast majority who want to do their idea of a thing instead of the thing itself, or a long dead thing, going through the motions by rote and totally missing the living essence which was always transcendant of itself in the first place. Traditional Chinese martial arts is an incredibly deep field of study and practice, but most of those who get into them never had the “knack” of fighting in the first place, and if you don’t have the knack, don’t go against someone who has the “knack” in their art.

Sounds nice, but the surviving historical records easily refute that. The idea is that Bodhidharma originally taught a “primitive” form of martial arts to the Shaolin monks as a form of exercise, and to keep them in good shape so that they wouldn’t fall asleep during meditation. While there may be some truth to that, much of Bodhidharma’s exploits and stories from the old Shaolin temple are simply legends. There were books called “Bubishi” (wubeizhi) that purportedly came out of Fujian and made their way to Okinawa (although some may have been written there) in the 18th and 19th centuries. These clearly show the link between combat and the martial arts … and the methods taught therein were far more brutal than what I’ve seen at UFC competitions. Unfortunately, the techniques were not elaborately explained and/or written down in a form of code, so lost in many respects (other than the diagrams and pictures). We also know for a historical fact that “ti” (the precursor to Okinawan “karate”) was used by the retainers of the Okinawan royal court (dudes like Matsumura Sokon). “Ti” and “karate” looked very different, and shows was “modern karate” is missing … the brutal, nasty, vicious stuff which unfortunately began being removed by Itosu when he moved to get the Okinawan martial arts put into the school curriculum on Okinawa, and even moreso later by Funakoshi when in mainland Japan.

While the martial arts may have certain qualities that fit well with zen, they are not, IMO, or based on historical fact, just a form of Buddhist exercise. They were for combat, pure and simple. Usually brutal combat aimed at one purpose and one purpose only – killing your opponent. If you want to get “Zen-like” benefits, study Zen. If you want to learn how to defend yourself, study the martial arts. If you want both, then do both, but do them separately or you’ll just get something watered down.

[quote]My experience leads me to the conclusion one trains for the environment one is going to fight in. If it is a sport competition one trains to take advantage of the rules.

Just like I don’t expect a street brawler to do well in a UFC match, nor do I see a UFC fighter doing well in a back alley fight.

While I do believe that everyone trains for the environment they’ll be fighting in, I think that Pride and the UFC have done the absolute best they can to make their rules as non-inhibitive as possible. No biting, no eye gouging, no mouth hooking… Like I said before, does anyone train those moves? Yeah, maybe you poke the air, but when you spar, do you really poke your training partner’s eyes? Does he poke yours?

That being the case, I don’t see how traditional martial arts help prepare people for a street fight more than MMA training does. To me, the only way to train more realistically than MMA would be to just get into a lot of street fights (which is what my old Wing Chun teacher often did). However, doing that is both seriously dangerous and requires a high level of asshole-ishness, so I guess it comes down to how much your training really means to you. Mine means a lot, but not enough to intentionally risk getting knifed or shot!

Frankly, if one wants to bone up on one’s street-fighting preparedness, I’d say good sound strategy would do you a lot more good than any katas or sticky-hand drills (not that both of those don’t have their uses, of course). For that, I highly recommend a book called ‘The Fence’ by a former British bouncer named George something-or-other. They sell it at Page 1 in Taipei 101, and I think next to my MMA training it’s the most valuable and realistic information I’ve ever received involving the Dao of street-fighting.

As far as that whole ‘My sifu doesn’t participate because he doesn’t want to hurt anyone and he’s so awesome that he couldn’t help but do so if he actually hit them’ – well, I’ve heard that line a lot, but I’ve met a lot of sifus and senseis and though many have been pretty tough, none of them have quite lived up to that – at least when the target was non-static and resisting. And so, while I’d love to believe in that sort of person (much like UFO’s and ghosts), I’ll reserve judgement until I actually meet one.

What I do believe in is sifus who actually scrimage with their students every class. In other words, guys to whom ‘preserving face’ is less important than keeping up their own game. The kind of guys who are happy to be beaten by their students, because it means they’re teaching well.

Imagine the kind of balls it takes,as the head of a martial arts school, to go into a big highly publicized competition like the TFKC. When my sifu did that, he put his reputation on the line for everyone to see. Of course he didn’t want to hurt anyone. What he did want to do was to push to his own training to an even higher level in the hardest and most effective way possible – trial by fire. I wish I saw more sifus and senseis out there doing that, instead of hiding behind 言者不知,知者不言 (‘Those who speak do not know, those who know do not speak.’)

One more thing: earlier I mentioned the guy who wore a Chinese kungfu outfit to the Jujutsu tournament. I spoke a bit dismissively, and I want to apologize for that. Apparently the story I got about the arrogant attitude he had going into the competition was a one-sided exageration from the Jujustu guys. As a matter of fact, the guy apparently has a strong wrestling background as well as 中國摔角 (Chinese wrestling) experience, so my judgement of him was in error.

i got on the website for the warner competition but it’s slow. me and my practice partner were talking about the competiton- those are pretty dangerous rules (elbows to the back of the spine,etc). why no eye pokes? i do that. it’s not fair. i’m little, don’t do weights, and depend on eye pokes. throat pokes too, as well as dirty little groin kicks. how about dick grabs? chair throwing? pepper spray? can i use all my little pussy fighting tricks? my favorite is the bottle of corona to the face followed by the up scoop dick kick. can i use my faux " my crew is coming any minute so scram" look on them? how about my ‘i’m a cop don’t mess with me’ tactic? these pussy tactics are very effective. how about the “gee i’m scared sorry” followed by the turn and slam into the wall with bar stool crash? i think the competition should be set up like a bar room, complete with all the essentials, including big breasted women to distract your attention while I duck down and slam your balls with my fist and run. there should be no cups allowed, because you guys wouldn’t be wearing them while you’re bumpin’ close to that babe at brass monkey.
i also think i should be allowed to carry the little pins that come in new button up shirts should you guys do those wrestling grabs on me.
pussy fu is a very effective fighting art, passed down from one nerd to another. i am the 42nd grandmaster of this sacred art and am accepting students. send 3000NT to my paypal account for a home study course. i’m not trolling. i’m just bored this morning and don’t feel like working point is, if we’re gonna kill each other, let’s not hold back, otherwise point competition with takedowns and choke with tap out is the way to go- kind of karate and judo rules mixed together.

Thanks to sati for writing a logical post. :bravo:

In my environment in this day and age martial arts is just a sport or hobby. Becoming a master of common sense is today’s best form of self defense. Cunning and deceit, is one’s best offense.

Comparing new age MMA guys and martial arts warriors of old is like comparing apples and bananas. Also, it doesn’t make sense comparing different styles. I (for example) will tell you I’m a Taiji practitioner (which sounds really weak), but I know I can lay a beating on 95% of the Taiwanese population and it has nothing to do with Taiji. It’s just because I’m bigger, stronger and have the natural gift of sport.

I might as well brag about how much more superior my soccer techniques are (in a soccer match) are over BJJ techniques. In this day and age it’s only a sport. You have to go looking for trouble or be signed up for tournaments to put your skills to use on a regular basis. People would be better off getting some good knife/gun training or something IMO. I personally wouldn’t go offensive in a fight unless I was intent on killing someone (not likely to happen).

Another thing about old school arts (any of them). The people doing this stuff were going out and killing people (for “good” or “bad”). There really were (are?) guys that could kill a person with one swift move. I would probably compare old school martial arts guys with Navy SEALS. If your saying the old school arts are weaker than the new stuff, I’d have to disagree. The weakness would be in the practitioner, not the art.

And finally, I don’t think you’ll ever see someone on the UFC or Pride that has any kind of internal (you know Chi/Ki/Qi) strength. I feel VERY lucky to have met a teacher that REALLY has it and showed it to me. After having someone make all your rippling (at the time :laughing:) muscles feel totally useless it gives a new respect to “traditional” martial arts. The MMA stuff just doesn’t seem very special to me (even though I like watching). Most of the guys are just talented athletes that chose to be UFC champions instead of Basketball stars.

The people with TRUE martial skill (be it in Jiu Jitsu, Taekwondo, Karate, etc.) are few and far between and WON’T be seen in a tournament.

Something else about teachers that might not be good at fighting. “A good player isn’t necessarily a good coach and a good coach isn’t necessarily a good player.”

Here’s a quote from my Kung Fu teacher’s teacher (from back home, this was from an old battle tested Chinese dude).
“I wouldn’t want to fight a Muay Thai boxer in his prime, but when he gets older he’ll have bad knees.” I’m just saying different arts have different consequences. The chill path is for me :slight_smile:.