It started with jiu-jitsu and submissions which changed the world of martial arts forever. Next we saw wrestling with it’s double leg takedown and “ground and pound” style dominate the field.
Then, to a degree, came the return of striking with muay thai and boxing leading the way. Add a couple of years of everyone learning the same things, and fighters began to look fairly identical, though with differing levels of skill. Athletic ability came into play.
The shaved head, cauliflower ear, and black tapout shirt years had begun.
Then it started to evolve yet again. Pride saw Chute Boxe honing the science of soccer kicks and stomps. UFC fighters began perfecting the use of the cage to their advantage, for both defense and offense. Takedown defense exploded and created the “sprawl and brawl” style.
With many fighters now able to keep the fight standing, the striking game had to change. MMA style striking started emerging, with its superman punches, huge overhand rights, and an entirely new range and combination strategy, in order to lessen the risk of being taken down.
Simultaneously, jiu-jitsu had to evolve as well. With the gi being gone, grips and handles disappeared and a new, tighter style of submission grappling came forth.
But Eddie Bravo can tell that one better than I.
Now you may very well have a different interpretation of how it all went down and what lessons were learned, but we can all see that the martial arts have evolved greatly over this relatively short period of time.
So the question is, what’s next? What is the next BIG REVELATION that you think will come to pass?
Or do you think that fighting has reached a technical peak, where only athleticism and mental fortitude will separate the winners from the losers? Perhaps it is all coming down to “luck,” judging by the major upsets we are beginning to witness.
I do not think this is the case, and believe the art of fighting still has a while to go before it reaches that point.