Yeah I know we’ve discussed TMA and its place in MMA before, but I have just read a great article in last month’s Fighters Only and I wanted to raise a few new points.
The article raised the basic question of how TMA relates to MMA, and vice versa. The main thrust of the argument is that MMA is simply the nest stage of evolution of martial arts, and has in no way invalidated traditional arts.
Interestingly, Dave Camarillo of Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu argues that he will never see MMA as an art in its own right, and says that seeing it in this way represents a fundamental misunderstanding that holds a martial artist back. I know that is not a popular idea around these parts. Camarillo states that you need to love and train each of the arts, then bring them together, and cites Kenny Florian as an example of this mindset.
Matt Hume seems to agree, and bemoans those who just want to fight, rather than commit to lifelong development as a martial artist. He and Camarillo both point out that professionalism can kill off the respect engendered by TMA training, and replaces it with trash talking brashness.
That said, they argue that MMA has brought to martial arts the full contact lifestyle that it was lacking, and that this is pervading all arts, not killing them off. There’s even a Bruce Lee quote- “if you want to learn to swim, you’ve got to get in the water”. MMA has added heart and a will to suffer to the traditional values of the martial artist.
In conclusion, the idea seems to be that in an ideal world a synthesis will take place, with traditional styles being purged of the fake instructors who can’t really fight, and the traditional values of respect and life long dedication filtering into MMA, which will become a competitive aspect available to all martial artists of all backgrounds. It was a great article, and I would be interested in your thoughts. I for one found it quite inspiring, and I will be making more of an effort to follow the careers of Karo Parisyan, Lyoto Machida and Cung Le (who I had never heard of prior to reading this).