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LionsDen
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

considering some of the biggest names of karate from some of the earliest days of MMA in general and the UFC in particular were karateka, and karateka continue to fill the ranks of MMA fighters at all levels, then i'd say yes.

over on sherdog theres a thread dedicated to listing and tracking the professional MMA fighters who are karateka, and i believe the initial list is over 200, with like 10 more pages of discussion and new fighters being brought up.

would MMA have grown like it has without karate? yes
would MMA have grown like it has without MT? yes
would MMA have grown like it has without any specific single martial art? yes i believe so.

i think karate deserves to be recognized as an important base martial art for the past and present of MMA.
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LionsDen
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wado Heretic wrote:
Frankly, no, but that is because I subscribe to a philosophy of sport specific training. You should not train in “styles” if you intend to become a competent Free-Fighter under modern Mixed Martial Arts rules: you do training that fits the sport.

With that said, the likes of Lyoto Machida and Stephen Thompson have taken their karate background as a tool to reach the elite levels. In the case of Lyota Machida a championship level. To paraphrase Vinicio Antony, Lyoto Machida’s coach, the advantage of his karate was it allowed him to dictate the way the fight is fought. If he turns the standing phase into a karate fight, then Lyoto has all the experience and elite level ability to win said karate fight: if he fights like a kickboxer against someone that knows kickboxing then it comes down to who is the better kickboxer. There are a lot of great kickboxers in the elite levels of MMA.

Thus, for those with a karate background who want to excel they should use their karate as a foundation to direct the fight as they want. This is what has made a number of those with karate back-grounds effective in MMA. One can argue this is how Chuck Liddell overcame Wanderlei Silva in their incredibly competitive bout. By using a more bladed stance, and fighting from the outside, and moving back and forth often made himself a difficult opponent for more traditional boxers and kickboxers. Even if Chuck Liddell is not a classic karateka, you can see the influence of his karate competition back-ground in how he moved and set up punches.

Outside those examples of making your background in karate work in MMA as a part of your strategy to confound others, and play up your strengths, little in the world of karate translates to the sport specific training you need to do to be competitive in MMA. In traditional karate, we learn to punch and kick from a worst-case scenario perspective for the sake of self-defence. Non-telegraphed movement is important to disguise intent in self-defence because of how conflict begins in civilian contexts. Whereas in a striking sport, knowing when and how to load up for effect is essential. Our kata and their movements are about self-defence, not combat sports involving sophisticated martial arts – the tactics, if not techniques, of both are profoundly different. For those that train for the sports that have emerged from karate: it is either to perform kata well, engage in a form of tag, or bare-knuckle kickboxing. You can take shobu kumite skills as a foundation to training for MMA, but you need to strongly adapt them, and then add on wrestling and submission fighting training. Frankly, I would even have to strongly argue Muay Thai is a better striking skill set than Knock-Down Karate for a transition to MMA.
With that said, I think most fighters and fight coaches know the way to train smart is to train for MMA. Learn to strike for MMA, learn to grapple for MMA. Training in Boxing or Kickboxing will make you good at those sports. Training in jujutsu will make you good at grappling. The reality is taking from those sources of knowledge what is relevant to the sport you are trying to be good at, and training based on relevant knowledge. From that perspective I would argue Boxing and Muay Thai are not essential or vital parts of MMA: knowing how to strike to be competitive in the stand-up is vital.

Speaking to the history though, is a different matter than current perspective, and Boxing and Muay Thai were part of the backgrounds of many early successful fighters who came to the sport with well-rounded skill sets. Those skill sets came to be the foundation of MMA striking, in the same way Brazilian Jujutsu came to define the ground game and wrestling the clinch and shooting aspects of the stand-up phase. However, each of those skill sets has evolved their own MMA variation divisible, if closely related, from their point of origin.

Similarly, karate had a dubious start in the History of MMA. Many early fighters had a karate background, and on paper were credible fighters from their various competitive histories. However, they ended being ineffective in stopping Royce Gracie, and were also remarkably ineffectual and inefficient against each other. Primarily because they had not trained for the sport they now found themselves in: Vale Tudo. They did not know several essential components of free-fighting, and came up against someone that did, and had plenty of experience in it.

It is only years later, as sport specific training has become normalised, and people have brought applicable skills from karate to the cage, have we really seen karate earn back its reputation to an extent. It has been long dismissed as a skill set, and the sport of MMA is no longer a field of different exponents competing against each other, but well-rounded athletes engaging in sport specific training. There are skills from competitive karate that can be used in MMA but it is not fundamental, no.
there are a lot of elite level kickboxers in MMA, but i think there needs to be a caveat to that, because modern KB in japan, and the US, comes from karate, and many of those elite level kickboxers are also karateka who spent years training karate, and chose to test that karate via kickboxing.

Edit
Also to address the sport specific training angle, we’re roughly 30 years into formal MMA’s large scale rise and many MMA gyms are still coaching serious fighters in individual single styles for both striking and grappling, and then combining them, and most fighters still have an individual martial art as a base rather than being ‘pure’ MMA fighters.

It’s my opinion that if training ‘pure’ mma were the best method and route to go, we’d see a lot more of that, especially at the higher levels. It doesn’t seem to be the correct approach because it seems to be better to have an area of expertise that’s extremely strong, either in striking or grappling which is kinda hard if you’re training ‘pure’ mma.

If you’re a jack of all trades master of bone pure mma type, you might be able to out grapple a high level boxer, kickboxer, nak Muay, etc. but will you be strong enough of a grappler to overcome their striking AND the lie take down defenses?
If you’re a jack of all trades you might be able to out strike a high level grappler, but is your striking and takedown defense capable of keeping you on your feet against a high level grappler?
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DarthPenguin
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2022 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LionsDen wrote:
Wado Heretic wrote:
Frankly, no, but that is because I subscribe to a philosophy of sport specific training. You should not train in “styles” if you intend to become a competent Free-Fighter under modern Mixed Martial Arts rules: you do training that fits the sport.

With that said, the likes of Lyoto Machida and Stephen Thompson have taken their karate background as a tool to reach the elite levels. In the case of Lyota Machida a championship level. To paraphrase Vinicio Antony, Lyoto Machida’s coach, the advantage of his karate was it allowed him to dictate the way the fight is fought. If he turns the standing phase into a karate fight, then Lyoto has all the experience and elite level ability to win said karate fight: if he fights like a kickboxer against someone that knows kickboxing then it comes down to who is the better kickboxer. There are a lot of great kickboxers in the elite levels of MMA.

Thus, for those with a karate background who want to excel they should use their karate as a foundation to direct the fight as they want. This is what has made a number of those with karate back-grounds effective in MMA. One can argue this is how Chuck Liddell overcame Wanderlei Silva in their incredibly competitive bout. By using a more bladed stance, and fighting from the outside, and moving back and forth often made himself a difficult opponent for more traditional boxers and kickboxers. Even if Chuck Liddell is not a classic karateka, you can see the influence of his karate competition back-ground in how he moved and set up punches.

Outside those examples of making your background in karate work in MMA as a part of your strategy to confound others, and play up your strengths, little in the world of karate translates to the sport specific training you need to do to be competitive in MMA. In traditional karate, we learn to punch and kick from a worst-case scenario perspective for the sake of self-defence. Non-telegraphed movement is important to disguise intent in self-defence because of how conflict begins in civilian contexts. Whereas in a striking sport, knowing when and how to load up for effect is essential. Our kata and their movements are about self-defence, not combat sports involving sophisticated martial arts – the tactics, if not techniques, of both are profoundly different. For those that train for the sports that have emerged from karate: it is either to perform kata well, engage in a form of tag, or bare-knuckle kickboxing. You can take shobu kumite skills as a foundation to training for MMA, but you need to strongly adapt them, and then add on wrestling and submission fighting training. Frankly, I would even have to strongly argue Muay Thai is a better striking skill set than Knock-Down Karate for a transition to MMA.
With that said, I think most fighters and fight coaches know the way to train smart is to train for MMA. Learn to strike for MMA, learn to grapple for MMA. Training in Boxing or Kickboxing will make you good at those sports. Training in jujutsu will make you good at grappling. The reality is taking from those sources of knowledge what is relevant to the sport you are trying to be good at, and training based on relevant knowledge. From that perspective I would argue Boxing and Muay Thai are not essential or vital parts of MMA: knowing how to strike to be competitive in the stand-up is vital.

Speaking to the history though, is a different matter than current perspective, and Boxing and Muay Thai were part of the backgrounds of many early successful fighters who came to the sport with well-rounded skill sets. Those skill sets came to be the foundation of MMA striking, in the same way Brazilian Jujutsu came to define the ground game and wrestling the clinch and shooting aspects of the stand-up phase. However, each of those skill sets has evolved their own MMA variation divisible, if closely related, from their point of origin.

Similarly, karate had a dubious start in the History of MMA. Many early fighters had a karate background, and on paper were credible fighters from their various competitive histories. However, they ended being ineffective in stopping Royce Gracie, and were also remarkably ineffectual and inefficient against each other. Primarily because they had not trained for the sport they now found themselves in: Vale Tudo. They did not know several essential components of free-fighting, and came up against someone that did, and had plenty of experience in it.

It is only years later, as sport specific training has become normalised, and people have brought applicable skills from karate to the cage, have we really seen karate earn back its reputation to an extent. It has been long dismissed as a skill set, and the sport of MMA is no longer a field of different exponents competing against each other, but well-rounded athletes engaging in sport specific training. There are skills from competitive karate that can be used in MMA but it is not fundamental, no.
there are a lot of elite level kickboxers in MMA, but i think there needs to be a caveat to that, because modern KB in japan, and the US, comes from karate, and many of those elite level kickboxers are also karateka who spent years training karate, and chose to test that karate via kickboxing.

Edit
Also to address the sport specific training angle, we’re roughly 30 years into formal MMA’s large scale rise and many MMA gyms are still coaching serious fighters in individual single styles for both striking and grappling, and then combining them, and most fighters still have an individual martial art as a base rather than being ‘pure’ MMA fighters.

It’s my opinion that if training ‘pure’ mma were the best method and route to go, we’d see a lot more of that, especially at the higher levels. It doesn’t seem to be the correct approach because it seems to be better to have an area of expertise that’s extremely strong, either in striking or grappling which is kinda hard if you’re training ‘pure’ mma.

If you’re a jack of all trades master of bone pure mma type, you might be able to out grapple a high level boxer, kickboxer, nak Muay, etc. but will you be strong enough of a grappler to overcome their striking AND the lie take down defenses?
If you’re a jack of all trades you might be able to out strike a high level grappler, but is your striking and takedown defense capable of keeping you on your feet against a high level grappler?


The example that always comes to my mind when i think of this is Rory MacDonald. When he was coming through there was always a big deal made that he was the first in a new wave of purely mma trained athletes and they would dominate. Didn't work out that way really. Best example of the training separate styles school of thought i can think of is GSP. He was an excellent Kyokushin Karateka. Wanted to improve his ground game and is now a multiple degree BJJ BB under Danaher. Wanted to improve his wrestling and became so dominant at it that most people erroneously think of him as a wrestler who took up mma.

My view has always been that if you learn the art itself in it's "pure" form then you can choose the techniques that work for you to integrate into your personal style. If you, for sake or argument, decide to learn Kyokushin, Greco Roman and BJJ, you can then choose the techniques from each style that you believe complement your style and each other, rather than relying on a coach having the same 'database' of techniques and teaching you them all.

Will be interesting to see how things progress over time and if there does end up being a shift to people who have only ever trained mma. Maybe they will use that as their base and then train in individual disciplines to improve on that aspect - eg go train Sambo to work on leg locks etc
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LionsDen
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2022 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DarthPenguin wrote:
LionsDen wrote:
Wado Heretic wrote:
Frankly, no, but that is because I subscribe to a philosophy of sport specific training. You should not train in “styles” if you intend to become a competent Free-Fighter under modern Mixed Martial Arts rules: you do training that fits the sport.

With that said, the likes of Lyoto Machida and Stephen Thompson have taken their karate background as a tool to reach the elite levels. In the case of Lyota Machida a championship level. To paraphrase Vinicio Antony, Lyoto Machida’s coach, the advantage of his karate was it allowed him to dictate the way the fight is fought. If he turns the standing phase into a karate fight, then Lyoto has all the experience and elite level ability to win said karate fight: if he fights like a kickboxer against someone that knows kickboxing then it comes down to who is the better kickboxer. There are a lot of great kickboxers in the elite levels of MMA.

Thus, for those with a karate background who want to excel they should use their karate as a foundation to direct the fight as they want. This is what has made a number of those with karate back-grounds effective in MMA. One can argue this is how Chuck Liddell overcame Wanderlei Silva in their incredibly competitive bout. By using a more bladed stance, and fighting from the outside, and moving back and forth often made himself a difficult opponent for more traditional boxers and kickboxers. Even if Chuck Liddell is not a classic karateka, you can see the influence of his karate competition back-ground in how he moved and set up punches.

Outside those examples of making your background in karate work in MMA as a part of your strategy to confound others, and play up your strengths, little in the world of karate translates to the sport specific training you need to do to be competitive in MMA. In traditional karate, we learn to punch and kick from a worst-case scenario perspective for the sake of self-defence. Non-telegraphed movement is important to disguise intent in self-defence because of how conflict begins in civilian contexts. Whereas in a striking sport, knowing when and how to load up for effect is essential. Our kata and their movements are about self-defence, not combat sports involving sophisticated martial arts – the tactics, if not techniques, of both are profoundly different. For those that train for the sports that have emerged from karate: it is either to perform kata well, engage in a form of tag, or bare-knuckle kickboxing. You can take shobu kumite skills as a foundation to training for MMA, but you need to strongly adapt them, and then add on wrestling and submission fighting training. Frankly, I would even have to strongly argue Muay Thai is a better striking skill set than Knock-Down Karate for a transition to MMA.
With that said, I think most fighters and fight coaches know the way to train smart is to train for MMA. Learn to strike for MMA, learn to grapple for MMA. Training in Boxing or Kickboxing will make you good at those sports. Training in jujutsu will make you good at grappling. The reality is taking from those sources of knowledge what is relevant to the sport you are trying to be good at, and training based on relevant knowledge. From that perspective I would argue Boxing and Muay Thai are not essential or vital parts of MMA: knowing how to strike to be competitive in the stand-up is vital.

Speaking to the history though, is a different matter than current perspective, and Boxing and Muay Thai were part of the backgrounds of many early successful fighters who came to the sport with well-rounded skill sets. Those skill sets came to be the foundation of MMA striking, in the same way Brazilian Jujutsu came to define the ground game and wrestling the clinch and shooting aspects of the stand-up phase. However, each of those skill sets has evolved their own MMA variation divisible, if closely related, from their point of origin.

Similarly, karate had a dubious start in the History of MMA. Many early fighters had a karate background, and on paper were credible fighters from their various competitive histories. However, they ended being ineffective in stopping Royce Gracie, and were also remarkably ineffectual and inefficient against each other. Primarily because they had not trained for the sport they now found themselves in: Vale Tudo. They did not know several essential components of free-fighting, and came up against someone that did, and had plenty of experience in it.

It is only years later, as sport specific training has become normalised, and people have brought applicable skills from karate to the cage, have we really seen karate earn back its reputation to an extent. It has been long dismissed as a skill set, and the sport of MMA is no longer a field of different exponents competing against each other, but well-rounded athletes engaging in sport specific training. There are skills from competitive karate that can be used in MMA but it is not fundamental, no.
there are a lot of elite level kickboxers in MMA, but i think there needs to be a caveat to that, because modern KB in japan, and the US, comes from karate, and many of those elite level kickboxers are also karateka who spent years training karate, and chose to test that karate via kickboxing.

Edit
Also to address the sport specific training angle, we’re roughly 30 years into formal MMA’s large scale rise and many MMA gyms are still coaching serious fighters in individual single styles for both striking and grappling, and then combining them, and most fighters still have an individual martial art as a base rather than being ‘pure’ MMA fighters.

It’s my opinion that if training ‘pure’ mma were the best method and route to go, we’d see a lot more of that, especially at the higher levels. It doesn’t seem to be the correct approach because it seems to be better to have an area of expertise that’s extremely strong, either in striking or grappling which is kinda hard if you’re training ‘pure’ mma.

If you’re a jack of all trades master of bone pure mma type, you might be able to out grapple a high level boxer, kickboxer, nak Muay, etc. but will you be strong enough of a grappler to overcome their striking AND the lie take down defenses?
If you’re a jack of all trades you might be able to out strike a high level grappler, but is your striking and takedown defense capable of keeping you on your feet against a high level grappler?


The example that always comes to my mind when i think of this is Rory MacDonald. When he was coming through there was always a big deal made that he was the first in a new wave of purely mma trained athletes and they would dominate. Didn't work out that way really. Best example of the training separate styles school of thought i can think of is GSP. He was an excellent Kyokushin Karateka. Wanted to improve his ground game and is now a multiple degree BJJ BB under Danaher. Wanted to improve his wrestling and became so dominant at it that most people erroneously think of him as a wrestler who took up mma.

My view has always been that if you learn the art itself in it's "pure" form then you can choose the techniques that work for you to integrate into your personal style. If you, for sake or argument, decide to learn Kyokushin, Greco Roman and BJJ, you can then choose the techniques from each style that you believe complement your style and each other, rather than relying on a coach having the same 'database' of techniques and teaching you them all.

Will be interesting to see how things progress over time and if there does end up being a shift to people who have only ever trained mma. Maybe they will use that as their base and then train in individual disciplines to improve on that aspect - eg go train Sambo to work on leg locks etc
and said coach likely won’t even train you in all those techniques just the ones they like and worked for them, so the other techniques that may work for you get left out.
I’d also say if the inverse of the current modern trend occurs that it simply supports the idea that specialist training is indeed the best method of training for MMA, and not really a change.
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DarthPenguin
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2022 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely. What the coach chooses to teach is especially relevant i think in an art like bjj which doesn't have a strictly defined syllabus.

I'm 6'4" and about 225lbs (in American measurements :p) and my bjj coach and karate instructor are both about a foot shorteer and probably 50-60lbs lighter. My BJJ coach's preferred techniques will naturally be different to mine (though i think he does a good job of covering a wide range of techniques). For my karate instructor the more rigid syllabus means that at least i get exposed to the required variety of techniques for my grade etc.

I do tend to agree with you though that it is likely the specialist discipline training will win out in the end - it already seems to have done tbh
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LionsDen
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2022 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DarthPenguin wrote:
Definitely. What the coach chooses to teach is especially relevant i think in an art like bjj which doesn't have a strictly defined syllabus.

I'm 6'4" and about 225lbs (in American measurements :p) and my bjj coach and karate instructor are both about a foot shorteer and probably 50-60lbs lighter. My BJJ coach's preferred techniques will naturally be different to mine (though i think he does a good job of covering a wide range of techniques). For my karate instructor the more rigid syllabus means that at least i get exposed to the required variety of techniques for my grade etc.

I do tend to agree with you though that it is likely the specialist discipline training will win out in the end - it already seems to have done tbh
and yet for the next 20 years or more we’ll have people saying that to be a great MMA fighter you need to train wholly and solely for MMA instead of training any specific styles.
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