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The Pred
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 326

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:21 pm    Post subject: I've been thinking... weight classes Reply with quote

Now I've been pondering this for a while. Don't get me wrong I totally understand the need for weight classes in places like UFC and or boxing. However, doesn't that make a fight somewhat unrealistic. I mean I weight about 175. What if I had to defend myself on the street against a 220 pounder. Am I going to say hold it, you weigh to much. No, I'm going to defend myself.

Anyhow, do you think the amount of weight classes should be cut down or do you believe it is necessary.
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Nidan Melbourne
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Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having 4 weight classes is ok for males and females respectively. As it creates a certain level of fair play.

But at the end of the day are you going to compete? If you're not going to train, then it doesn't stop you from training with the heavier, lighter, shorter or taller opponents.

Those who go into MMA tend have the approach of fighting competitively, whereas they may not approach it in the way of learning how to defend themselves.
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Wado Heretic
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Joined: 23 May 2014
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Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The short answer; Competitive sports sink or swim by entertainment value, and the leisure of the sporting commissions.

A longer answer; A reduction in weight classes would lead to less competitive (read as entertaining) fights, and probably would not sit well with the commissions. The introduction of weight classes was one of the factors which lead to greater acceptance of MMA for example. As little as a seven pound difference in weight can make all the difference over a prolonged bout, and when it comes to two fighters of equal skill it is the stronger that will generally win. At the highest level where most fighters have an elite skill level, weight is one of the few factors between fighters.

To be fair, there are catch-weight bouts, which accommodate differences in weight that fall outside of conventional boundaries, in most combat sports. Plus, one can still find open-weight bouts and tournaments in Japan easily enough, and there is always Brazil's Vale Tudo scene.

Anyway; yes, weight control is unrealistic in terms of self-defence training, but alive training which introduces unfair factors is for the dojo, or the gym as the case may be. Combat sports are sports first, and thus should aim to offer fair opportunities to successfully compete to everyone. Weight classes, although not realistic when compared to the realities of self-defence, are just an aspect of fairness.
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The Pred
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great points everyone !
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rules as well as regulations with venues, such as UFC, have their weight classes to appease those commissions and the like per state laws, and the such. The days of early UFC, where there were no weight classes, are gone, and shall never return in my life time.

Realistic?! That, the realistic portion, imho, have never been there because of the rules! In the streets, there are no rules. As long as the rules are there, there will be no realistic outcome, only supposed interpretations of any outcome.

Imho!!



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Lupin1
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are two sides to martial arts-- the combat side, and the sport side (you could also add a third side-- the art side-- encompassing things like kata).

UFC and competitions and weight classes are the sport side. It's not trying to be a realistic brawl. It's a sport just like basketball or tennis.

The combat side to martial arts is usually studied in class and you learn things that would be illegal in a competition.

Competing definitely puts you at an advantage in a fight (you're use to distance, finding openings, keeping your cool, etc) but it's not meant to be an all out "fight".
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Wado Heretic
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Realistic?! That, the realistic portion, imho, have never been there because of the rules! In the streets, there are no rules. As long as the rules are there, there will be no realistic outcome, only supposed interpretations of any outcome.


I think this is a fair point; the rules do protect one from certain tactics, and techniques. If one looks at Pancrase, and those who moved from Pancrase and Hybrid Wrestling, to actual MMA; even the best among them struggled with the issue of positioning to deal with striking on the ground (as gentleman's agreements, and crowd opinion had rendered it de facto illegal at Pancrase's height), and also the fact the restrictions on face punching in Pancrase had left them in the dust with regards to boxing acumen in MMA.

Also the early years of the UFC, and the days of Pride, which as events were essentially Vale Tudo with only the classic courtesy rules; no dirty fighting such as eye gouges, fish hooking, or groin attacks, but otherwise no holds barred, and full contact striking. There were a couple of early UFC where the groin attack rules were relaxed (As Keith Hackney and Dan Severn can attest), but they were in the minority, and when someone tried said tactic it was the exception not the rule.

However, I think the reality is that even combat sports demonstrate who is the better fighter between the competitors. Regardless of rules; it is whom takes the opportunities presented by their opponent's mistakes, and creates their own opportunities to use, and avoids making the most mistakes that will win. This is also true of mutual combat/street fighting; who ever makes best use of their chances will walk away the victor.

Speaking of psychology as well, in the realm of mutual combat people will usually fight "fairly"; that is fight within the realms of society's perceived notion of clean fighting. This can be seen in trends in violence where in the past a clean fight was to put up your fists, and essentially box to the finish, as boxing was the de facto combat sport as known to the public in the west. Now with the advent of MMA, tactics such as tackling or kicking which might once have been seen as "unfair" are now often seen as fair game in mutual combat/street fighting, as MMA is the leading combat sport in terms of popularity. People generally also hold back from striking where they are most afraid to be hit, when fighting cleanly, as the moment you attempt what society considers "dirty" it is essentially open season on those tactics.

Also there is a fundamental difference between self-defence and mutual combat. In self-defence one is often seeking to regain the initiative, as you have been attacked, or to escape combat altogether with minimal harm; where as a street fight is mutually agreed upon. In self-defence you might jump straight to striking the vitals as you may have only milliseconds to judge how to defend yourself, or indeed you might be outnumbered, in a vulnerable position to begin with, or your attacker is armed. There is no pacing, feeling your attacker out, or other elements common to a combat sport bout; it is roughly do or die. In contrast, in mutual combat, although the rules are not concrete, or necessarily existent, the combat is consensual; both sides have agreed to it. Thus both sides will generally follow societal norms regarding their conduct, there will be a concrete starting point to the fight, and excepting extreme cases the combat will usually end with surrender or at worst one party knocked out. Thus street-fighting is somewhat similar to a combat sport in these regards, as one can pace one-self, feel the opponent out, and so on and so forth.

Now, there are differences in weapons and techniques between mutual combat/street fighting and combat sports; a bare-knuckle more readily cuts the face up, and is more easily broken as well, plus clothes can provide handles for grappling techniques which one might not encounter in combat sports outside forms of Jacket Wrestling. Clothes could also be used as a weapon as well; smothering someone with your t-shirt by holding them in a face-lock just as an example. Similarly, if shoes are worn, which is to be expected, they can be used as a weapon in them-selves. Thus in mutual combat/street-fighting there are non-implicit weapons, which might only become a weapon due to necessity or opportunity.

So, to put it in a short fashion; it is all down to taking and creating opportunity. So the underlying formula between winning a free-fight, no matter the rule set (so long as it is a relatively liberal rule set) is no different than winning a mutual combat in other circumstances. However, if the rules are strict, then it does create a maladapted approach to fighting, and that is the danger of rules sets with regards to training for self-defence.
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a reason for weight classes in competition. Mostly for safety reasons. Are their too many? Probably. But in competitions where all (hopefully) of the participants are highly trained, and highly athletic, the weight classes are essential.

Like anything, moderation is a good thing. Always training with someone your same weight can make you stagnant in other areas, like dealing with someone stronger than you, or someone smaller and faster than you. So, it has its advantages and disadvantages.
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MasterPain
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Joined: 26 Oct 2010
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Styles: Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Backyard Kali, Satsui no Hadou

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weight classes keep competition fair and relatively safe, which is a good thing.

Training for self defense- train with big guys, little guys, and people just plain better than you when possible. Train to fight Jason Vorhees.
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guird
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Joined: 21 Jun 2013
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Styles: BJJ, MMA, Gongkwon Yusul

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have pointed out- matches with mismatched weights tend to be dangerous. A lack of weight classes also makes it much more difficult for smaller people to compete at an elite level.

One will generally drill and spar with people of varying sizes during training anyway, and so learn to adapt their approach to some degree.
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