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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 484
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having watched UFC 1 in its entirety a couple of times I came to this conclusion:

The only two people who knew what they were doing in a Free-Fight were Rickson Gracie and Ken Shamrock. However, there was only one man who knew what he was doing in a Vale Tudo Match, and the UFC was a Vale Tudo Promotion until roughly 1998, and that man was Royce Gracie. He was conditioned and prepared for Vale Tudo and that is why he beat everyone until everyone else realised what they game was.

Now, with that said, I do think that they chose opponents that were credible to the lay-person but were out of their depth in Vale Tudo.

Zane Frazier: Kick-Boxer with a middling record after going Professional.
Taylor Wily: Retired from Sumo in the lower end of the third division.
Art Jimmerson: Was an international level boxer but lost to world level competitors.
Patrick Smith: Sabaki-Challenge Winner and Kick-Boxer with poor international record.
Gerard Gordeau: World Savate Champion and National Kick-Boxing Champion.

The only credible Grappler was Ken Shamrock, and the Gracie's believed that Pancrase was Worked like the UWF and other shoot promotions at the time. There were works in Pancrase, but it was largely legitimate.

However, the majority of people believed that Kick-Boxers and Boxers were the best fighters around as that was the professional fighting culture in the US at the time. Most people were also smart to the fact wrestling was worked, but most were also fairly confident that pro-wrestlers could fight if they needed to.

The real lesson of UFC 1, and what followed, is that boxing and kick-boxing are sports with specific rules that differentiate them from Vale Tudo and Free-Fighting. And that if you want to compete in a sport you have to train for that sport. The only people doing that at the time were in Brazil, and many of the best among them happened to be part of the Gracie Family.

Now, with the above said, I do not think the UFC really hurt Karate's popularity or credibility. I think it hurt the credibility of anyone who was not doing Brazilian Jujutsu for a while. People saw Royce and Rickson winning these no-holds barred tournaments and that is excellent marketing for a systematic approach to fighting.

I think karate is making a come back of sorts. There is no denying the nadir many traditional martial arts experienced in the late 90s and early millennia due to the rise of Mixed Martial Arts and the explosion of BJJ and Muay Thai across the world. After people like Lyoto Machida and Stephen Thompson showed how to use elements of sport karate in MMA did set the ground work for stuff like Karate Combat. I also think the Karate Youtube scene is also increasing the visibility of practical karate, and so more people are seeing Karate that works rather what became the self-parody of McDojo in popular culture. Then there is also Cobra Kai raising the profile of the art again. Karate, as already stated, has consistently remained the most popular art in the world. Thus, it never really went away, but there is no denying it has felt a bit like a dark age compared to the glories of the 70s and 80s. Though, I say that as someone who has only been around during this so-called dark age, so I can only judge by what people have said it was like prior to the 90s.
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Himokiri Karate
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 379

Styles: Boxing, Korean Karate

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wado Heretic wrote:
Having watched UFC 1 in its entirety a couple of times I came to this conclusion:

The only two people who knew what they were doing in a Free-Fight were Rickson Gracie and Ken Shamrock. However, there was only one man who knew what he was doing in a Vale Tudo Match, and the UFC was a Vale Tudo Promotion until roughly 1998, and that man was Royce Gracie. He was conditioned and prepared for Vale Tudo and that is why he beat everyone until everyone else realised what they game was.

Now, with that said, I do think that they chose opponents that were credible to the lay-person but were out of their depth in Vale Tudo.

Zane Frazier: Kick-Boxer with a middling record after going Professional.
Taylor Wily: Retired from Sumo in the lower end of the third division.
Art Jimmerson: Was an international level boxer but lost to world level competitors.
Patrick Smith: Sabaki-Challenge Winner and Kick-Boxer with poor international record.
Gerard Gordeau: World Savate Champion and National Kick-Boxing Champion.

The only credible Grappler was Ken Shamrock, and the Gracie's believed that Pancrase was Worked like the UWF and other shoot promotions at the time. There were works in Pancrase, but it was largely legitimate.

However, the majority of people believed that Kick-Boxers and Boxers were the best fighters around as that was the professional fighting culture in the US at the time. Most people were also smart to the fact wrestling was worked, but most were also fairly confident that pro-wrestlers could fight if they needed to.

The real lesson of UFC 1, and what followed, is that boxing and kick-boxing are sports with specific rules that differentiate them from Vale Tudo and Free-Fighting. And that if you want to compete in a sport you have to train for that sport. The only people doing that at the time were in Brazil, and many of the best among them happened to be part of the Gracie Family.

Now, with the above said, I do not think the UFC really hurt Karate's popularity or credibility. I think it hurt the credibility of anyone who was not doing Brazilian Jujutsu for a while. People saw Royce and Rickson winning these no-holds barred tournaments and that is excellent marketing for a systematic approach to fighting.

I think karate is making a come back of sorts. There is no denying the nadir many traditional martial arts experienced in the late 90s and early millennia due to the rise of Mixed Martial Arts and the explosion of BJJ and Muay Thai across the world. After people like Lyoto Machida and Stephen Thompson showed how to use elements of sport karate in MMA did set the ground work for stuff like Karate Combat. I also think the Karate Youtube scene is also increasing the visibility of practical karate, and so more people are seeing Karate that works rather what became the self-parody of McDojo in popular culture. Then there is also Cobra Kai raising the profile of the art again. Karate, as already stated, has consistently remained the most popular art in the world. Thus, it never really went away, but there is no denying it has felt a bit like a dark age compared to the glories of the 70s and 80s. Though, I say that as someone who has only been around during this so-called dark age, so I can only judge by what people have said it was like prior to the 90s.


Ken Shamrock had a fall from grace. I am not going to get in to details but Google and peoples experience of approaching him were very unpleasant. Gracies are doing good but the news breaking story the Gracies and their saga with Rufino Do santos which was pretty dark and a huge deal did have an effect. Also one major problem is, not cleaning mats= getting staff infection which= losing tons of students. There was a UFC fight with Womens fighting in which one of the female fighters was caught in a submission but she was able to escape from it using a poke in the eye. Most people were horrified but others questioned the effectiveness of grappling outside of sporting arenas.


This brings us to karate. In karate, you train your fingers, toes, palms, back of the hand, forearms, elbows, knees and etc.. That and the nature of karate is one that allows for improvement in solo training. It has many colorful and cool variation and you can become very good without risking injury or staff infection. Its friendly for folks who are germophobic and do not enjoy the ground. While sometimes taboo, you can also come up with your style of karate or ideas which will be challenged but its also very exciting to have your thoughts, your creativity manifest in your karate. The training can be very fun for youngsters if it is also taekwondo/Korean karate based.


As you mentioned, cobra kai makes a difference, at the dojo/dojang I train at, my teacher tells me that every cobra kai season brings new students through the door. Not everyone sticks with it but many try it for sometime before novelty wears off. I believe the karate nerd is doing great as well as well as sensei Andrade and Sensei Rick Hotton who are really growing karate on YouTube. Hopefully someday I too can get there as well in 5 years or so.
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29324
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2022 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RW wrote:
bushido_man96 wrote:
I don't think it was that rigged. Yes, it was their tournament, but they Gracies had been doing challenge matches for some quite some time before these tournaments started. There were plenty of good fighters in the tournaments, and I don't think any highly graded or skilled Karatekas being brought into the tournament would have changed any of the outcomes.


I feel part of the issue is that few people were aware of BJJ-style grappling at that point in time. Everybody could recognize a punch or a kick, but a kimura or heel hook? Not so much.

Imagine that there were some alternate dimension where everybody grew up seeing BJJ instead of professional boxing and the cool movies in hollywood displayed wrestlers instead of karateka or kung fu guys. Schoolyard fights would consist on guys wrestling each other like kids do instead of flailing their arms trying to punch each other in the nose.

Then suddenly there is an "ultimate fighter" tournament where this guy is doing this wild, innovative thing which consists of closing his fist and thrusting it into people's faces or using his foot as some sort of stick to kick people with... he'd have had the same success the gracies had in UFC1.


I'm not sure that holds water. Grappling has been existing in cultures for many years, and even the ancient Olypiads had separate boxing, wrestling, and pankration events. Of the those three, Pankration was held in the highest regard.

Lots of people spent lots of time honing their skills in stand-up combat for lots of years, but when running into even a middling level grappler, the stand-up skills can be mitigated when going to the ground. It would be nice to see your reversed scenario have worked, but in the end, I don't think it would have changed a thing.
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DarthPenguin
Orange Belt
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Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 128
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2022 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of the high level ufc fighters also had their initial exposure to martial arts via a traditional martial art such as Karate or TKD and then subsequently added more skills.

I remember when Rory MacDonald was coming up through the ranks in the UFC they kept talking about him as the first of the new breed of fighters that had solely trained in mma all their life and not transitioned across. They kept saying that it would be the wave of the future but it doesn't seem to have been.

Look at the top fighters now. Most had a background in some "defined style" rather than just mma. Lots of them are black belts in karate and/or tkd. A lot of the grapplers are bjj black belts and also judo black belts etc.

I think people used to keep their background quieter though for some kind of "cool factor". They would talk about their BJJ BB but not other styles etc but that is now changing. For example Robert Whittaker. Excellent fighter, but for years they didn't really mention his karate bb, now they mention it a lot.

I think the success that MacGregor had using his slightly unorthodox striking, as well as that of Machida made it cool to talk about again. (MacGregor seems to have lost a step in his stand up since he switched to a more Thai style).

Going back a few years the only fighters i can think of (i am likely missing a couple) that actively mentioned their karate background were GSP and Machida. Now quite a few more do.

As someone mentioned above the slightly unorthodox style of striking, compared to the predominant thai style, might just be an advantage to some strikers and throw off their opponents timing. Might just be that people were not confident to try these techniques until they had seen someone else have success with them - think how many more calf kicks are seen now etc.
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crash
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Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 143

Styles: karate,

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2022 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

karate saw its height in the 80's, a lot of us were there, the tournament scene was great, dojo's were packed. publicity and media pushed it along. ( for any of you who may have been into sport karate, remember getting your names in the latest issue of Karate illistrated for tournament wins??) the PKA was started and kickboxing became a recognized event. it began to fall out of focus at the time that MMA was coming up. is it making a comeback with the media and such shows as Kobra kai now, maybe, but karate is its worst enemy. wrestling, judo, boxing, have always been around, i wrestled in junior high school before i started karate. but then karate was still focused on karate, not playing catch-up and having to include a little of everything just to try to appeal to everyone. anyone well trained in most martial arts can protect themselves from a common street fight or bully. its been proven over and over. you dont have to be trained in every discipline to protect yourself, most conflicts you will ever face isnt going to be against a UFC trained opponent or professional boxer, but that is what most dojo's think now. so they add this class and that class that they really arent even qualified to train to begin with....lol....thats where the whole "mcdojo" term originated. i havent been on the tournament scene in a very long time now, dous it still even exist? i know a few big ones are still around but is it even popular anymore with todays martial artists. karate needs to focus on its roots and what made it great in its hayday, forget about competing/ riding the coattails of professional groups such as boxing and mma and return to a stand alone sport/activity/discipline and re-form itself to what it should be all along. then it could make a comeback and be what it was at its biggest time.
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Tyler
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Joined: 16 Mar 2022
Posts: 43
Location: Narita,Japan
Styles: Shorin-Ryu

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2022 3:34 am    Post subject: Karate is making a come back especially with cobra Kai (lol) Reply with quote

Karate is definitely making a comeback as many Martial arts come from Japan and Cobra Kai is popular on TV.....even though they are actors and not very skilled in Karate. People are getting interested in more Traditional philosphy along with Weapon Training.

Lets face it not only Karate but, Also Aikido, Jujitsu,Kendo,Aiedo Sumo,Kobudo, karate etc. came from Japan while either being influenced by China or The gracies enhancing the techniques of Brazilian Ju jitsu.

Karate is definitely making a comeback
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aurik
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 267
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2022 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DarthPenguin wrote:
A lot of the high level ufc fighters also had their initial exposure to martial arts via a traditional martial art such as Karate or TKD and then subsequently added more skills.


Awhile back, our CI sent us some videos of our kata by Natan Levy, who started out in Pangai-noon kung fu, later Uechi Ryu (he currently holds a 3rd degree). I'm not sure how many other UFC fighters started out in Uechi Ryu, but it was pretty cool to see.
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DarthPenguin
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Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 128
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crash wrote:
karate saw its height in the 80's, a lot of us were there, the tournament scene was great, dojo's were packed. publicity and media pushed it along. ( for any of you who may have been into sport karate, remember getting your names in the latest issue of Karate illistrated for tournament wins??) the PKA was started and kickboxing became a recognized event. it began to fall out of focus at the time that MMA was coming up. is it making a comeback with the media and such shows as Kobra kai now, maybe, but karate is its worst enemy. wrestling, judo, boxing, have always been around, i wrestled in junior high school before i started karate. but then karate was still focused on karate, not playing catch-up and having to include a little of everything just to try to appeal to everyone. anyone well trained in most martial arts can protect themselves from a common street fight or bully. its been proven over and over. you dont have to be trained in every discipline to protect yourself, most conflicts you will ever face isnt going to be against a UFC trained opponent or professional boxer, but that is what most dojo's think now. so they add this class and that class that they really arent even qualified to train to begin with....lol....thats where the whole "mcdojo" term originated. i havent been on the tournament scene in a very long time now, dous it still even exist? i know a few big ones are still around but is it even popular anymore with todays martial artists. karate needs to focus on its roots and what made it great in its hayday, forget about competing/ riding the coattails of professional groups such as boxing and mma and return to a stand alone sport/activity/discipline and re-form itself to what it should be all along. then it could make a comeback and be what it was at its biggest time.


I've never understood what is wrong with having distinct styles that focus on different areas of combat - current opinion seems to be that everything needs to include everything.

I always quite liked the approach that GSP (i think it is uncontroversial to rank him as a top 5 all time MMA fighter at worst) took to training - whereby he learnt the art itself and then adapted it to his personal style for mma. He achieved a 4th dan in Kyokushin. Wanted to learn ground fighting so he got a bb in bjj. Wanted to improve his wrestling so he took up wrestling directly etc.

In my opinion if you try to learn the arts separately, you can learn then much more deeply and find the techniques that work for you personally and integrate them into your own personal style. If you learn mma then you learn the style that your coach has chosen, which works for them, but if you are extremely different physically/style wise from your coach then it may not suit you e.g. i am 6'4" and about 225lb (in American measurements :p ) so what suits my much smaller coach may not suit me at all.

Nothing wrong with having a karate school that focuses on karate; a taekwondo school that does taekwondo; a bjj school that just does bjj.
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crash
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Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 143

Styles: karate,

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DarthPenguin wrote:
crash wrote:
karate saw its height in the 80's, a lot of us were there, the tournament scene was great, dojo's were packed. publicity and media pushed it along. ( for any of you who may have been into sport karate, remember getting your names in the latest issue of Karate illistrated for tournament wins??) the PKA was started and kickboxing became a recognized event. it began to fall out of focus at the time that MMA was coming up. is it making a comeback with the media and such shows as Kobra kai now, maybe, but karate is its worst enemy. wrestling, judo, boxing, have always been around, i wrestled in junior high school before i started karate. but then karate was still focused on karate, not playing catch-up and having to include a little of everything just to try to appeal to everyone. anyone well trained in most martial arts can protect themselves from a common street fight or bully. its been proven over and over. you dont have to be trained in every discipline to protect yourself, most conflicts you will ever face isnt going to be against a UFC trained opponent or professional boxer, but that is what most dojo's think now. so they add this class and that class that they really arent even qualified to train to begin with....lol....thats where the whole "mcdojo" term originated. i havent been on the tournament scene in a very long time now, dous it still even exist? i know a few big ones are still around but is it even popular anymore with todays martial artists. karate needs to focus on its roots and what made it great in its hayday, forget about competing/ riding the coattails of professional groups such as boxing and mma and return to a stand alone sport/activity/discipline and re-form itself to what it should be all along. then it could make a comeback and be what it was at its biggest time.


I've never understood what is wrong with having distinct styles that focus on different areas of combat - current opinion seems to be that everything needs to include everything.

I always quite liked the approach that GSP (i think it is uncontroversial to rank him as a top 5 all time MMA fighter at worst) took to training - whereby he learnt the art itself and then adapted it to his personal style for mma. He achieved a 4th dan in Kyokushin. Wanted to learn ground fighting so he got a bb in bjj. Wanted to improve his wrestling so he took up wrestling directly etc.

In my opinion if you try to learn the arts separately, you can learn then much more deeply and find the techniques that work for you personally and integrate them into your own personal style. If you learn mma then you learn the style that your coach has chosen, which works for them, but if you are extremely different physically/style wise from your coach then it may not suit you e.g. i am 6'4" and about 225lb (in American measurements :p ) so what suits my much smaller coach may not suit me at all.

Nothing wrong with having a karate school that focuses on karate; a taekwondo school that does taekwondo; a bjj school that just does bjj.


to make a comeback this is exactly what karate needs to do. get back to its roots of whatever the style may be and focus on just that. and then self promote through an active tournament scene and demo's. somewhere along the way in the early 90's the tournament scene dropped substantially with different organizations and groups starting intra-school only type tournaments and activities. this took karate and the martial arts in general, out of the spotlight of the general public to a large degree. one of those " if youre not already involved you wont know or see it" type situations. sure, tournaments and demonstrations arent for everyone, but those were a major source of advertising and exposure for the martial arts. until some form of publicity is reached on a higher level karate will remain stagnant
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DarthPenguin
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Joined: 03 Dec 2021
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2022 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crash wrote:
to make a comeback this is exactly what karate needs to do. get back to its roots of whatever the style may be and focus on just that. and then self promote through an active tournament scene and demo's. somewhere along the way in the early 90's the tournament scene dropped substantially with different organizations and groups starting intra-school only type tournaments and activities. this took karate and the martial arts in general, out of the spotlight of the general public to a large degree. one of those " if youre not already involved you wont know or see it" type situations. sure, tournaments and demonstrations arent for everyone, but those were a major source of advertising and exposure for the martial arts. until some form of publicity is reached on a higher level karate will remain stagnant


I don't think the multitude or organisations and splintering that has occurred helps either, is like a more extreme version of the crazy amount of alphabet belts in professional boxing.

In the bjj world everyone just focuses on their instructor lineage and doesn't really bother about their governing body (unless entering IBJFF competitions). You are a X Belt under Professor Y who got their Black belt from Professor Z etc

Maybe a solution would be to adopt a similar model for karate. Individual instructors could then monitor the standard of their lineage - it would become well known that the Instructor McDojo tree was made up of Mcdojo's and people could easily avoid it.

The disparate bodies could then arrange tournaments/competitions that align with their institutional viewpoints. So a JKA tournament, a WKF tournament etc.

Would be quite a shift in emphasis but it might help
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