Referred to as the godfather of MMA , Bruce Lee envisioned martial arts as truly becoming mixed. He felt that at the pinnacle of martial arts one should "be like water" meaning fluid and able to adapt instantly around an object or obstacle. While alive and teaching these beliefs he was met with strong opposition from many masters and disciples of the old guard. Bruce was challenged and scoffed at for believing that not one single martial art or form was best or sufficient. It seems however that not only through his demonstrations and victories, in both form and film, but also in the evolution of martial arts after his death that Bruce was right. He embodied what every fighter should hope to be. Bruce was extremely fit, disciplined, well spoken, and quite frankly super human. In essence Bruce Lee is an example of the difference between training in martial arts and living martial arts. I believe however, ironically, that in a way while mma started as an attempt to clash and combine styles and techniques, Bruce's ideals of being mixed are fading.
Today the "sport" of mixed martial arts is growing in popularity and in numbers exponentially. More and more of the fighters in the UFC are becoming known and followed. With each event and fight there are new moves, finishes, and techniques seen. Im concerned however with the rate of new styles and clashes of styles being presented in MMA. While MMA started as mixed martial arts to bring everything together, it seems now that MMA is essentially its own martial art and straight forward combination of techniques. Unlike what Bruce wanted martial arts to fully become, fighters starting out and even longtime fighters seem to favor 3 styles instead of the multitude of them. What the godfather of MMA taught and wanted to see was the assimilation of the best of EVERY style and form. MMA and its fighters today seem to only respect and value muay thai, wrestling , and ju jitsu. These prominent styles are very effective and useful but for MMA to advance further at the same rate as the last decade or so all styles must come together in fighters so the fighter can "be like water." Lets take a look below for some examples of what I mean and what we as fans should expect and hope to see more of.
Like I said above one of the 3 'favored' styles is muay thai which is excellent but should stand up only be limited to such a version favoring somewhat telegraphed power striking ? There are other styles and deadly strikes that can be used with great results. John makdessi is a prime example of not solely adapting muay thai and traditional boxing into the stand up arsenal.
Side kicks should not be so rare.
Nor should a crescent kick ( just ask chuck.)
I might be looking at the glass half empty but it shouldnt take Steven Seagal to get the front kick 'accepted,'
The front kick is dangerous and hard to deal with, it shouldn't take anderson knocking out a dangerous striker with it to make it popular in MMA.
Also in the hand to hand portion of the stand up it seems most fighters are fine with going back and forth , retreating from every attack before countering instead of stepping in on punches or telegraphed strikes to connect while the opponent has no chance to recover or defend. MMA could use some JKD and wing chun.
This is art.
When it comes to grappling , obviously wrestling has been considered the best background for MMA. In almost every fight now there is a ton of clinching and I find myself asking why let someone stall you ? Wheres the judo ?
Jon jones certainly gets it.
I love MMA and so should you so lets keep watching and encouraging the fighters and fans to remember what the " Godfather of MMA" wanted.
Be Water original (via julianfj)