This is my take on capoeira and MMA.
I touched on this subject a little bit on another PAGE. However, on this page I thought I’d go into this subject in more detail.
So, let’s set the stage:
It all started with one controversial program in November, 1993.
2 men, Art Davie and Rorion Gracie had an idea. the idea was to pit one martial arts style against another in a tournament to see which would come out on top. Karate, Boxing, Sumo, and Kickboxing were all involved, and in the end, it was Royce, Rorion’s younger brother who won the tournament with their family’s Jiu-Jitsu style.
And The Martial Arts world was never the same again.
Side note: although there may have been some kind of “conspiracy” as to what was going on at the 1st UFC event…
The fact is that because of the UFC, the whole of the martial art “universe” changed.
Now some of you might think that I don’t like MMA because of the comments I posted about it on another PAGE.
But nothing is further than the truth. I think that MMA is a exciting sport, and one of the most honorable forms of fighting there is at this present time. And, I think that MMA was, and is NEEDED very much in the Martial Arts universe.
There’s only 1 small issue I have with MMA, and it has NOTHING to do with the sport itself.
The thing is that nowadays, because of the UFC, PRIDE, and other MMA competitions like it, there seems to be this belief that MMA is best for fighting, and that MMA competitions are the ultimate proving ground.
Hey, I get it. When I was a kid, boxing was the thing. The average person, when they fought, would imitate the fighters they saw on T.V., like Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Sugar-Ray Leonard, Larry Holmes, Iron Mike Tyson. And, who could forget the one, the ONLY, Muhammad Ali…
And then, in 1984, this movie comes along…
I remember as a kid, after that movie came out, on the schoolyard, in the park, on the street, whether in real fights or not, everybody and his mama was out copying that crane kick.
And after that, it was Chuck Norris, Arnold, Stallone, Van Damme, Segal, and others who contributed to the action movies of the 80’s and 90’s that we “Tough Guys” were imitating.
And now that MMA is a “Household Name” in the martial arts industry, everybody’s trying to “ground and pound”.
Not that they weren’t doing that before, but nowadays, due to MMA’s popularity, a lot of street fights are kinda like MMA fights, and it has become “the standard”, of what fights should look like, and how fights should evolve.
Now Capoeira looks nothing like MMA or any other combat sport, so Capoeira is not good for fighting, right?
Well, these fighters seem to be doing pretty damn good in MMA matches with their Capoeira skills…
And looky here, we have MMA coach Ramsey Dewey out of shanghai china, with a video showing 7 Capoeira techniques for MMA fighters to execute in the ring.
You see, the way fighting works varies greatly with the situation the fighters happen to be in. Sometimes, we talk about ‘rules’, but let’s face it – this word is both too narrow and overused.
“Situation” is better, I think.
The situation (As I define it here) includes all factors that influence the way you fight – rules, environment, weapons, clothing, weather, etc.
MMA works best for THAT type of fighting situation… a situation where you have two trained athletes fighting without external interference, without weapons, with ground fighting allowed, on a soft mat and most importantly, RULES designed to keep from killing or maiming your opponent.
And if a competitor deviates from those rules, then they get checked…
All the above factors of MMA situation shape the way you fight in MMA. Imagine, for example, if an MMA bout was fought on concrete or asphalt. Naturally, throwing the opponent onto his head would be much more important part of the game then it is now.
Now, contrast this against the way Capoeira was used in the old days, and had evolved for:
Defending yourself against Bounty Hunters, Gang fights, kicking and stomping on the downed opponent, the use of weapons and fighting multiple opponents being normal, fighting on many surfaces, etc.
(Note that I didn’t say ‘no rules’…. It’s just a different set of rules. You’ll understand why on another PAGE)
In this type of situation, The old forms of Capoeira was great. Capoeira’s fast footwork allowed to quickly get it, strike, and get out, the takedown skills developed in the art allowed you to shoot the opponent to the ground quickly, knock him out (or TAKE him out) and move on, the strategy of avoiding clinching and grappling too much helped avoid getting tied with one opponent and getting hit or stabbed by the opponent’s friend…
These was the type of situations that the old forms of Capoeira was created for.
Now Notice I didn’t say this is in any way ‘better’ than MMA. It is just a different way of fighting.
Take any capoeirista from that time, used to fighting in a street fight like I described above into a MMA ring WITHOUT PROPER TRAINING; and he (or she) WILL get quickly taken down and grappled into submission, or knocked out.
And of course, it works the other way too: Take any MMA fighter into a mass battle involving machetes, clubs, straight razors, etc. and if they tried the strategies they learned for the cage, we all know they’ll get their throats slit, or their heads busted open very quickly.
So, what am I driving at?
Well, as I typed on another PAGE, You should train in a way that is suitable for your specific needs and objectives. If you want to fight in a MMA bout, train MMA. If you want to be able to defend yourself in the street, train for THAT objective.
Of course you can train for both; as long as you keep in mind that one way’s for the ring or octagon, and the other way’s for the streets.
Notice that I didn’t say “For Reality”, because for me, fighting in the ring is just as real as fighting in the streets.
Okay guys, that’s my take on Capoeira and MMA. I hope you enjoyed it.
I’m gonna end this page with a playlist of some of my favorite fighters.