Ultimate Fighting and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) have received a lot of hype over the past few years. So how come traditional martial arts tournaments are not and have never been just as popular? Bad marketing or is it something else? Here we will examine what are some of the major differences between the two, and in doing so answer this question.
Much like how football manager games gave birth to fantasy football, so did martial arts gave birth to MMA fighting. In the manager game, it was up to you to master your skills and strategies whereas fantasy football allows you to compete using those skills and place bets for entertainment. There are even betting sites for that with promotional codes like mondogoal-promo-code.
MMA is very popular and people can even bet on it, which is rarely the case with traditional martial arts. In other words, traditional martial arts are about learning the forms, mastering your own body and mind, and purging negative thoughts. MMA, on the other hand, is about beating your opponent to a bloody pulp, it is very violent and relies on competitors to be driven by anger.
The similarity between the two is that you have to learn a wide range of offensive and defensive moves, with the intention of maximizing their damage potential with leaving almost no opening for an opponent to take advantage of and counter. Which means you will be mastering moves from the different fighting style schools.
MMA has no governing philosophy sort of speaking. It’s basically channeling your inner beast and win in the cage. It is all about building up your endurance, fighting efficiency, and readiness for anything that may come your way.
Martial arts is about the right forms, it has more strict rules, and it evaluates the participants based on how accurately they perform, not based on their ability to dish out heavy damage, overpower and outlast the opponent. It is about achieving inner peace, focus, and tranquillity of the mind, which is why it’s not really that engaging as a competitive sport. The audience loves the spectacle, gladiators, dramatic and high stakes situation which MMA delivers.
Of course, there are martial artists who are not concerned with all of the teachings of the particular dojo or the philosophy for that matter. Much like MMA fighters, they focus on efficiency and strategy on how to win with using as fewer moves as possible. Still, the main focus here is the form and accuracy of execution, rather than spectacle like in MMA. It is discipline, determination, and searches for perfection that drives the true martial artists, whereas a will to be the strongest warrior around is the driving force behind an MMA fighter.
Being a professional MMA fighter does not make you a martial artist and vice-versa. MMA fighting trainers are not evaluated or certified by MMA federation, in order to provide training. All you need to be is a good fighter who wants to teach. A true martial artist trainer is someone abides by the rules and is judged and certified by his or her superiors. There is a lineage of succession, which gives authenticity to “senseis” and to the whole dojo. Although many martial arts schools nowadays don’t have certified martial artists, which makes the whole authenticity questionable. Still, it does not mean you cannot learn the techniques there.