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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 11:44 am    Post subject: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)         Reply with quote

Taylor Ellis wrote:
Look at modern MMA and the total dominance of Brazillian jui-jitsu, muay thai, boxing and wrestling derivitives. Every one of these arts is, if not developed in the west, heavily influenced by it. No karate, no kung-fu, pretty much no traditional asian martial arts.


FWIW, Brazilian jiu-jitsu has its base in early (pre-1925) judo, where ne-waza (groundwork), was much more emphasized than it is in judo today. Judo, in turn, supposedly took its groundwork from Fusen-ryu jujutsu, although there's admnittedly some controversy over this.

In any case, the judo/BJJ approach to ground wrestling differs from every other method, from either Asia OR Europe. There are no Western grappling systems, either modern or historical, that I am aware of, that feature the concept of fighting off of one's back, when on the ground. Comparable Western grappling systems which feature submission holds (like old professional CACC wrestling) are somewhat handicapped by the fact that they still retain the notion of the pin as a winning move--thus, fighting off of one's back was not part of the repertoire. Perhaps Ancient Greek pankration featured this, but I haven't seen any evidence for it.

And so, in the final analysis, there is at least one method popular in modern MMA/NHB that is indeed derived from "traditional Asian martial arts"--Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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R. Laine




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Black Mastro wrote:

In any case, the judo/BJJ approach to ground wrestling differs from every other method, from either Asia OR Europe. There are no Western grappling systems, either modern or historical, that I am aware of, that feature the concept of fighting off of one's back, when on the ground. Comparable Western grappling systems which feature submission holds (like old professional CACC wrestling) are somewhat handicapped by the fact that they still retain the notion of the pin as a winning move--thus, fighting off of one's back was not part of the repertoire.


Hi David,

At least the BJJ guard position would appear to be decipted in Mair (I'm no wrestler myself, though, so I can't really say with certainity). While it's hardly evidence of a vast emphasis on fighting from one's back, it certainly hints that it was occasionally done.

Sorry for the off-topic post, by the way!

Rabbe
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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rabbe Jan-Olof Laine wrote:


Hi David,

At least the BJJ guard position would appear to be decipted in Mair (I'm no wrestler myself, though, so I can't really say with certainity). While it's hardly evidence of a vast emphasis on fighting from one's back, it certainly hints that it was occasionally done.

Sorry for the off-topic post, by the way!

Rabbe


Rabbe,

There's some fighting off of one's back in Petter's 17th century manual too, but I haven't seen anything to suggest a truly comprehensive method of guardwork, as worked in judo and BJJ. The whole concept of this seems to be a purely Japanese innovation, that was later embraced (and retained) by Brazilian practitioners.

Likewise sorry for the off-topic deal, folks.

Best,

David

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2005 2:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi David,

Quote:
And so, in the final analysis, there is at least one method popular in modern MMA/NHB that is indeed derived from "traditional Asian martial arts"--Brazilian jiu-jitsu.


I wrote Every one of these arts is, if not developed in the west, heavily influenced by it. Do you really contest that Brazillian Jui-jitsu has not been heavily influenced by the west (in this case Brazil)?
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2005 2:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Black Mastro wrote:
If only things were that simple...

There are a couple of significant problems with Historical European Martial Arts, as they are being "practiced" today:

1. They are dead arts, and, regardless of surviving manuals, etc., they will remain so. We may get fairly close to what was actually being done 400 years ago in many instances, but we'll never know for certain, unless H.G. Wells' Time Machine eventually becomes a reality.

2. HEMA styles are being "taught" by folks from a variety of backgrounds. I think it goes without saying that people who set out to reconstruct HEMA (or any other dead method) either need to have a background in existing functional martial arts and combat sports, or they must consult such folks, or both. One would think that this is usually done--but there has been at least one instance in which an otherwise interesting and well-written HEMA book featured a reconstruction of Medieval wrestling that sorely revealed the author's lack of knowledge regarding basic biomechanics, as they apply to grappling. The resulting reconstruction was, unfortunately, really bad.

Now, I agree that many Asian systems that are supposedly "living lineages" are not what they once were. Some methods have degenerated into what can only be called performance art (eg., wushu). Nevertheless, there are clearly surviving functional Asian styles.

I see your point, and it's a good one, but I honestly believe any weapon system that hasn't been used for well over a century is going to be a pale, watered down imitation of its original inventors. I guess there are advantages of a snapshot of a fighting style in it's heyday and a modern system suffering from a bad case of chinese whispers. Laughing Out Loud
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2005 4:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler Weaver wrote:
Quote:
I just feel that a double edged straight sword with a crossguard would be far superior to a single edged curved sword with no crossguard. That was the focus.


I totally fail to see your point. A crossguard may be useful for some "bind and wind" techniques (aren't those mostly blade-work anyways?), but it would seem to be to be a hinderance when trying to deflect an enemy's weapon and a simple cruciform guard provides next to no real hand protection in an unarmored fight. Later complex guards provide more hand protection, but they also bind up your hand and force you to grip in a certain narrow range of gripping styles - and in any event the best basket-guard in the world is useless against forearm cuts.

As for false-edge cuts, the attack angles and powering involved are nothing new to in an Eastern context (let's not forget the existence of numerous double-edged Eastern sword designs that were systematically rejected over time), and any Eastern stylist should be familiar with analogous deflections with his sword's blunt back. If anyone's getting surprised here, I would say that many curved, Eastern sword designs allow circular thrusting, which is much more difficult with straight swords.

Moreover, a good swordsman, especially in the modern day, should be ready and able to use his weapon and the techniques of his style against literally any conceivable opposing weapon. That's part and parcel of being competent. I know exactly what I would do to defeat a rapier or sword'n'shield fighter.


I think that one thing that differ alot between at least the japanese sword arts and the western is the halfswording and the use of the quillons and pommel. Could it be that they where there more as agressive parts of the sword than defensive?

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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2005 7:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Taylor Ellis wrote:
Hi David,

Quote:
And so, in the final analysis, there is at least one method popular in modern MMA/NHB that is indeed derived from "traditional Asian martial arts"--Brazilian jiu-jitsu.


I wrote Every one of these arts is, if not developed in the west, heavily influenced by it. Do you really contest that Brazillian Jui-jitsu has not been heavily influenced by the west (in this case Brazil)?


Taylor,

I'm not denying that there's a Western influence on BJJ; indeed, there was clearly a Western influence on judo/jujutsu, before the Gracies were even taught by Maeda (there's the famous pic of Maeda in wrestling tights, holding his opponent in a half-Nelson/hammerlock combo, which is a standard control and submission move from CACC). However, the tactical approach and techniques are still predominantly Japanese, and that is also reflective in the fact that the Brazilians still choose to call their art "jiu-jitsu", as opposed to, say, "submission wrestling".

Best,

David

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2005 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Taylor Ellis wrote:
I see your point, and it's a good one, but I honestly believe any weapon system that hasn't been used for well over a century is going to be a pale, watered down imitation of its original inventors.


I wholeheartedly agree.

Quote:
I guess there are advantages of a snapshot of a fighting style in it's heyday and a modern system suffering from a bad case of chinese whispers. Laughing Out Loud


There's clearly advantages to both, but the disadvantage remains the same--neither one is truly representative of the arts when they were in their prime.

A "snapshot" is certainly better than nothing, but it's still a long way from having Talhoffer or Silver by your side, correcting your form, etc.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov, 2005 1:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David,

So what you are saying is the BJJ is very heavily influenced by the west, though descended from Japanese martial arts, and all redundant weapon styles are not anywhere near as effective today no matter if they are living traditions or resurrected ones? lol, we don't disagree on anything mate!

I think it's just human nature. Just give a digger a slr instead of a steyr. He'll be able to use it, but not like the diggers in Vietnam. Happy
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov, 2005 6:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
I prefer to think of the comparison as apples-to-bacon. Happy Both are food items, but that's about where the comparison ends.

Yes, indeed. "Apples and oranges" has never been quite the same for me since I started reading Sinfest.


The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov, 2005 6:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Taylor Ellis wrote:
David,

So what you are saying is the BJJ is very heavily influenced by the west, though descended from Japanese martial arts,


I never said "heavily"--you did. Wink
As I said, there is clearly some Western influence on BJJ, but the fundamentals of it are distinctly Japanese.

Quote:
...and all redundant weapon styles are not anywhere near as effective today no matter if they are living traditions or resurrected ones? lol, we don't disagree on anything mate!


Redundant ones, yes--but what about weapon styles that aren't redundant? Various FMA styles have retained genuine combative application, and compared to most other Asian sword and knife methods, have still seen their fair share of use in modern times.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov, 2005 9:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Black Mastro wrote:
Taylor Ellis wrote:
David,

So what you are saying is the BJJ is very heavily influenced by the west, though descended from Japanese martial arts,


I never said "heavily"--you did. Wink
As I said, there is clearly some Western influence on BJJ, but the fundamentals of it are distinctly Japanese.

Well, why is it then that every single succesfull jui-jitsu stylist in MMA practices BJJ and not JJ? I know it is built on Japanese traditions, though Carlos Gracie, a westerner, specifically cites himself as the inventor of BJJ. I personally would say BJJ is therefore heavily influenced by the west.

Anyway, Catch is better. Wink Big Grin

http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=84
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Sat 12 Nov, 2005 3:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Taylor Ellis wrote:
Well, why is it then that every single succesfull jui-jitsu stylist in MMA practices BJJ and not JJ?

Because BJJ is designed for submission fighting, and JJ is not?

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Sat 12 Nov, 2005 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Taylor Ellis wrote:
David Black Mastro wrote:
Taylor Ellis wrote:
David,

So what you are saying is the BJJ is very heavily influenced by the west, though descended from Japanese martial arts,


I never said "heavily"--you did. Wink
As I said, there is clearly some Western influence on BJJ, but the fundamentals of it are distinctly Japanese.

Well, why is it then that every single succesfull jui-jitsu stylist in MMA practices BJJ and not JJ? I know it is built on Japanese traditions, though Carlos Gracie, a westerner, specifically cites himself as the inventor of BJJ. I personally would say BJJ is therefore heavily influenced by the west.


To answer your question, the reason is really quite simple: classical Japanese jujutsu ryu are largely like those "redundant" weapon systems--they have lost their effectiveness over the years (classical exponents feel free to flame away...).

Not so judo and BJJ. While judo's focus has largely shifted away from groundwork since the 1920s, it is still trained in a "live" fashion (i.e., with randori), and it's throws are awesome. Judo figures prominently in the arsenal of many MMA fighters today--PRIDE FC giants like Fedor Emelianko, as well as UFC competitor Karo Parysian (sp), who is trained by "Judo" Gene LeBell (and Karo has been quite successful in making judo throws work without the gi).

Quote:
Anyway, Catch is better. Wink Big Grin

http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=84


I recall our various conversations regarding Sakuraba. FWIW, while he did indeed train with latter-day Catch legend Billy Robinson, he has also trained in BJJ with Ricco Rodriguez and others. BJJ was responsible for the Modern Grappling Revolution. Catch wasn't. Every modern MMA fighter cross-trains in BJJ--either to counter and defeat it, or to actually make use of it. In terms of submission grappling, it is the method by which all others are currently judged.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2005 6:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko Kuusirati wrote:
Taylor Ellis wrote:
Well, why is it then that every single succesfull jui-jitsu stylist in MMA practices BJJ and not JJ?

Because BJJ is designed for submission fighting, and JJ is not?

MMA is not submission fighting. Having said that, bjj and jj have the same goal, and MMA tests their efficiency in achieving that goal.
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2005 6:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Black Mastro wrote:
To answer your question, the reason is really quite simple: classical Japanese jujutsu ryu are largely like those "redundant" weapon systems--they have lost their effectiveness over the years (classical exponents feel free to flame away...).

David, I always make sure to read anything you post, but here we must disagree. Bjj is heavily influenced by the west because its founder was a westerner. If he is not the founder, then the onus of proof is on the naysayer to prove him wrong.

Quote:
Not so judo and BJJ. While judo's focus has largely shifted away from groundwork since the 1920s, it is still trained in a "live" fashion (i.e., with randori), and it's throws are awesome. Judo figures prominently in the arsenal of many MMA fighters today--PRIDE FC giants like Fedor Emelianko, as well as UFC competitor Karo Parysian (sp), who is trained by "Judo" Gene LeBell (and Karo has been quite successful in making judo throws work without the gi).

Isn't Fedor's judo skill a result of sambo (another western influenced art)? But I agree with you here anyway.

Quote:
I recall our various conversations regarding Sakuraba. FWIW, while he did indeed train with latter-day Catch legend Billy Robinson, he has also trained in BJJ with Ricco Rodriguez and others. BJJ was responsible for the Modern Grappling Revolution. Catch wasn't. Every modern MMA fighter cross-trains in BJJ--either to counter and defeat it, or to actually make use of it. In terms of submission grappling, it is the method by which all others are currently judged.

lol, in my own defence I intended that I like catch better, and that I personally think it's at least as effective, not that it's had a bigger impact on MMA. To argue that any martial art has had a bigger impact on mma than bjj would be rediculous. Although, if you look at the modern day descendant of catch, freestyle wrestling, I would contend that only bjj has had a bigger influence. Fighters like Hughes, Coleman, Frye, Tito and all the other wrestlers are a massive part of the grappling revolution you talk of, and have proved to be at least as succesfull in mma as any Gracie or bjj practitioner. Everyone does bjj these days, but how many don't wrestle in a western derived style?
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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2005 6:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Taylor Ellis wrote:
David Black Mastro wrote:
To answer your question, the reason is really quite simple: classical Japanese jujutsu ryu are largely like those "redundant" weapon systems--they have lost their effectiveness over the years (classical exponents feel free to flame away...).


David, I always make sure to read anything you post, but here we must disagree. Bjj is heavily influenced by the west because its founder was a westerner. If he is not the founder, then the onus of proof is on the naysayer to prove him wrong.


This doesn't necessarily suggest being "heavily influenced by the West", nor does it change the fact that jiu-jitsu was introduced to Brazil by a Japanese--Mitsuyo Maeda.

Quote:
Quote:
Not so judo and BJJ. While judo's focus has largely shifted away from groundwork since the 1920s, it is still trained in a "live" fashion (i.e., with randori), and it's throws are awesome. Judo figures prominently in the arsenal of many MMA fighters today--PRIDE FC giants like Fedor Emelianko, as well as UFC competitor Karo Parysian (sp), who is trained by "Judo" Gene LeBell (and Karo has been quite successful in making judo throws work without the gi).


Isn't Fedor's judo skill a result of sambo (another western influenced art)? But I agree with you here anyway.


Fedor has trained in both judo and sambo, and in any event sambo is another method largely derived from judo anyway (the balance being a mix of many Eurasian wrestling styles).

Quote:
Quote:
I recall our various conversations regarding Sakuraba. FWIW, while he did indeed train with latter-day Catch legend Billy Robinson, he has also trained in BJJ with Ricco Rodriguez and others. BJJ was responsible for the Modern Grappling Revolution. Catch wasn't. Every modern MMA fighter cross-trains in BJJ--either to counter and defeat it, or to actually make use of it. In terms of submission grappling, it is the method by which all others are currently judged.

lol, in my own defence I intended that I like catch better, and that I personally think it's at least as effective, not that it's had a bigger impact on MMA. To argue that any martial art has had a bigger impact on mma than bjj would be rediculous.


But Taylor, that's the whole point--CACC didn't have a bigger effect on MMA because it clearly isn't as effective as BJJ.

As you know, I'm a big fan of CACC. However, I'm convinced that its rules (still allowing pins as a method of winning) hamper its effectiveness as a purely combative method to at least some degree. Keep in mind that the original UWF-style Japanese pro wrestling (from which PANCRASE and other hybrid grappling methods were derived) came from latter-day Catch and judo. Virtually ALL of the Japanese wrestlers and their students came off second best when they first faced off against BJJ. Look at early PANCRASE matches, and you'll see folks making basic mistakes--giving their back, etc.

Sakuraba was the one exception--a guy who definitely had a CACC element to his style, but who also had clearly cross-trained in BJJ. I'd still love to see what Sak could do in a purely grappling-oriented arena, like Abu Dhabi.

Quote:
Although, if you look at the modern day descendant of catch, freestyle wrestling, I would contend that only bjj has had a bigger influence. Fighters like Hughes, Coleman, Frye, Tito and all the other wrestlers are a massive part of the grappling revolution you talk of, and have proved to be at least as succesfull in mma as any Gracie or bjj practitioner. Everyone does bjj these days, but how many don't wrestle in a western derived style?


Frye had his share of success, but I wouldn't include him in any group of people that were "at least as successful in MMA as any Gracie or BJJ practitioner".

FWIW, let's look at the record.

Hughes is a tremendous wrestler, but he also has really good BJJ--Jeremy Horn is his trainer (and yet, it's still interesting to note that he nevertheless fell prey to BJJ, when he was trounced by BJ Penn).

Tito Ortiz is likewise an excellent wrestler, but he has also cross-trained in BJJ, and used it to good effect at Abu Dhabi (something many folks are unaware of).

Randy Couture is an incredible wrestler, but we must not forget that he was, in fact, one of the first wrestlers to adopt BJJ's positional strategy (he was fond of taking people's backs and looking for rear naked chokes, etc). And Couture continues to learn from BJJ, as evidenced from his use of an Anaconda choke to submit fellow wrestler Mike van Arsedale.

Coleman, unlike the other wrestlers noted above, has never learned much about the MMA game beyond his own "ground n' pound" approach to things. He's an incredible wrestler who is amazingly powerful and explosive, but when you put him up against someone of comparable size & strength, but with submission skills (like Fedor), he ultimately fails. The same goes for his teammate, Kevin Randleman. If Randleman actually bothered to learn anything about BJJ, he'd arguably be the most dangerous man in MMA. Physically, he's probably superior to everyone. But he's stubborn.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2005 7:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Tyler Weaver"]
Quote:

Moreover, how much do WMA guys actually cross-train? From what I've gathered reading this board and elsewhere, cross-training in European arts is actually fairly rare and noteworthy enough that often it's a completely new experience for people. For that matter, most historical fechtbuch material deals with equal matchups, not cross-training matches.


Hell, I'll fight anything that moves.
But then I'm a Skirmisher, and not a pure breed WMA student. I've fought, against or with, singe sword, long sword, Sword and buckler, Sword and shield, axe and the same, shield and knife, Sword and dagger, Dagger and sword, Single handed spears, two handed spears, glaive, and frikin' romans...
And, oh, russian viking reenactors. A for realism, E for personal safety...
Sadly, there are no japanese skirmish groups, or I'd have fought them as well.

But cross training is usually the field of military training, not MA. Western combat manuals deals with formalized duels, rather than large scale combat. A boxer does not need to train wrestling to be a good boxer. He must to be a good street fighter, but that is outside the scope of boxing.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2005 7:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Sakuraba was the one exception--a guy who definitely had a CACC element to his style, but who also had clearly cross-trained in BJJ. I'd still love to see what Sak could do in a purely grappling-oriented arena, like Abu Dhabi.


I found a intresting thing that Sakuraba did against Renzo Gracie (the fight where Renzos arm is dislocated). The technique that S. use could be illustrated in Codex Wallerstein. I have to analyse the text a little more and test it again. One difference is thoug that in CW it says that you should grab the thumb to get space for your hand but Kazushi can´t do that according to the Pride FC rules.I don´t remeber the platenumber on top of my head but my good friend Joachim might help me out with that.

Might be a red herring but I think it interesting and I just cant wait to the day somebody enters an MMA contest listed with a MA background in WMA/Ringen.

Martin

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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2005 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is the Plate I talk about![/img]


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Codex Wallerstein

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