Discussion in 'MMA' started by 50inches, Jan 23, 2009.
This is an intresting article on how MMA developed into what it is today.
Evolution of MMA
The thing is...it is still possible to win in MMA with just something like gracie Jiu jitsu (although perhaps not regular BJJ).
If you look at Royce beating Pat Smith and Art Jimmerson it's pretty much MMA in a gi.
Avoid the strikes, clinch, get the takedown, improve position, strike until tap-out.
That for me IS the very essence of BJJ and still forms an intrinsic part of MMA.
Sure it's evolved and different people use whatever tools they like but you can still find people fighting MMA that are almost entirely grappling and submission based (Aoki for example..although he's working strikes too now).
Yes, but today, the best fighters in the world are well versed.
Great striking, great takedowns/takedown defense, great submissions.
Fedor, GSP, Anderson Silva, BJ Penn etc..
It is still possible to win with just BJJ, but few guys make it to the top today with just that, mainly because many guy's in MMA today have great wrestling and hard to take down.
PASmith has a point though. While to truly rise to the upper levels of the sport you need to be well rounded, you are able to obtain a certain level of success with just grappling skill. This can be seen in BJJ guys and Wrestlers most predominantly. Palhares is basically just a BJJ guy who has done very well in the UFC. Ronni Yahya was basically just a BJJ guy who did well in the WEC (I think he is expanding his game now). We see pure wrestlers able to win sometimes too (Jake O'Brien vs Heath Herring), although most of the time this is less exciting.
Of course if these fighters want to attain further success they will have to create striking games, but it is interesting that (almost) pure grapplers are able to do so well in elite MMA (meaning the big names: UFC, Dream, WEC, EliteXC, etc.) while (almost) pure strikers aren't.
I also wanted to add that this might be because striking is more natural. Even a complete striking novice has a much better chance at knocking somebody out than a complete grappling novice has at submitting or even just maintaining a dominant position on the ground.
Putting the evolutionary theory aside, the human body has only blunt objects as weapons ( absent biting ). In order to do significant damage with a blunt object a fair amount of space is needed to build up speed. The speed of the impact, factoring in hardness and alignment of the strking object, multiplied by mass is a rough formula for destructive power. Basically, you need room to throw your blows to do damage. You dont need this space to clinch, get a takedown and otherwise control someone on the ground or on your feet. Essentially a grappler that can close the distance can far more easily apply his skill than the striker can. The striker needs to have space to deal his damaging blows, the grappler needs only to be able to hold onto you. Grappling by nature is more applicable in more circumstances. Its far easier to dodge a strike than it is to prevent a clinch. This is why i feel a purist grappler with have more success than a purist striker.
Though there is some merit to HUGHESJD's point, I think that an even bigger component is that more grapplers are or have been more prepared for and had a better defense against what the strikers were doing than the strikers were for the grapplers.
Along those same lines kwan it is also noteworthy that as a grappler i can use my techniques at 100% force all day everyday that i train without risk of seriously hurting my partner. A striker can't. If strikers hit each other as if fighting each time they practice they'd be brain damaged, have broken facial bones, etc and unable to truly practice. Just having to pull ones punches reduces the realism which you train with. A grappler only has to stop at the very last moment for a tapout, all moves are trained, learned and practiced in the most direct to combat applicable envioronment possible. This also predisposes them to combat success, especially from the earlier competitions.
Just curious...whats 'regular' BJJ?
Nope, grappling far more natural than striking. Most real fights include some form of grappling, either standing up or on the ground. Grapplings the most instinctive way of fighting their is, punching with the fist is actually a pretty unnatural action.
OK, maybe "natural" was the wrong word, but do you disagree that a BJJ guy who has never stepped into a striking class has more of a chance of knocking a guy out than a boxer whose never stepped into a grappling class has of applying a submission?
I think this is a major factor, too. "Everybody" trains to fight strikers, but not everybody trains to fight grapplers.
This is only true of early MMA history. Now there are tons of strikers who have developed an "antigrappling" method of fighting. They use good takedown defense and basic moves to return to their feet quickly. This 'style' of mma has become so popular its been given a special term in mma lingo. Its "sprawl and brawl."
Of the hundreds of sprawl and brawlers only a few have risen to the top, however. This still points out, to me at least, two things. Grappling is still more natural and effecient if you have to pick only one method of fighting, and second; to be the best that you can possibly be you have to learn both arts.
Actually I'd say striking is pretty natural. The majority of fights start with strikes and then progress to grappling.
I assume "regular" BJJ is the pure sporting form, which really only works by itself in D and C class MMA. But once strikes to the head on the ground come into play people must cross train or else they'll get destroyed.
I'd say neither of them has much of a chance but I've been subbed by guys with little/none grappling experience, the headlock is a pretty natural move to go for.
Let me put it like this, there have been several instances of world class boxers getting into fights at press conferences and rolling around on the floor within a few seconds without any punches being thrown. Can you imagine two world class BJJ guys or wrestlers exchanging punches and not grappling in a situation like that?
Interesting article. There is no question that cross training is very important!
One thing that is not mentioned is the significance of MMA being a minimal clothing sport. By not wearing a gi (or street clothes if we are talking about non sport fighting) you decrease the effectiveness of the defensive game and give some significant advantages to the striker. Its also tends to speed up the game. It takes away gi chokes and lessens the effectiveness of arm bars and triangles as a submission strategy.
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