How Many Martial Arts Are Taught in MMA Schools?
In a perfect world, two arenas of martial arts practice are taught in a mixed martial arts school:
Wrestling (which includes elements of freestyle wrestling, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, etc.)
Boxing (which includes elements of western boxing, Muay Thai, etc.).
Unfortunately, MMA has, in many ways, become commercialized and concretized through the influence of the UFC. The "UFC Style," while it draws from the above, has discounted many of the striking and grappling arts in existence today. In my opinion, the "UFC Style" is not really a mixed martial art. It's become a style in and of itself.
While I recommend pursuing training in MMA, I suggest developing yourself in a base art first (for, perhaps, four or five years) and then pursuing training in another art that fills in the missing gaps you've discovered in the system offered by your base art. In pursuing things in this way, your "base art" will evolve. For example, my base art is Muay Thai, which I've been training in since I was in my teens (I'm now in my fifties). However, due to training in western boxing, American freestyle wrestling, Tae kwon do, Jeet Kune Do, Systema, submission style wrestling, and (in recent years) Brazillian jiu jitsu, my "base art" looks considerably different than the way it looked 20 years ago. For one, I throw my Thai round kick from a western boxing stance and not from the quintessential forward facing Thai Boxing stance. Further, a lot of my western boxing punches have taken on such a significant Systema quality that I don't think I could technically call it "western boxing" any more. Yes, it's western boxing, but it's not really any more. These are just two of many such examples of the evolution I've been enabled to progress through over the years.
Where my training is concerned, I believe in being as creative as possible. By that, I mean, I look for ways to mold every art I train in to me (rather than the converse). Of course, in the beginning of any training in something new, you must mold yourself to the system; but that should be limited to the initial training phases. Soon, and I'm thinking within a matter of just a few months, you should begin looking for ways to mold things to who you are as a person, combatant, and tender-hearted warrior. This involves eliminating that which doesn't work, modifying that which does (so it works better for you), and engaging in what Albert Einstein termed "combinatory play (more on that in a future post)", where you explore ways to merge seemingly dispirit concepts into something completely new.
I hope the above is helpful to you in pursuing training in MMA.
My new book, Experiments in Prayer: Monastic Practice in Ordinary Life, is now available in paperback from Amazon.
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A Note to All My Blog and Social Media Friends and Followers:
I've made it a point, over the last decade, to accept friend and follower requests from any who ask. I think I've "defriended" only three or four people in the last ten years and did so only because they posted inappropriate material to one of my walls or timelines. Thankfully, it's been several years since anyone committed such a breech of etiquette.
I write all this to indicate I have many "friends" and "followers," whom I do not know personally (yet!). Lately, I've been getting countless (sometimes more than 200 a day) messages from people I don't know. Please know this: I speak a brief word of blessing over each person who sends me a message, but I can respond directly to only a few each day. If I did not discipline my activities in this way, I could, conceivably, spend my entire day every day responding to such messages.
By disciplining myself to the above social media activity-limitation plan, I in no way want to belittle or disrespect anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. My hope and prayer is that, even if I don’t respond to your message directly, you will know I cherish you and pray you'll experience God's love and grace personally and deeply. Experiencing God is the highest Good anyone could ever experience. May each of you experience such Good through your pursuits of Divine Union with Jesus Christ, the Eternal Living God.
As always, may the Lord bless you and keep you…
IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):
Mondays: Meditative Prayer
Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline
Fridays: Martial Arts Practice