Mixed martial arts is not at its heart a body of technique. To see it is a mix of specific effective strikes, pins, submissions, takedowns, etc is to miss the engine.
The heart of mixed martial arts is actually trying things, against active resistance. The idea is as simple as wheels on luggage, but like wheels on luggage, no one thought about it until the 90s. But some people are still hefting suitcases though airports, and some people are still teaching martial arts techniques without ever trying it against active resistance.
For example, in the video below from 2009, martial artist and stuntman Alexandr Litvinenko was invited to punch a practitioner of a no touch martial arts system. In no touch martial arts systems - and there are many - secret fields of energy are used to send students sprawling.
Compliant students flopping around like adherents at a Benny Hinn revival is not active resistance, and thus, techniques that are not just worthless, but are dangerous to the practitioner get passed on for generations.
Here is an example of no touch martial arts being used on a larger scale.
The phenomenon is not limited to Russia, by any means. Here is a practitioner in Japan.
Below, Yanagi Ryuken, the self-described master of Qigong, and other mysterious disciplines, meets active resistance.
Ryuken had spent decades practicing on compliant students, and became so profoundly befuddled, that he offered $5,000 to anyone that could withstand the debilitating power of his yell and hand wiggles.
His opponent, Iwakura Goh, appears to have trained in some variant of Kyokushin, a martial art that is the very definition of active resistance in striking.
After it was over, Ryuken was out $5,000, some blood, and his dignity.
See the awesome power of Yellow Bamboo, from Indonesia.
And here is what happens when Yellow Bamboo meets BJJ.
"They're losers," sums it up as well as anyone can. You can learn Yellow Bamboo Level 1 over the Internet for FREE.
American's too are subject to identically batty beliefs.
Here The Human Stun Gun (not the Korean one, a fat one) tries it out on a younger Stephan Bonnar.
The Husky Stun Gun's url deathtouchdemo.com now points to a Century 21 franchise, but his mentor, Black Belt magazine's 1997 Hall of Fame Instructor of the Year, George Dillman is still at it.
It didn't work, but reality is nothing to these characters.
“The skeptic was a totally non-believer," explains Grand Master Dillman, 10th degree. "Plus – I don't know if I should say that on film – but if the guy had his tongue in the wrong position in the mouth, that can also nullify it. You can nullify it, you can nullify a lot of things. In fact, you can nullify it if you raise those two big toes. If I say I'm going to knock you out, and you raise one toe, and push one toe down, I can't knock you out. And then, if I go to try again, you reverse it. If you keep doing this, I won't knock you out."
Dillman currently teaches seminars worldwide.
Mixed martial arts is many things, among them a ferociously entertaining sport, a remarkable vehicle for self-improvement, and a window on reality in the practice of martial arts, that remains desperately needed in far too many circles.
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