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UnderGround Forums >> Jackson using game theory in MMA. PopSci Article.


8/14/12 7:47 PM
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dudefromisrael
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 Got to me by way of MMA Supremacy Twitter - they're doing a great job of rounding up MMA news, articles and opinions.


Anyway:


http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-07/cage-match 


Cage Match


How science is transforming the sport of MMA fighting 

By Matthew ShaerPosted 07.09.2012 at 11:30 am









Cage   CageMatch Click here to see this amazing image even larger. Daniel Schumpert and Jason Briney; Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images 

Greg Jackson, the single most successful trainer in the multi-billion-dollar sport of professional mixed martial arts fighting, works out of a musty old gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not far from the base of the Sandia Mountains. On a recent morning, the 38-year-old Jackson, who has the cauliflowered ears and bulbous nose of a career fighter, watched two of his students square off inside the chain-link walls of a blood-splattered ring called the Octagon.

One of them was Jon Jones, the light heavyweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the premier MMA league. In four weeks, Jones would be defending his title against Rashad Evans, an expert fighter and his former training partner. To prepare him, Jackson had set up a sparring session with Shawn “The Savage” Jordan, a heavyset fighter from Baton Rouge.

Jones and Jordan met in the middle of the ring. Jordan threw first. Jones backpedaled and protected his face with his forearms.

“Look for that space, Jones!” Jackson hollered. “You. Do. Not let him close those angles on you.” Jordan threw a flurry of blows. To me, the exchange appeared disorganized, nonsensical—a blur of flesh, sinew and the red flash of Jordan’s mouth guard.

To Jackson, it was a logical sequence, one with only one possible effective response. “Jones,” he said, “move inside.” The fighter seemed to hesitate. If he moved within range of Jordan’s fists, he risked catching a glove square in the face.

“Go on,” Jackson said.

Jones ducked under one fist and whipped his right leg out in a short arc. The kick missed. Jordan threw again. This time Jones dropped down, flicked his head to the side, and, leaping off one foot, launched a flying jab followed by a knee to Jordan’s midsection, which landed with a wet whoompf. Jordan groaned and crumpled onto the mat.

“Goddamn, Jones!” Jackson yelled. “Exactly correct.”

Producing a notepad from his back pocket, Jackson sketched a spiderweb of circles and lines. It was a game tree, he explained—a graph game theorists use to analyze a sequence of decisions. In a traditional game tree, each circle, or node, represents the point at which a decision can be made. Each line, or edge, represents the decision itself. Game trees eventually end in a terminal node—either a tie or a win for one of the players. This game tree, Jackson told me, showed the exchange between Jones and Jordan from Jones’s perspective.


Read the rest at the source:

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-07/cage-match?single-page-view=true 

8/14/12 7:49 PM
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mixedmartialfarts
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 sub'd for later.  Seems like a cool article.
8/14/12 7:56 PM
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wreckker
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When i started Looking at mma the way i do poker i could tell my understanding of the sport grew considerably

From making more effective gameplans for fighters to handicapping fights, game theory and math viewpoint helped alot

I always seperated two before which was stupid

Mma also helps in poker, self control, Handlng adversity, giving a wider strategy
Viewpoint. Phone Post
8/14/12 8:03 PM
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Willin_But_Not_Chaeble
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Edited: 08/14/12 8:41 PM
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It sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus to me. There is WAY too much variety in MMA for any effective game tree that Greg can keep in a notebook in his back pocket. The amount of permutations would require an enormous spreadsheet in actuality.

Jackson is trying to make it appear that he utilizes game theory so his fighters believe that he is really getting analytical to give them an edge. Remember that he needs to sell his coaching skills to retain fighters as well.

 

 
8/14/12 8:09 PM
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Orcus Knows MMA Better Than Goku
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i didnt know game theory was all about breathing
8/14/12 8:10 PM
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panic686
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cool article
8/14/12 9:07 PM
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Archangel
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It's actually a pretty cool article. Thanks for posting
8/14/12 9:10 PM
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MentaL
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MentaL @ Twitter
 subbed for later reading. 
8/14/12 10:07 PM
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FlyingKnee_bar
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nice article...

however my gripe with fightmetric is that while the statistics they measure are nice they miss key intricacies that would lend to statistical significance to numbers...

just to name a few, how were strikes thrown and the frequency of their set ups, damage attributed to strikes, differentiation between takedowns and setups used and their frequncy of each variation, as well as style of defense and tendencies of defensive reactions.

and a lot of other things my list goes on and on, fightmetric is a cool tool, but more in depth breakdown and analysis is needed to actually prove statistically significance...I actually work for a company that does "sabremetrics" for various sports, so i'm always thinking about this
8/14/12 10:12 PM
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cheesesteak
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subbed. I can't wait to read this nonsense tomorrow morning.
8/14/12 10:16 PM
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PR
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The concept is certainly very valid, and good coaches have been using it without knowing.

A simple example would be: imagine you are in a fight. Your opponent can either strike or shoot. You can either counter the strike or stuff the shoot.

If your opponent only strikes, you dont need to worry about the shot. You are always ready for his attack.

Your opponent NEEDS to threaten the shot, just to stop you from having a more successful defense against his attack.

This is rudimentary game theory.
8/14/12 10:22 PM
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THP
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He isn't using game theory. He's promoting a future book, "Game Theory in MMA," written by "The greatest coach ever."

Can't wait.
8/14/12 10:22 PM
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Mdson
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Willin_But_Not_Chaeble - 

It sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus to me. There is WAY too much variety in MMA for any effective game tree that Greg can keep in a notebook in his back pocket. The amount of permutations would require an enormous spreadsheet in actuality.

Jackson is trying to make it appear that he utilizes game theory so his fighters believe that he is really getting analytical to give them an edge. Remember that he needs to sell his coaching skills to retain fighters as well.

 

 

I'm glad that we are having an expert here ;-)
8/14/12 10:28 PM
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jmb73
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Sub Phone Post
8/14/12 10:50 PM
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antifret
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Subbed. Phone Post
8/14/12 10:58 PM
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Brian Rule
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interesting stuff. subbed for later reading

also i'm pretty sure jackson isn't 38... can anyone confirm?
8/14/12 11:12 PM
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Adam Singer
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Sub Phone Post
8/14/12 11:28 PM
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Fedors Jim Jams
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Orcus Knows MMA Better Than Goku - i didnt know game theory was all about breathing

... and getting fans
8/14/12 11:54 PM
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rbl
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 It's an interesting way of looking at it but still hugely subjective. MMA isn't chess, there isn't a discrete set of movements that a fighter can make from a given position, especially from standing. It's like when people start talking about the Art of War in the context of MMA, it's a great book with a lot of interesting ideas but there's not a lot of direct relevance to unarmed sport fighting between two individuals.

8/15/12 12:34 AM
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Lukaplakia14
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interesting read...
8/15/12 12:53 AM
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chitownbjj
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The entire body of knowledge is Game Theory, but what jackson tried to describe is actually called max-min theory (one particular strategy in game theory) where you try to maximize the value of your next move while minimizing your opponent's value, ie i get 4 pts w this move while my opponent gets only 2 points. The idea is that if you apply this strategy over the entire decision tree...you should get more points than your opponent and therefore win the game. This only works where the decision tree is binary and the value for each position is known (think of chess, checkers, etc). An MMA fight have way more variables involved.

Nice try....but it is yet another Jackson's BS just like his Gaidojutsu system. Phone Post
8/15/12 1:00 AM
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formulate
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This is what fighting is all about. It has a lot of cross over with Game Theory. Feints are like Chicken, fouls are like prisoner's dilemmas. etc. All decisions can be weighed according to cost benefit. But Jackson isn't doing anything new. Rickson was doing that in the 90's remember Rickson's flow charts? I do.
8/15/12 1:04 AM
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ausgepicht
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sickdarce -  Buncha bullshit made out to make Jackson appear more important than he really is. Phone Post

About 100x more important than a keyboard warrior who's pissed off because Jones beat his favorite fighter.
8/15/12 1:14 AM
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MachidasBrew 209TT
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meh? didn't think much of it.
8/15/12 1:16 AM
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ausgepicht
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NotImpressedByYourScreenName -  Gee, yeah, Jones coulda dropped Jordan cos of Jackson's game theory shit...

Or it coulda been his vast superiority in reach, experience and talent... Phone Post

Or maybe it's a combination of both?

Derp.

Member Since: 7/17/12  

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