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Boxing & Traditional MA's

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  • Boxing & Traditional MA's

    Personally, I have seen traditional MA training and techniques work on the street and gym but sometimes I still shudder at the training of some schools. Its ok to train in MA for a variety of reasons, but if you're teaching self-defense shouldn't you be teaching something that works against spontaneity and resistance? Here's an article from from an accomplished boxer and his experience during a visit to a TMA school:


    Boxers are well equipped to handle themselves in most self-defense situations. It is very difficult to contend with an opponent that is constantly moving and throwing multiple blows in rapid succession. He hits with precision and power and avoids punches while positioning himself to counter. A boxer has the stamina to continue fighting at a rapid pace long after most well conditioned athletes would have become too exhausted to defend themselves.

    It is not my intention to discredit any martial art or its practitioners; I am simply pointing out the strengths of a well trained boxer. The sweet science has a lot to offer a person looking to learn how to defend himself even if he were to never compete in the ring.

    I have been boxing for over twenty years and my skills are slightly above average. I recently attended a few classes at a more traditional martial arts school. What I learned was astounding. I learned that you could achieve black belt ranking without being either in shape or able to fight! I saw supposed experts throwing punches that were telegraphed, off balance and ineffective. I was taught a blocking system that was so complicated that a ten-year-old girl was able to punch me in the face while I tried to remember which was the right move to block her punch. I was told that eventually I would learn to “just react” and my technique would be effective. Now, I know the value of being able to react without thinking about it, but apparently my reactions were not correct.

    I was made to feel like my style was wrong and useless because I did things that weren’t in the play book, such as feinting a jab and throwing a straight right directly behind it (apparently this is a foul because it “throws off your timing’)-so much for the need to be unpredictable. When I questioned the rationale behind dropping your guard to block a low punch, instead of absorbing it with the elbows, I was told that my technique wasn’t powerful enough to hurt my opponents punching arm. Two things came to mind 1: I wondered if the black belt had ever landed a hook to someone’s elbow…ouch! 2. I also wondered if the over hand right that my opponent should throw next would be powerful enough to knock me on my ass, especially considering that I had no ability to defend against it now that my lead hand was guarding my knees.

    The culmination of my education came at the end of the night when I was asked to spar with one of the black belts. This particular gentleman spent about five minutes explaining to the class why I was going to be dazzled and defeated by his technique. Apparently he was attempting to illustrate the fact that boxing is grossly inferior as a fighting art.

    I actually made a sincere effort to bow out of the sparring session. I really had no desire to get into a testosterone-induced test of skill and manhood. I was assured that he would “go easy on me”. I decided to go with the flow and see what happened. My opponent had size over me; I’ll admit that much. He came straightforward with well planned and well telegraphed strikes. He didn’t really use much in the way of movement or combination punching though, just a lot of screaming (what the hell is all that about, anyways?) and head hunting.

    The end came pretty quick, I’m sorry to say. I slipped one of his haymakers to my left, and countered with a tight left hook to the body. Now, I was being pretty kind here as I kept my hands loose inside my gloves and just threw with the intention of making contact. Think of tapping here folks, not hammering! Anyways, it didn’t matter; he went down like a bag of dirt. I was so shocked that my soft pedaling body punch dropped him that I just stood there for a second, he was right…I truly was dazzled! I quickly came to my senses and helped him up. I thanked him for the lesson and beat feet out of his gym. I don’t think I’ll be going back there any time soon, even if I’m invited.

    If I had one piece of advice for this gentleman or any other aspiring fighter for that matter, it would be this: Do your sit-ups and your roadwork, and watch some of Mickey Ward’s fights on tape. Where I come from the only belts that matter say things like “MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION” on them and you gotta earn those the hard way. As my friend Ross Enamait likes to say: “No teammates, no timeouts, no place to hide”. Who can argue with that?

  • #2
    Isn't the biggest problem the training method though? Not sparring with a resistant opponent, and sparring hard (after some time of training)?


    • #3

      this guy looking for a fight?!

      Did he hide the fact that he had done 20 year's of boxing?

      Does boxing have a philosophy..a modus operandi, if you will?

      How old was this guy?

      I wonder if this guy ever thought about getting in the the ring? I wonder if this guy was lonely at school?

      !I am surprised that any martial art school would take any person who even look's like they've done 20 year's of boxing. Why. He obviously know's how to defend himself!


      • #4
        Originally posted by MmaFighter152
        Thats awesome, most TMA's have strayed so far away from what is real combat!
        Hmm, what happens to a boxer when the TMA is a sword or blade art? It's a question of paradigm, not tradition.


        • #5
          Just a guess...

          Originally posted by cocoy
          Hmm, what happens to a boxer when the TMA is a sword or blade art? It's a question of paradigm, not tradition.

          They bleed?


          • #6
            Originally posted by cocoy
            Hmm, what happens to a boxer when the TMA is a sword or blade art? It's a question of paradigm, not tradition.
            Agreed. You've got to keep it balanced..