Mixed Martial Arts (or MMA) has become one of the fastest growing trends in recent years and has gained wide coverage on TV through tournaments such as the UFC.
Traditional arts have taken a knock as they have been perceived to be limited for certain situations. For example a grappling art is thought to come unstuck against a striking art and vice a versa. Everyone therefore seeks to learn the ‘key’ elements of some major arts to be a more rounded fighter.
In principle this is not a bad idea. It is good to open your eyes and be aware of the possibilities and strengths and weaknesses of any art. However the danger is that many students look for instant results rather than become proficient in one core skill. Sadly many people remain average across a number of areas rather than excelling in one.
Many of the most respected fighters actually hold black belts in traditional martial arts from Georges St. Pierre to Anderson Silva.
Unfortunately there is no instant secret to becoming competent in self-defence. It really is about repeating your kicks, punches and defence thousands of time until it is ingrained in your muscle memory. Drilling many different movements may provide mental stimulation but in the end it is about being able to call on those skills under pressure.
Traditional arts have survived for thousands of years as they are tried and tested methods. By honing a core skill you will have higher confidence of executing a technique when needed rather than going blank.
Mixed martial arts teach some wonderful skills and this is no disrespect to any art or choice. We believe that in the end it comes down to the practitioner and how much work they put in. In our experience we find it better to master one art before trying another. Some of our students and instructors do train in other arts and will be happy to explain this further.