Is Mixed Martial Arts Effective For the Streets Or is it Purely a Combat Sport?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years or so, you would have noticed that thanks to competitions such as UFC the steady emergence of Mixed Martial Arts.

Now before you go on and rave about how amazing and fantastic this idea actually is, the truth is that hybrid martial arts have been around for centuries already!

In early civilizations, the Greeks had pankration as part of the Olympic games. These were hard, rough and brutal no holds barred contests which involved elements or striking, grappling and takedowns. Over time, this brutal sport disappeared, however, elements of it can be seen in modern day mixed martial arts.

In the past 100 years or so, mixed martial arts underwent a revival of sorts. Boxers would compete with wrestlers and vice versa in fairs and special events. Sometimes, western wrestlers were pitted against Japanese judoka.

One Englishman named Edward William Barton-Wright even went so far as to invent a hybrid mixed martial art system called Bartitsu which encompassed Boxing, Jujitsu, judo and french cane techniques. During the 1960s and 1970s, a young Chinese man by the name of Bruce lee created his own form of martial art by blending various eastern and western arts to form what we know today as Jeet Kune Do.

Many people still wondered what it would be like if a boxer faced off against a wrestler, a karate man took on a judoka, a muay thai fighter battled with a Brazilian jujitsu practitioner. It was this idea that gave birth to major mixed martial arts competition such as The Ulitmate Fighting Championship (UFC).

But despite organized modern day gladiator-style competitions such as the UFC, not everyone is convinced that mixed martial arts is useful in the street because of the rules that mixed martial arts organizations have to prevent fatal or serious injuries happening to their fighters.

Can Mixed Martial Arts work in the streets?

There’s two ways you can look at it:

No – Some argue that MMA competitions are mainly sporting events and there are loads of rules that limit a fighter’s true potential; for example, no strikes to the back of the head, no eye gouging, no biting, no groin strikes, no throat strikes. So fighters used to such rules might not resort to dangerous but effective self defence techniques such as the above on the street in a flash. But in a life and death situation on the streets, all these moves could come in handy for you to escape your attacker. After all, he isn’t interested in submitting you, but injuring, raping or causing grevious bodily harm.

Yes – Mixed Martial Artists supposedly (or rather, they need to) have heaps of stamina and thanks to training in different disciplines such as Muay Thai, Brazilian jujitsu, boxing and wrestling can subdue would be attackers in certain situations.

If possible, to avoid being outnumbered by a group of aggressive individuals a fit individual could also flee on foot. It may not sound like the most heroic option but would you rather be alive or left bleeding on the streets from a mortal knife wound? Ultimately, whether or not mixed martial arts manifests itself as a combat sport or an effective self defense system depends on the person utilizing his skills.

BOLA TANGKAS