[TAG] Work In Progress
sluggoster at gmail.com
Wed Nov 9 22:41:40 MSK 2005
On 11/9/05, Jimmy O'Regan <jimregan at o2.ie> wrote:
> Mike Orr wrote:
> > But still, I hope UFC wipes WWE off the screen.
> I doubt it, from what little I've seen of UFC. WWE is... a soap opera
> with fighting (uh... better fights :), UFC just looks like a bar brawl.
It can look like a brawl if you don't understand what they guys are
doing, but it's quite organized. It (pankration) is a combination of
wrestling and kickboxing. One guy puts the other guy in standard
submission holds until he taps out (symbolically gives up). The
referee watches closely and stop the match if one guy can't defend
himself any more, or if the other guy breaks the rules. There are
three or four rounds, not fifteen like in some boxing matches, and you
don't go till the guy is knocked unconscious. It's safer than
American football because you're not colliding with the guy at thirty
miles an hour. Injuries during deliberate holds are rare because (1)
they're designed for maximum pain but minimum injury, and (2) the guy
is supposed to tap. There are several tournaments like UFC, the
biggest being Pride FC in Japan.
In the early 1900s, the Gracie family in Brazil learned jiu-jitsu from
a Japanese master. They combined it with streetfighting techniques
and created the sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In the 1990s they set
up schools in the US, knowing it would be a big hit because there was
nothing like it here. UFC was started around the same time although
I'm not sure exactly how. Early UFC was all about "Which style is
best?", matching opponents from different martial arts backgrounds
(including wrestling and boxing). The BJJ guys used UFC to prove
their style was the best. They mostly succeeded, although it showed
certain weaknesses in the BJJ technique (no stand-up boxing skills).
Then everybody started cross training, and eventually a "pankration
style" developed, which you can learn specifically and is what UFC is
now. But to be really good you'd take additional training in specific
fields (freestyle wrestling for takedowns, BJJ for ground work, boxing
for stand-up work, and [insert Oriental martial art here]).
Pankration was the main sport in the ancient Olympics. There's a
modified version in the modern Olympics (no stand-up hitting?), but
it's not shown on US TV because figure skating and synchronized
swimming are so much more important.
There's a TV show "Ultimate Fighter" that shows how the guys train. I
don't have cable so I haven't seen it. But one of the guys, Chris
Leben, is from Portland. He used to come up to Washington to fight in
the amateur tournaments. We have a good-natured rivalry with his
school (Team Quest) because of course Washington is better than
Oregon. :) Now he comes up to sell T-shirts. The tournament
organizer invited him to stand in the ring as a VIP and said, "He used
to fight here. But he ended up beating all our guys. Now he's on to
The amateur tournaments normally have pankration matches intermixed
with kickboxing, and sometimes muay thai or regular boxing.
Wrestling is disappearing in American colleges due to Title IX, a law
that under some interpretations requires an equal number of slots for
men and women in sports. So the colleges drop wrestling to avoid
getting sued. (There are few women wrestlers, though there are more
women pankrationists than you might expect.) Wrestling remains big in
the midwest colleges and Oklahoma because there are so many
multigenerational wrestling families and it's a moneymaking sport, but
it never caught on much in the northwest where football subsidizes all
the other sports. But as it disappears from the colleges it's been
popping up in the martial arts schools, as people want to cross train.
So that could be its dominant place in twenty years.
> As for visualisation, well... you've seen kata and shadow boxing, right?
Not with visualization, no. I experienced katas briefly in Oom Yung
Doe. I'd like to learn a couple of them someday, but not enough to go
through a full class.
Mike Orr <sluggoster at gmail.com> or <mso at oz.net>
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