Monday, 5 September 2011

MMA is the closest thing to street fighting...

Is it, really? How many times have you heard this? 
Well I have heard it quite a bit over the years, usually from those that would label themselves "cagefighters" and tend to have a liking for Tapout T-shirts, hoodies, pants and knickers etc. Or those that possibly do not have quite as much experience outside the chippy as they would have you believe. Not always, but more often than not in my humble opinion...
Ok, so how close is it to a tear up in the street? Well I don't think anyone can deny it's a lot closer than Taekwondo or suchlike if for no other reason than you can and will regularly end up on your arse and have to fight to get back on your feet or at least for dominance on the ground. Imagine that, how unfair! I mean, is that not cheating? 
Some bad news I'm afraid, it's not cheating and to add insult to injury (injuries) in the street it gets even worse.
Ever had a passer-by stick the boot in while your rolling about with some coked up drunk? Or had a complimentary bat in the gob from a bored onlooker, probably no surprise that I have given how much I'm loved for my sarcasm and interesting points of view on a few subjects. Mainly the RBSD scene admittedly but I'm sure you get my point.

I have never seen a third party steam in to one or both of the fighters during an MMA bout but I have on countless occasions seen it in the street. And been on the receiving end to boot, no pun intended...well maybe a bit.
So how similar is an MMA fight to a streetfight/straightener/pub brawl etc? Two entirely different animals…completely. Before I give my reasons why I think this let me tell you how I felt stepping in the cage. When you walk out in front of a few hundred people and then step into the cage and go to your corner you feel like you're fighting everyone in that venue. 
The pressure is most definitely on and all the bullshit and claims you may have made are now going to be tested for all to see, thankfully this is not prevalent at all in MMA, one of the reasons I took to it and love it so much. 
Completely at odds with the current RBSD scene which seems to be entirely based on tinterweb for most followers, but I digress… 
Now imagine that feeling of fighting every onlooker in the street and praying none of them decide to start punching or kicking your mallet while your trying to deal with the original problem...yes it does happen. And no they don't even have to know your opponent to feel justified in having a pop at you. 
Don't believe me? To put it bluntly, I doubt you have ever been there in that case.
The MMA fight has a massive margin of safety, comparatively speaking, to a scrap in the street for many many reasons. Here's some of the huge comfort zones and rules designed to protect an MMA fighter:
1: Time limits.
2: Gum shields.
3: A nice clean impact absorbent floor with no rubbish or broken bottles lying around if/when it goes to the floor.
4 : A referee to step in if one fighter cannot intelligently continue to defend himself.
5: No eye gouging.
6: No biting.
7: No groin strikes.
8: No small joint manipulation.
9: No throat strikes.
10: No head butts.
11: No shredders.
12: No kicking to the head of a downed opponent. (just have a think about how relevant that really is)
13: Groin guards and as much time out as required if struck in the nuts to recover. If only!
14: A cage side Doctor or paramedics.
15: Being able to win on points alone.
16: Cornermen to shout advice on what you can't see.
17: A rest for a minute, a drink of water and maybe even a sit down after each 5 minute round.
18: Having background on your opponent.
19: Your opponent generally doesn't pull out a blade or a duster etc at any point.
20: Gloves/mitts.
21: Submissions have a "tap out" option.
22: Fighting starts from touching gloves and more often than not getting a "feel" for pace, strength, style etc. As opposed to launching themselves at you mid argument or from behind/the side or with mates.
23: Your opponent tends to be sober and compos mentis.
24: Your fighting for a title or plastic trophy not your life or the ability to walk, talk and speak when the final bell goes.
25: Win lose or draw his mates don't set about you in the carpark afterwards.

Closest thing to street fighting or a violent all out attack? Not in my experience or considered opinion. 
Obviously I could now list all the things that could happen in violent encounter/situation in the street, like weapons, being outnumbered, getting your head kicked about like a football whilst unconscious and such like but the possibilities and variables in such a scenario are endless. And hopefully if you can see how "safe" MMA is (comparatively speaking) from the 25 points listed above then it's obvious why I'm not going to bother.
This is not to take away at all in anyway how tough MMA fighters are mentally and physically. MMA is an extremely hard game to compete in, with all manner of fitness and conditioning required even at base level. But it's the huge margin for error allowed here I am trying to convey, you with me?
As part of RBSD training I rate MMA highly as it has so many ranges techniques/defences you can add to your armoury. But it is not street fighting, it's not as close as some would tell you or like to believe, closer than a lot of stuff out there that has the cheek to claim "good form of self defence" but it's still an entirely different animal if the truth be told.
Not sure how this will be received and I'm sure it will upset a few as I always (obviously entirely inadvertently) seem to do, but Tapout clothing is pretty reasonable these days and as we all know, if you wear Tapout and call yourself a "Cagefighter" nobody will ever test you! 

To find out more about Chris's club visit
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