From the Octagon to the Street, Part 3By
It’s been a while since I wrote part two of From the Octagon to the Street and I hadn’t planned on writing another part. But I just saw a video video at Tactical Arnis that perfectly illustrates the points I’ve been making.
What’s it about? Dana White and a couple UFC fighters do some training at the Martial Arts Center of Excellence, including hand-to-hand combat with knives, sticks, rifles and other weapons.
The fun starts at 3min50 where they have to do a drill called “Last of the Mohicans”. Watch that one first and then read a few of my thoughts on it here below:
- The instructor clearly said anything goes. They were allowed to do everything they wanted, including all the techniques that are fouls in the Octagon. This is a key issue, we’ll come back to it.
- Every single one of them gets owned as soon as they make contact with the Marines. Now I know there’s some fancy editing to make it look cool but you clearly see every single UFC fighter would have died in a real fight.
- The first one actually freezes when the first baton strike lands. Do you think he’s not familiar with adrenal stress after fighting many times in the UFC? And where was his takedown defense when the marine swept him with classic footsweep you see in all those stupid traditional martial arts but rarely in the Octagon?
- Every UFC fighter who faced multiple opponents made terrible tactical choices: either they used no footwork at all, didn’t even try to keep the attackers lined up instead of letting them get to the flank and one of them even gave his back voluntarily (and promptly got stabbed in it)
- When they were dumped on the floor, their defense sucked. Big time. Just look at what happens every time one of them is dropped on the ground and the sticks and rifles keep landing on their head.
Now I’m being a bit harsh on the UFC guys, I know, but I’m trying to emphasize a point so bear with me. Here are some more thoughts for you to consider:
- The Marines didn’t bring in a bunch of newbie fighters. They brought Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Gabriel Gonzaga and Marcus Davis. You may or may not like them but they have fought at the highest levels of the UFC. So in many ways, they are some of the best MMA has to offer. And they all “died” in every fight they did…
- Did they “die” because they don’t know how to hit hard? Because they are slow? Because they are out of shape? The answer to all these questions is “No.” They lost their fights because they don’t train for the environments the Marines train for. Like I said before ad nauseam: context is king and the differences are just as important as the similarities. You can try to simply take MMA techniques out of the Octagon and use them for actual combat. But here you see what happens when some of the best MMA fighters around do that, without learning how to adapt those techniques. The results sucks.
- If you feel threatened by these comments, you might want to argue details with me. But that’s pointless. Yes, each of these fighters would eat each single Marine raw in the Octagon, using UFC rules. And there are a bunch more situations in which my money wouldn’t be on the Marine. But that’s not the point. The point is that you need to train differently for different environments. If this clip doesn’t convince you, then nothing will and I wish you all the best in your part of reality. ;-)
As always, your mileage may vary and if MMA works great for you in actual combat, more power to you. That’s perfectly fine and doesn’t invalidate my arguments. Nor does it validate the opposing view that MMA works everywhere, all the time, in every possible scenario. It only means you made it work in a given number of specific situations. And like the Mad Chemist said: the plural of anecdote is not evidence.
In the end, all you can do is train hard and hope it’s enough to carry you through whatever storms may come your way. So good luck with your training.