Traditional martial arts have truly paved the way for those who have become practitioners of MMA. We all have Bruce Lee to thank when it comes to the introduction of adapting to different styles as opposed to only learning one style, hence, how mixed martial arts was born. Those that are young and don’t know about the differences have a hard time distinguishing them while others are unsure as to whether they should learn traditional martial arts or train at a gym, learning MMA.
Traditional Martial Arts:
Traditional martial arts is basically more spiritual, and is learned for the sole purpose of creating peace, not violence. So many people get this wrong and think that with learning martial arts, you’re solely learning to fight. Martial arts isn’t about fighting. It’s about creating peace and become more enlightened about oneself and learning things about the world, about nature. Sure, you learn fancy footwork, and you learn how to defend yourself, but that’s only one aspect. When it comes time for you to learn about martial arts you’re learning two aspects; internal and external.
The external aspect deals with learning the punches, the kicks, and the entire foundation that allows you to progress into a good fighter. Here, you’re learning drills, flexibility, the stances, and specific forms, depending on what type of martial arts discipline that you want to learn, whether it’s Karate, Kung fu, Tai Chi Chuan, or other.
The internal aspect deals with spirituality; meditation, prayer etc. and ultimately it contributes to, not only self awareness and the spreading of peace, but also your health (mental and physical).
One other difference with traditional martial arts is, you learn it in a school as opposed to a gym. Ultimately martial arts inspired the use of mixed martial arts because traditionally a practitioner would only learn one style here or one style there. Bruce Lee really got it into our minds that it’s best to learn different styles so you can better adapt if you’re even in a situation where you need to change the way you execute a move.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA):
Mixed martial arts is an art that blends many different styles together, and as mentioned above, was inspired by the many different styles of traditional martial arts. In the beginning it was referred to as No Holds Barred and you learn in a gym as opposed to a traditional school.There’s no spirituality in MMA or enlightenment, only hardcore fighting that has advantages and disadvantages. During a competition, it varied greatly from your average martial arts tournament. With MMA, you’re participating in a brutal fight that takes place in a cage, or octagon as it is with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
These days a lot of MMA fighters are all about competing with each other, but most do it in an unhealthy way. MMA is a great sport, but some take it way too far, and it got to a point where it lost some of the essence that you can still see in traditional martial arts. Despite the downside, MMA comes with many benefits that includes being able to adapt to another fighter’s style because that’s what it’s all about; you learn different styles and techniques that can enable you to get the upper-hand when you’re fighting an opponent.
A lot of fighters do what is called “freestyle fighting” which basically means you’re not doing traditional fight techniques, but rather a street fighting style. Others originally learned one traditional style after another. Unlike traditional martial arts that only deals with punches and kicks, MMA involves takedowns, submissions, wrestling, and ground and pound fighting techniques. Many fighters use these techniques to ultimately win a round against an opponent or win the overall fight. MMA is also said to be more realistic in a real street fighting situation, however, there have been cases where techniques using traditional martial arts have helped a person out of a situation as well.