The Myth of Pressure Testing: How MMA has failed the martial arts.

Pressure-Testing-Martial-ArtsMixed Martial Arts was supposed to be the savior of martial arts.

It was billed as the ultimate proving ground where a martial artist could test their skills against any other style.

MMA was supposed to provide a nonrestrictive format where anyone could test their techniques under pressure and see what really works and what doesn’t.

To this day many folks consider MMA and Kickboxing style sparring to be an essential part of learning to use their art effectively.

Like any good myth this his half true.

Testing yourself under pressure is essential and training your skills against opponents who are trying to counter you is important.

MMA sparring is just a horribly ineffective way to do this.

Of course the first problem is the rules. The rules are there to prevent techniques that could maim or kill a fighter. Rules are also used to keep the fights entertaining and discourage fighting strategies that might lose the interest of the audience.

There are no weapons in MMA. You only fight a single opponent at a time. etc…

So MMA sparring is NOT preparing you for an attacker who wants to kill or maim you. You are not preparing for an opponent who uses a boring but effective strategy. You are not preparing for an attacker who is armed and you are not preparing for attackers that work together.

A reality based martial art is designed for self defense.

Tai Chi, Silat, Xing Yi, Bagua and many kung fu styles.

These arts where all built to help you survive a life and death situation.

…against opponentS who are most likely armed.

MMA has become a great success as a sport and as entertainment but it has failed completely as an effective means to pressure test the martial arts.

Of course we still need to pressure test our methods.

…and we need to be able to interact with other martial artists and play the training games they are accustomed to.

Our new DVD set The Art of Sparring teaches you the games, drills and sparring methods that reality based martial arts like Kuntao Silat, Tai Chi, Bagua & Xing Yi use to make sure the skills we’re building will be there when we need them most: