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MMA Thought

Have you ever watched a MMA (mixed martial arts) fight between a fighter in his prime (usually the famous one) and an older fighter (usually not so famous or perhaps he used to be famous)? Sometimes after nearly three, four or five hard fought rounds, the younger fighter will win and everyone will cheer! He is the winner and the other fighter is the loser -- even if there are only 10 seconds left in the final round.

When I see that, I ask myself this: "In a real fight, could the winner have knocked out the other guy in 10 seconds?" Obviously, the answer would usually be "no"-- after all, it took so many rounds for him to win. A real fight does not last that long. Some fights are over very quickly.

Some of the MMA fighters who lose fights are terrific fighters who can take tremendous punishment. I dare say that an average person, even an average martial artist, could beat on such fighters all day long and do little or no damage. They are just too strong and too skilled.

What I am saying is that real fights are usually over quickly. Some people, especially trained fighters, can take a lot of punishment. And they will not just be standing there -- they will be doing their best to beat the crap out of you.

To make matters worse (at least in my case), if you fight in an ordinary way, then size and weight matter. Since I am only 5 feet 8 inches tall, many fighters are taller and heavier than me. If I try to match them in raw power, I will almost certainly lose. And I am a grandfather too. I am probably way older than most fighters.

So what is a martial artist to do?

One day I asked my third son, who is quite strong and much taller than me, if he could take me in a fight. He started to have that certain grin indicating that he was certain that he could. But before he could answer, I added, "I have a knife and you don't". His expression instantly changed. A knife? That's a different story.

Karate is like having a knife. Karate strikes are almost surgical in their focus. The targets are very specific points.

Would this work on a trained fighter? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps it could give you the split second necessary to block an attack and escape.

But when you feel pretty good at Karate, you should watch a hard fought MMA match. It is a good reality check. Now imagine that the fighter is armed, or has friends. Yikes! Now imagine that you are attacked without any warning. That is exactly what we are training for.


Charles C. Goodin