Why Is Karate and Other Chinese Martial Arts Not Used in MMA?


It’s not uncommon for new fans and spectators of mixed martial arts to wonder why karate and other Chinese martial arts aren’t incorporated in it. As the foundation of most combat sport disciplines, one would expect them to comprise the majority of MMA moves. Instead, not only is that not the case, but they barely make an appearance in the MMA world at all.

Why could this be, given that mixed martial arts are, in fact, a mix of several other combat sports? Also, why is karate no longer such a major force in modern-day MMA? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

Reasons Karate and Chinese Martial Arts Aren’t Used in MMA

Fighters pull the various stances, skills, and techniques of several martial art forms when doing MMA. But why don’t karate and Chinese martial arts fit into the equation?

More About Preserving Reputation Than Showing Skill

Karate and Chinese martial artists often regard themselves as highly disciplined fighters with a “deadly” fighting style. In contrast, MMA fighters are the “less talk, more brawl” type of personalities. They would much rather show you what they’re capable of rather than tell you. That’s what sets them apart from a lot of Chinese martial artists who are unwilling to put their bodies where their mouths are.

Through sanctioned fights, MMA and boxing warriors put both their reputation and skills on the line. Practitioners of BJJ or Brazilian jiu-jitsu constantly battle it out on the mat to see whose technique comes out on top. On the other hand, karate and Chinese martial artists have become infamous for their reluctance to take the same risk unless their chances of winning are close to 100 percent.

Some MMA pundits have even called out the Chinese martial art form Wing Chun for its ineffectiveness in general. They’ve gone to the extent of branding it as an impractical martial art form in today’s combat fighting world. According to these individuals, if one were to show off their moves in such a discipline, they would risk being ridiculed by their peers.

Lacks the Qualities To Make It in Today’s World

One Chinese martial arts discipline that still appears in modern MMA is karate. While it’s no longer as important to MMA as other component disciplines, it has given fighters some success in the ring. Some of its many benefits are helping fighters find peace within themselves and gaining balance.

Unlike karate, Wing Chun and other forms of Chinese martial arts can’t adapt to the world of MMA. They also do not possess the evolutionary qualities that allow for the incorporation of new kicks, stances, and grapples essential in mixed martial arts. In other words, these disciplines alone will leave you a sitting duck in the octagon.

This isn’t to say that Chinese martial arts are completely dead or useless. Despite the picture mixed martial arts experts have painted of it, you can’t deny that it’s still effective in its own context. However, it’s too tradition-laced to ever become practical for the volatile world of modern fighting.

We each have our unique fighting style, which is why you can still find some fighters incorporating Chinese martial arts moves into their game. Many of them even do so without understanding the moves, which can put one in a perilous situation mid-fight.

Nevertheless, with MMA as among the most rapidly evolving combat sports, who’s to say its style won’t eventually make room for other forms of Chinese martial arts? So, it really is too early to tell if Wing Chun and the rest of the Chinese martial art forms have their glory days behind them.

How Karate Fares in MMA

Karate may no longer be the huge factor it once was back in MMA’s early days, but depending on your fighting style, it can still prove crucial to taking down an opponent.

Those who incorporate karate into their fights use quick, snappy strikes in succession to weaken an opponent before delivering the knockout blow. They are also particularly skilled at evasion and are light on their feet, which gives them good distance control.

Despite all these good things about karate, its lack of adaptability has led some of the world’s top fighters to find cracks in its techniques. Therefore, unless you’re supremely talented in this martial art form, it’s best not to rely on it to mold your MMA fighting style.

Should You Incorporate Chinese Martial Arts in Your Game?

Your game, your rules, right? While that’s true to a certain extent, some elements can undoubtedly put you at a disadvantage when incorporated into a mixed martial arts fighting style.

One of these elements is Chinese martial arts, whose essential qualities fail to align with that of MMA. Even so, one never knows in the future if the ever-volatile MMA will decide to align itself with the purest Chinese martial art forms instead. Now, wouldn’t that make for a potentially exciting journey ahead?

You can view the original article HERE.



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