Self Defense/Would MMA have appealed to you in your prime?
QUESTION: If MMA as it is today had existed back in your younger and crazier days,would you taken part in it? While its true that MMA doesn't have an answer for weapons,multiple attackers and environmental issues,etc. and is ultimately a sport,it does teach you how to "Fight"(the most common motivation for learning martial arts,and I believe that was your original intention as well)and it does so very well. there's plenty of stories out there where an MMA practitioner hands out an ass kicking to untrained dudes.
ANSWER: I didn't go into the martial arts to become a fighter. I went in to become a better fighter. Big difference. The reason I got into to Wing Chun for example was a bad experience I had about trying to throw a rear legged round house kick while between two pool tables. It. Didn't. Work.
However, nothing from MMA would have worked either.
Whereas Wing Chun worked with fighting in cramped spaces. Between pool tables, hallways and indoors, yeah. That I can use.
Ground fighting I'd learned from my brother being on the wrestling team -- and us fighting. Boxing I'd learned from being coached. The only thing that I didn't get from the source was muay Thai kicks. The karate I'd learned was still pretty much full contact. (Point sparring hadn't come in yet).
So bottomline back then martial arts were bangers. You'd go in hard and take hits. Things weren't as watered down then as they are now. So MMA claiming to be tough fighters, hell back then we had a thing called Dojo Busting. That's where you'd go into a school and challenge the teacher or his best students (if you brought friends) to a throw down. And if the school wanted to stay in business, they'd throw down.
So the answer is really no because I could get hard core effective training from a non-watered down source back then. You didn't need someone selling hybrid stuff from other arts when you could go to the source.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Would this be a good example of legitimate wing chun?:
As for where I got that video from,here's a Chinese Martial Arts thread that has a collection of Full-contact videos on Bullshido(a site that was ironically infamous for being full of MMA fanboys,but things may have changed):
(some of the links are dead unfortunately,but more than enough of them is available thankfully)
Here's another piece of the contents of that forum,I believe the style is called "Mantis",it looks awesome.
What do you think? so this is what non-watered down martial arts look like?
No. What I'm seeing there (in the two clips I checked) is sparring. With protective gear.
Yeah maybe they're hitting harder than some, but it's still sparring.
Sparring has a specific purpose. A purpose that most people -- especially instructors -- don't understand so they mis-apply it. In doing so they develop bad habits and misunderstanding.
Ever heard of 'ippon kumite' (one step sparring training)?
Even that video, which is doing a weak and watered down version gets it right in saying "it's important to do other types before moving onto this one."
See proper one step isn't a slow, stop six inches out of range so the guy can beat up a statue that is done in most karate schools.
It's the guy (uke) coming in (eventually) at full force and full speed with just ONE, preplanned move. This allows you to slowly work at making sure the necessary components are ingrained into your movement. As in if you don't have the the necessary elements in your counter technique, you're going to get pasted to the wall. Knowing you have to do it right also introduces a degree of adrenal stress. So you get 'innoculated' and practiced at functioning effectively while adrenalized. And that is ONLY against a single move coming at you.
That dancing around and popping each other -- when done too soon in training -- actually ingrains more bad habits than benefits.