Sport fighting / Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Contributed by S. Cockell
The Maai Hyoshi Dojo’s provides it students with a full range of skills including the option to compete in mixed martial arts matches. The instructors can provide students with the skills needed to compete in these events, based on their own experiences in mixed martial arts matches and competitive tournaments. They will also pass on their knowledge obtained over many years of training and dedication to their core system of Ninjutsu and other systems they have studied such as Boxing, Kick Boxing, Brazilian Jiujutsu and Karate.
The instructors will also enable the student to achieve a level of physical fitness required to engage in such an intense activity. The class is broken down into three sections: fitness, skills and sparring.
Fitness: This develops the endurance of the student, so they are able to perform at an optimum level for the required duration of their fight usually 3x3 minute rounds.
Skills: Our class provides the student with the skills needed to compete in a mixed martial arts match. These skills have been selected from the most effective of the ring fighting techniques. These techniques have been combined to give the student the all round ability to develop themselves as a complete fighter.
Sparring: Students free spar in order to sharpen and hone their skills before under taking the fight. It is important to understand that free sparring involves contact, but under strict controlled conditions so as to prevent injuries. Sparring allows students to learn to apply their skills in free form situations. This prepares them for the volatile environment that is a MMA match.
Here is a break down of skills taken from various combat systems, the list is by no means complete but gives an over view of how we draw the best techniques from a variety of systems to build a complete fighter.
Ninjutsu - strikes, kicks, locks and chokes
Boxing - hand skills and evasive movement
Kick boxing - kicks, knees and clinch fighting
BJJ - technical ground fighting, position control and submission techniques such as arm locks and chokes
Karate - kicks and strikes
Many of our instructors have fought in the ring and have bought their experiences back to the training hall.
Steven Cockell 1998-2000 Am Light/Heavy Weight Champion
Daniel Anthony 1998-2000 Am Heavy Weight Champion
Rueben De Jong 2003-2004 Pro Heavy Weight Title
Anthony Clark 1998-1999
Stephen Clark 1998-1999
Stephan Grey 1998-2000
James Hillis 1998
It is interesting to note that all systems of martial arts have certain skills that are universal. For example, the normal human fist appears in all martial arts, Ninjutsu, Kung Fu, Boxing, Pankration, Janna and Vajra Mushti. The human fist has evolved naturally as a weapon due to its effectiveness and availability. It is natural that as human beings many of our natural weapons will develop as we fight – weapons such as the knee, elbow, fingers, head butt, foot and fist have become common attacks in many systems.
MMA takes all weapons from different systems and allows their user to fuse them together, so they provide a large repertoire of tools ready for use in the ring.
The Maai Hyoshi is an evolving system that consistently absorbs and develops, drawing from other schools as well as its own. Following the philosophy “If it works - use it. If it doesn’t work, discard it”. It is from this practice that we learn of the similarities of all the fighting styles of the world, as the saying goes “great minds think alike”.
Found in many of the old school techniques of the nine schools of Ninjutsu are skills that enabled warriors to survive on the battle field. Close study of these techniques will reveal that throughout human kinds history, skill in combat has developed and then been tested in battle and competition. It is inevitable that men will fight each other to prove which system is best. The ring fights of MMA are just such proving ground.
Although many of the survival techniques of Ninjutsu have been removed (e.g. kick to the groin and eye gouging) from MMA it still provides intense pressure and danger that allows for greater development of our system and a better understanding of our own capabilities.
The ring is a great place to sharpen skills up and to prepare our bodies and minds for the trauma of combat. Sport/MMA training is one of the real tests of training. It focuses on effective ring strategies and combines high intensity physical training with the skills needed to survive in the ring. Opportunities to compete are also available with many students having tested their skills in the ring.