Tyler Durden inspires growth of Chinese Fight Clubs

Apparently a significant minority of young Chinese have been sufficiently inspired by the 1999 David Fincher / Brad Pitt movie to set up more than 8000 Fight Clubs across the country. To me, this shows how East and West popular culture is a (Han-style) hall of mirrors in which westerners are beguiled into studying martial arts in isolated rural areas that may have existed as much in ritual, on stage and silver screen as the battlefield , while their Chinese counterparts are inspired by a gritty, hyperreal urban US satire (which lets not forget, ends with a Bruce Lee homage) to trade leather in dingy, graffiti daubed supermarket basements 




Shuai Jiao blamed for Chinese resistance to MMA

Looking forward to reading Antonio Graceffo’s book on Shuai Jiao. This article highlights some of his main points: in particular the decline of Shuai Jiao in China relative to other less violent sports, and his theory that the lack of pinning in Shuai Jiao has contributed to the resistance of China to MMA


Smaller man beats larger…in MMA

To all those people who said the Wing Chun guy lost because the MMA guy was bigger…. I could show you many many bouts from MMA where a smaller guy fights a bigger one while retaining his skill levels. For example: Cain Velasquez (111kg) vs Brock Lesnar (130kg)



Maija Soderholm: Sonny Umpad, set patterns and meta-methodologies

Fascinating interview with Maija Soderholm who is one of the very few inheritors of Sonny Umpad’s Visayan Escrima system….what makes this so interesting is that Sonny insisted Maija never teach set patterns. Rather his method as she now passes it on, is ‘alive’ from day one: once you’ve learned to not get hit, only then do you treat the fight like a series of problems to be solved, centring on the importance of reading your opponent and then getting your them to do what you what you want them to, either through feints, set ups or downright psychological trickery…What’s more, these lessons in ‘fight IQ’ constitute a meta-methodology that can be applied to any fighting system or range…http://randykinglive.com/podcast/ep-49-maija-soderholm-author-of-the-liar-the-cheat-and-the-thief

Going to the dogs

If Shuai Jiao had taken this leg locking stuff and integrated it into a live sparring format perhaps we’d have a Chinese Nurmagomedov holding a UFC belt by now….


Taiji wrestling

Running, a little bit of stance work, throws, throws and more throws, with press-ups to finish. Now that’s what I call a TaiJi lesson

Room for tradition in the mix

Comprehensive article from Luke Thomas looking at the ongoing evolution of MMA. The highlights are: high percentage sequences, the rise of the elbow, diversity of movement, the return of traditional arts, comfort in the pocket, the death of the closed guard, reliance on trash talk, takedown defence and anti-wrestling, karate stance and rear hand straight, striking fluidity, the use of the jab, combinations and feints, the all rounder conquers….