In recent years, the combat sports landscape has started to feel the influences of Chinese Kung Fu.
But is it just a ripple, or will it become a wave?
We take a look at some of the most prominent combat sports athletes and fighters that are doing their part in "Making Kung Fu Great Again".
We also give a refreshed outlook on Chinese Martial Arts in the combat sports landscape as it stands today in 2020.
On June 22, 2019. Artem Lobov (30-15, MMA), an MMA journeyman managed to edge out former World Champion professional boxer Paulie Malignaggi (36-8, Boxing) in a bare-knuckle boxing match at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 6: Malignaggi vs. Lobov.
The unexpected result sent shockwaves throughout the combat sports world and “exposed” the sport of boxing.In this blog post, we will look at the elements of boxing without gloves on, and if that means boxing training is, to some people who define it as such, the new "Kung Fu" (referring to a martial art or system that is only effective in its own ecosystem but ineffective once it is applied to the reality of fighting).
We take a look at the Okinawan Karate techniques utilized in a world class competitive fighting environment, (ie. the Ultimate Fighting Championship / UFC), and mainly the only man who is able to make use of such techniques in former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and UFC Middleweight contender, and current Bellator MMA contender, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida.
We will breakdown the most important moves that the rest of the MMA world or new school fans unaccustomed to Karate will find "elusive" and "weird".
Having trained in Taekwondo, we understand that the art itself has evolved into a sport and lost many of its other techniques in favour of only focusing on kicks.
Competition Taekwondo, at the lower and middle levels, also looks tame in comparison to full contact Muay Thai kickboxing bouts.
However, high-level, Olympic-level Taekwondo in the Adult Men's Division, is definitely not without its uses.
Martial arts is dead.
It has become common and mainstream for kids and adults alike these days to train in combat sports such as MMA and modernized martial arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, rather than the more traditional forms of martial arts such as Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Karate, Judo, and so on and so forth.
While there is certainly nothing wrong in training MMA and BJJ (in fact we highly recommend them for their effectiveness in real fighting), the high degree of focus on sports competition and winning at all costs in MMA and BJJ - often come at a price when it comes to developing and cultivating individual morals, values, and ethics - perhaps more so than others.
In the WME-IMG era of UFC / MMA combat sports landscape - disrespectful trash-talking and WWE-style "Attitude Era" antics have skyrocketed to another level (and hit a new moral low).
While we can fully appreciate the entertainment factor, spectacle, showmanship, and charismatic fun of competitive trash talk from one competitor to another - there is a difference between things said and done for entertainment and crass thug-like behaviour.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has now become fully synonymous with the latter.
Being the birthplace of Asian martial arts (as the Chinese phrase goes: "all martial arts come from Shaolin" - albeit with influences from India), China (a.k.a. The Middle Kingdom) possesses over five thousand years of history, and is the central origin of all Asian people and culture that can be traced back to the ancient times. While they won't openly admit it, neighbouring nations such as Japan, Korea, and all of South East Asia owe their historical and cultural roots to China, in one way or another.
Why is it then, in a society of more than 2 billion ethnic Chinese people scattered across the globe combined, we have not had any successful Chinese fighters (so far)? Why is it that Japan, a tiny island comprised of only about 125 million people, has produced some of the sport's most legendary MMA fighters, and Korea is taking the lead in pushing the next wave of successful Asian fighters, while China (and its neighbouring Chinese populations in and of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau) is still the odd country out of the party? Why have Chinese fighters failed to find success at prize fighting and what is it that makes Chinese people "different" than other Asian fighters?