What a question, eh? On one hand you have incredible athletic performances, filled with plotline and acting and dazzling kung fu masters. On the other hand you have the ultimate cockfight, man again man, brawny, trash talking tattoo heads putting it on the line in a mixed martial arts fight! Check out the video and I’ll tell you more.
Well, perhaps I have gone over board in my description, but we can live with that. There is enough truth in my words. And, the question, let’s face it, is a good one.
Mixed martial arts, or MMA, as it is referred to, is the fastest growing sport in the world. While I love the spectacle, I have to be truthful, it is difficult to learn the fines points of fighting. Yes, there will be amazing examples of pugilism, and a distinct style of ring wrestling, or jujitsu, but there won’t be the fine study of classical martial arts technique.
A study of Kung Fu, or any classical martial art such as kenpo or taekwondo or karate or whatever, is a journey through endless fine points of technique. It is an education in physics unparalleled. It does not, however, except in specific instances, present a totally street combat science.
Uncover a few layers, and we can define the difference between art and sport. An art is a rejoicing of the spirit, a seeking of the self within, a distillation of the human being into finer and nobler purpose. A sport, on the other hand, is the throwing of one man against another, and often to the point of exploded ears, broken jaws, and consciousness battered to the point of impairment.
Thus, there are good and bad points coming forth from this comparison of the two fighting disciplines. MMA results in vicious and effective street fighting abilities, though there is a cost. Kung Fu results in astounding knowledge, but is not always street effective.
These strengths and weaknesses do, of course, depend on the quality of the sensei one has. In the hands of a good teacher MMA will not just be awe and popcorn, but will adhere to time honored concepts of fair play, strength of personality, and the enhancement of the human being. And, a good Kung Fu instructor will understand the aspects of real life fighting that are a must if one is to survive on the street.
Of course, the initial question to this article was more than a mere comparison of art vs sport, it is a question of which you would rather do, attend a mixed martial arts fight, or watch a kung fu extravaganza. With that question in mind, this writer makes his choice for watching kung fu. However, I believe readers will be split between the two, and that is perhaps fitting and correct.
Want some Shaolin Kung Fu that is gr-r-reat for the street? Head Over to Monster Martial Arts, and make sure you pick up the free book on the home page.