Five Fake Martial Arts Exposed By MMA Fighters

It’s amazing how many martial arts existed for hundreds of years without being called out for being ineffective. These fighting systems simply flew under the radar as practitioners only ever faced off with one another.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

That’s what made the pioneer days of MMA so unique. For hundreds of years the best combat athletes on the planet were competing only against their own disciplines. Fighting systems can’t evolve that way, and eventually you end up with something no longer based on reality. The early UFCs pitted style vs. style however, so we finally could determine which martial arts are the best.

Thanks to a combination of MMA and the internet we now know which martial arts are able to win fights, and which ones are nonsense. In other words, you won’t find many contributions to the world of MMA coming from the martial arts listed in this article.

Whether the developers of these systems were ignorant, delusional, or just plain dishonest, nothing useful has come from the following 5 fighting styles:

5. Akido

Akido sounds like a very polite martial art. It’s all about neutralizing an attacker without causing injury to them. That’s adorable. The problem is the lack of realism involved in the discipline.

In demonstration videos, attackers are generally of the least effective variety, willingly going along with the Akido master and offering no resistance. Akido only works when you are demonstrating it, that is to say it doesn’t work at all.

In 1967, a branch of Akido was formed which placed greater emphasis on sparring and competition. Shodokan Akido holds World Championship events every other year. When matched up against other styles however, Shodokan Akido doesn’t measure up either.

In a real fight, Akido won’t accomplish much, unless your attacker also happens to be an Akido practitioner, then you might have a shot.

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Comments

  1. These examples are all well and good, but the article is shallow in concept. No art is represented by any one fighter. The best will not be found in such matches. Those who put themselves out there have something to prove, which means they are not at the top of the game.

    • Nice excuses you’re making. “Well, a REAL master wouldn’t have to try and prove their art to someone else.”

      Yeah, that’s called a cop out.

      • While he’s willing to cop-out with the “these guys have something to prove” I will gladly step in and clarify the FIRST part of his statement (about cherry picking a whole style based on a single fighter.)
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6Ky7zTV7RM

        Watch this video. It’s Shaolin Boxing fighters kicking the crap out of MMA fighters. The few times you see one of the other fighters go in for a takedown, they get literally thrown halfway across the mat.

        In defense of styles like Sumo, Tai Chi, and Akido, and Wing Chun, you’re arguing the validity of martial-arts styles that are decades to centuries old (and consequently were created with the situations found decades to centuries ago) versus newer styles created for the specific purpose of defeating a purely-striking form of martial-arts. In addition, the creation of MMA didn’t occur in an isolated society where group-think was prevalent and prejudices were heavy influences.

        By prejudice I refer to the grappling-to-the-ground aspect of most MMA styles.
        At the time most of these martial arts came into existence, ground-fighting wasn’t a socially acceptable method of fighting as it was seen as something commoners (平民 (hei-min) in Japanese) did and was “unrefined” or “undisciplined”. If you believe that the refusal to get down and dirty deligitimizes the style however, then that’s the equivalent of stating that WWI planes are “fake” planes because they could never beat an F-15 (much less an F-22).

        It’s not that these martial arts are “fake”, it’s that like any other practice (medical, science, war) the knowledge and ideas have evolved in the last few hundred years. In addition, martial artists no longer hold a position of prominence in a predominantly class-based society. This removes the social stigma of “fighters in the dirt” that most grapplers were seen as.

        To prove this, the inception of Judo, Hapkido, Kuʻialua (aka: Lua, Hawaiian striking and grappling known for being extremely deadly), Krav Maga, Silat, and Muay Thai are all examples of martial arts that incorporate grappling in addition to strikes. This is something that many of the mentioned martial art styles on this list negate to train in and why those martial art styles have difficulties dealing with MMA fighters. It’s not that they are “fake” they are merely outdated.

        • MMA fighters wearing boxing gloves, therefore crippling their ability to do what they know. Might as well tell a Tae Kwan Doe practitioner to fight a boxer and not be allowed to kick. Yep, you’re right … cherry picking …

      • OK, let’s see some MMA fighters beat people in these other arts using their rules. If you say it’s got to be an MMA style match, that’s also a cop out.

        • We’ve already seen that. Connor got his ass kicked under boxing rules.

          Then what did MMA fans say? “Well it wasn’t an MMA fight! Why doesn’t Floyd fight Connor in the octagon then?”

          Because he thinks with his brain, and not his bluster and ego. That’s why.

  2. This is crap…. You are comparing a sport to real life situation. Totally bs. There is so much limits on mma. No head butts. No eye pokes. No bone breaking. No wrist control. How are you going to fight kung fu or aikido styles without wrist control. And in gloves. Lame????

  3. Interesting, but misleading. MMA is better than these 5 arts for MMA style competition. Change the rules and you have some different results.

    Aikido was developed for Morehei Ueshiba with the stated intent of creating spiritual harmony and as a means disabling an attacker without harming him. It’s not a ring sport and would need to utilize more violent methods, like punches and ground work. Aikido is good at doing what it is meant to do, but that’s just not going into the ring and beating the other guy up. I wonder how most MMA guys would do if told to immobilize an attacker with without hurting him?

    Sumo is a style of wrestling with very specific rules. Like most sports with limiting rules. Sumotori have not fared well in MMA competition because it is out of their element. But have them fight using sumo rules, and the MMA fighter will have no chance. By sumo rules, Akebono had Frye beat at least half a dozen times in the first round. And before some MMA guy says he’d win a street fight…there’s no ref to call break when a 400 lb man is crushing you into a wall on the street.

    Tai Chi isn’t much use in a ring but has amazing balance training. Can an MMA fighter keep up if the fight is on top of plum flower stumps? How about a narrow catwalk or bridge? How about a shifting surface? MMA relies a lot on a nice, level mat or ring. It doesn’t take other environments into account.

    Kung Fu fighters haven’t fared that well in ring matches (unless you count Cung Le) but they are limited by MMA rules which remove their more damaging techniques. We may never know how a no-holds-barred fight would go because it would not be a legal match. There is, however, an area of combat where the kung fu fighter would have a huge advantage: weaponry. MMA has no real weapons training because it doesn’t apply to what they do. Set up a match with swords, spears, staffs, etc. and MMA guy will be in for a a world of hurt.

    There is no ultimate martial art. Different arts are created for different situations and purposes. MMA fighters train for one on one competitions in a ring with referees and rules. They are really good at that. They are not better at everything and would not win every kind of fight. To call other arts “fake” because they have lost to MMA fighters in MMA situations is arrogant and ignorant.

    • I agree with the overall point you’re making but Aikido was not intended to disable attackers without doing harm. That’s a contradiction in terms, given the only way to disable an attacker is to harm him or her. Whether or not an attacker gets hurt depends entirely on what the attacker does once joint pressure starts to build in an extremity. If they continue to resist, whatever is being twisted against itself is going to break – be it their shoulder, their wrist, whatever.

      This is the same sort of disingenous claim as saying a firearm is built to stop an attacker without physical harm because if the attacker has any brains and would like to keep them he/she breaks off the attack before the gun does what it was really designed to do, which is to repaint the wall behind the attacker Brain-matter Red.

      With that said, you can’t just post a bunch of silly videos of people in situations outside their sphere, of completely unverified ability and expertise, show them failing, and claim their entire art is bogus. That Wing Chung guy? I know plenty of guys that train in Wing Chung and exactly ZERO of them are trained to come running at an opponent with arms down and back ruler straight like the dood in the video.

  4. this isn’t a love letter to MMA; it’s a truckstop blowjob…MMA is the bastard, red-headed stepchild of “real” martial arts, a self-aggrandizing homunculus that pales in comparison to most of its purer cousins…it is the very epitome of the adage, Jack of all trades, master of none…i aint knocking the hustle but to compare a 20 year old sport to a thousand year old discipline? sat down somewhere…

  5. I’ve taught military combatives at Fort Bragg, and I’ve taught for a few different Defense/Security Contracting Firms. I’ve trained in martial arts for 47 years. Whenever I’ve trained with MMA types and I train with their RULES…..I’ve been submitted very quickly. BUT…when I train with them with NO RULES….they fall very quickly. MMA has rules. Therefore, it is no longer representative of any martial art….and no longer can be compared to actual combat. Can we finally put this crap to bed now??? MMA, because of the popularity of UFC, has filled the once traditional Jujitsu and Martial Arts dojos . Ground fighting has only about 10% of a place in combat. If you have to groundfight, you’ve already screwed the pooch!!! Submission is only preferable in Law Enforcement….not in combat. I LOVE to watch UFC….I’m a fan!!!! However…..football isn’t combat, boxing isn’t combat, and neither is MMA. I’ve proven that………I don’t know how many times to younger men (usually in their 20’s and 30’s…..and I’m 52) I don’t know how many times……well over 100 times. Can we move on……and realize that MMA is a sport. It is doing the same thing that Karate did to Tote……and then came Tae Kwon Do….which pushed it even further. MMA is pushing Jujitsu and Aikido down the same path. Unfortunately…….most Jujitsuka and Aikidoka and other “martial artists” aren’t aware of their own history enough to see this.

  6. I agree with all of the comments so far. I would like add two other perspectives, a historical one and a scientific one.

    Historic: It is important to discriminate fighting style vs martial arts. This distinction really comes from Japan where there are jutsu and do – like jujitsu vs judo for example. The “do” are truly martial arts. They are fighting styles that have been modified to they can be practiced as a form of self improvement without killing each other. So Aikido is less likely to be of benefit as a fighting style because the techniques were modified from the fighting style known as aikijujitsu. Same goes for judo, karate-do, etc.

    Scientific: Think of these fights as a research study. Do get good results of a study you have to ask the right question. if your question is whether a “fighting style” or “martial art” is fake or useless for fighting you actually need to test people who are thugs with no martial arts training against people from these styles. When you pit one experienced fighter against another you are actually asking a different research question – which style is better.

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