I love it.
I made a run to the store to pick up some stuff and I spy a magazine on the rack. Though I forget the magazine’s name its focus is on MMA and the title of one of the articles has the word “Samurai” in it. The article talks about Lyoto Machida. Apparently Mr. Machida has a traditional Shotokan Karate background.
Lyoto Carvalho Machida (born May 30, 1978 in Salvador, Brazil) is a Japanese-Brazilian professional mixed martial arts fighter. Son of a Japanese-Brazilian Shotokan karate master Yoshizo Machida…
Machida is noted for his semi-orthodox fighting style. As a karate practitioner, Machida uses an unorthodox (or southpaw) stance.
The article discusses how the Machidas have adapted traditional Shotokan Karate philosophies and techniques to the MMA ring.
With a wide, low, and unorthodox stance, the karate black belt incorporates throws, shoves, and trips into his fighting style. It is flashy yet it works. It makes him elusive, dangerous, and undefeated. As one of the few successful karate practitioners competing in MMA, he debunks lessons learned from the inaugural UFC event when the discipline was deemed impractical for MMA.
So have we come full circle from the days of Royce Gracie mopping the floors with traditional karateka? I guess only time will tell. Still, given that Tae Kwon Do is Shotokan’s divorced wife, I have to admit that I’m pleased.
Is it a matter of whose art is better? Or is it simply the fact that everyone gets used to a certain dominant style until someone throws the players a curve ball? The Gracies did study karate fighters and exploit their weaknesses to promote their own brand of judo. Perhaps this is what the Machidas are now doing with MMA and it’s heavy reliance on boxing, Mui Thai, and jujitsu? Perhaps MMA is now vapor locking over how to deal with some traditional techniques?
Anyhow if you are in a store over the weekend look through the MMA magazines. The article is worth a quick read. In the meantime let’s close with some videos of the undefeated Machida.
First from his Shotokan days:
And now from his MMA days:
I recognize a few habits from Shotokan/Taekwondo:
- Reverse side kick
- Round house (high and low)
- Front snap kick
- Knee strikes
- Elbow strikes
- Lower stance
Though it’s rare that I watch MMA I’ll have to keep my eye on this guy.