The transcript below is from the video “Kickboxer REACTS to Kung Fu / Wing Chun | Honest Reaction” by Kookie Combat.

Kookie Combat:

Kookie Combat here. How realistic, how effective is traditional Chinese martial arts in both street fights MMA and in general as a fighting system?

Okay, so guys, let me talk about traditional Chinese martial arts. I’m talking about martial arts such as kung fu, wing chun, tai chi and other martial arts from that ilk. In terms of my experience with traditional martial arts, I, myself, I’m a kickboxer, so I come from a more traditional western kickboxing style, trained in a more kyoshukin karate style. I’ve trained with some muay thai guys but definitely more of a kickboxer overall. I haven’t trained formerly in traditional martial arts. However, I have sparred and trained with a few other guys who come from that background. Most notably, on my channel, my most popular video is the kung fu vs kickboxing and also the wing chun vs kickboxing video did very well. So those are my two kind of two best experiences in sparring traditional martial arts guys.

Kookie Combat:

So, how can we identify whether traditional martial arts is effective. I’m gonna break it down into my thoughts on the pros and the cons. Now guys, you gotta bear in mind I’m a kickboxer so this is just my outsider’s perspective. What I feel works for me, projecting that onto Chinese martial arts and seeing if it’s in line with that. A huge caveat to this question and any question which is kind of judging another fighting system, you have to bear in mind many times it’s going to be how good is the fighter as opposed to the fighting system. And now, there is an extent. There is a line to this uh kind of concept as I do think there is definitely a case of saying certain fighting styles are better than others, regardless of what style you take. Many times it’s going to be who’s the better fighter you know themselves as opposed to the style. Like if you get John Jones for example, I mean, you make him use only kung fu moves, I think he would still beat you know, 9 out of 10 man, because it’s John Jones and he just knows how to use his body, his reach. I’m gonna say my overall opinion for then. I think there’s positives and benefits in every system in any style and you have to adapt. It’s not as black and white as the saying. Yeah, this whole system is corrupt or this whole system works. It’s more nuanced than that.

Kookie Combat:

Alright, so starting off with the pros. One thing I really like about these martial arts is their unorthodoxy. Whenever you spar or at least, whenever I have sparred, someone who come from a traditional style, especially someone who’s experienced in their style, I find them very unorthodox to spar. They don’t stick to the rhythm, to the conventional dance if you like, of how normal sparring with growing kibbles in their muay thai they break the river. And that unorthodoxy, that breaking of the rhythm can really throw you off your game plan and it definitely makes you think and it can also make you hesitate. So, I would say about an orthodoxy of kung fu or traditional martial arts in general is definitely advantage to them.

Kookie Combat:

Alright, so starting off with the pros. One thing I really like about these martial arts is their unorthodoxy. Whenever you spar or at least, whenever I have sparred, someone who come from a traditional style, especially someone who’s experienced in their style, I find them very unorthodox to spar. They don’t stick to the rhythm, to the conventional dance if you like, of how normal sparring with growing kibbles in their muay thai they break the river. And that unorthodoxy, that breaking of the rhythm can really throw you off your game plan and it definitely makes you think and it can also make you hesitate. So, I would say about an orthodoxy of kung fu or traditional martial arts in general is definitely advantage to them.

Kookie Combat:

Now, the second aspect that I do like of traditional martial arts are the blocks. If kickboxing, boxing, muay thai, we obviously, we wear these big gloves so you get into the habit of whenever someone is teeing off on you, you just raise your god and because you have gloves you can kind of use that to distribute your face. To be honest, it’s not realistic if you’re applying to a street fight. You can’t just stand in the corner of your hands like that and let someone tee off on you. It’s gonna cut right through your guard and you’re gonna get hurt. I like the idea of parries and deflections and blocks which kung fu guys do implement can be applied to real life. The idea of blocking and hitting. And even if you see Anderson Silva, he’s one of the few guys in MMA who I’ve really seen bringing aspects of traditional martial arts namely, the wing chun, especially when he fought Israel Adesanya.

Kookie Combat:

He was actually trying to do trapping blocking bringing his hands out very unconventional. I think it’s a good aspect of traditional martial arts. It’s a good versatility to your defense. One thing that I really like from Silva in his defense was when I was sparring him, he had this one kind of stance where he would have one. We’d have one elbow up like this, kind of like that. So I mean, his arms were like very dynamic. He was able to block low and high and it was quite hard to hit him to the body or to catch him up high. So, it kind of reminded me a little bit of Joe Frazier. If you’ve seen Joe Frazier and also George Foreman, the way they would have their guard like this sometimes, when he was bobbing and weaving like this so that way his elbow this side is protected from the left hook. And then, he can also protect this chin, takes his old head because his shoulders are reached. So it reminded me of that Joe Frazier type of style.

Kookie Combat:

Now, coming onto the cons. They have different stances depending on the specific martial arts but they don’t have their hands up because of that they tend to have their chin, their shoulders quite relaxed and they tend to carry their chin in the air. And my main issue with this, is if you fight in such a manner, you can’t make any mistakes. If you get here and you’ll relax like this, unless you’ve got a crazy eye and chin, which not everyone does, you’re going to get knocked out. And I think because of this major hole in the defense of a lot of these stances and a lot of the traditional martial arts I’ve seen, I think, they’re the most susceptible to getting knocked out in a fight. You know, real life fight where someone’s hitting with bad intentions. I think carrying your chin high is a recipe for disaster. I think it’s important you protect your central faculty, that is your brain.

Kookie Combat:

That’s my second concern that sometimes I find that their stances are a little bit stationary. And now to be honest, you also get that with muay thai. It’s quite a plotting style. It’s not intrinsically a negative thing and if you have a really strong structure and you can maintain footing, you can maintain your positioning, it can really work for you. But for me personally, as a kickboxer, I think I do like to be bouncing around on my feet and I like to have the mobility to move, change angles. And I think this especially comes into play when you fight a bigger opponent. So as a smaller fighter, if you try and just be stationary and if you try and be a brick wall and you’re fighting a much bigger opponent, he’s a much bigger brick wall and he’s gonna maybe knock you down. So, I think that ability to be mobile, to move and to try to utilize your speed, I think it will especially be effective when it comes to smaller fighters facing bigger fighters. Perhaps there are traditional martial arts styles which are more light on their feet. I don’t know, let me know if there are guys. Having more weight on their back leg, it’s more like a 60/40 where they have 60 of their weight on their back leg and their lead leg is quite light. So, it’s kind of more of a, they’re balancing almost, you know. So, they’re much more stationary and as opposed to have an equal distribution where you can move much quicker.

Kookie Combat:

Yeah, so to be honest, those are my two major areas of concern regarding the actual fighting systems from what I’ve seen with traditional martial arts. So overall guys, those are my major pros and major cons for the traditional martial arts. For me, the most concerning aspect is the fact that they keep their chin very high but I think when it comes to any martial arts, any fighting system there’s pros and cons. I try to look at them with an open mind. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below guys.

How do you rate traditional martial arts overall? I know it’s quite a general question. Obviously, there’s different types such as wing chun and kung fu and you know, tai chi and so on and so forth. But in general, what are your thoughts on traditional martial arts? Do you think we’ll ever see the rise of true traditional martial artists, true kung fu fighters, true wing chun fighters in the UFC?

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