History of Mixed Martial Arts
"Secrets Of Becoming A Human Weapon"
Have you seen the History Channel's new show
Human Weapon yet? Its pretty friggen good.
The concept is that these two athletic dudes (one an MMA
fighter, the other a former football player and wrestler) travel all
over the world to train with, and then test out various cultures'
The show has broken down the entire history of mixed martial arts, as well as exploring the benefits of other martial artsWhile only two episodes have aired as of this writing, the show already has
proven itself to be a very revealing diagnostic tool to those who are able to
look beyond the romanticism and isolate the truth.
Let me explain...
Please Note: This article was written a few years ago and refers to a great show that is no longer on the air. Because this article still provides useful content to our readers and subscribers. Please enjoy it!
Last week's episode was on Karate. And not the kiddie Karate nonsense you
see own on the street corner. No, the Human Weapon boys traveled straight to
Okinawa Karate's birthplace) to train with three of the world's most respected,
toughest, and best teachers.
The show showed amazing feats of human strength, discipline, conditioning, and
raining. And the Okinawan Sensei's were absolutely incredible to watch, and even
learn from through the miracle of television. In other words; It was pretty damn
But why I really loved the show was that while it respected the individual
practitioner, it was not afraid to give an unbiased, accurate history of the art
(just like me).
Karate is a peasant art of farmers. Learned from the Chinese and combined with
their own cultural fighting art of "Te", the Okinawans did not rename "Kudo Te"
(Chinese hand) to Karate (empty hand) until adopting the Japanese language after
Did you catch that?
OCCUPATION. (That means they were conquered)
Karate did not stop the Japanese Samurai from coming in and occupying the
island, nor was there any successful peasant revolt to overthrow the Samurai.
Sure, there were a few famous isolated instances of Karate guys successfully
defending themselves against an armed Samurai, and Karate training is
admittedly grueling ( I do, by the way, have a black belt in Goju Ryu Karate)
but the facts are facts...
Okinawa, once an independent kingdom, is now part of Japan.
Now, what is great for modern practitioners of Karate, is that he Japanese
influence on Okinawa was also infused into their native martial art.(Karate has
even implemented Japanese Judo uniforms and belt rankings)
While Okinawan Karate is still primarily a striking art, Japan's Samurai methods
of jujutsu have become part of Karate's standard training curriculum. Therefore
almost making it a perfect martial art...except for one, tiny detail.
Due to the fact that EVERY technique of Karate is a complex motor movement
(using multiple muscle groups), it would take 2 or 3 LIFETIMES to be good enough
in Karate to guarantee victory under kill or be killed combat stress conditions.
The perfect example of this brings us back to the Human Weapon TV show.
The climax of every episode is one of the two hosts actually competing against a
skilled practitioner of the art they've been studying throughout the show.
In Karate's case, it was to participate in a Kumite (full contact fighting- no
safety equipment, no punches to the face, kicks to the head allowed) against a
second degree, 225 pound, Okinawan black belt champion.
Let's break this situation down and
the history of mixed martial arts...
A Karate man who has trained his entire life vs. a not very flexible, but
tough former football player who had been studying karate for only a
Both about the same weight... Fighting under Karate rules...
Should be a no-brainer right? You would think that the Karate guy would easily
Not only did the fight go to a stalemate after a full timed match, but the
football player at one point in the fight still managed to knock the
Karate guy off his feet with a heavy handed punch.
Trust me, the Karate guy was one tough cookie (at one point he shrugged off
getting punched square in the jaw), but how could a lifetime of training not
beat someone simply big, tough, and mean?
Just A Farmer After All
Because, like we discovered before...Karate is simply a farmer's method of
conditioning himself to survive, not to win.
When the occupying Samurai came to take the farmer's rice, livestock, or
daughter, Karate would have definitely helped to temporarily fend
off the oppressor...but is that enough?
Is it okay that a sparsely trained, big "tough guy", could go toe-toe with a
so-called "Human Weapon" and walk away unharmed?
No, it is not.
While I look forward to watching the rest of the Human Weapon television series
from an unbiased professional point of view, I have the distinct feeling that
the zealots of each cultural fighting art presented will still defend and excuse
their methods even when beaten by the show's hosts.
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