Since I’m running a bit of a theme with these posts, I thought I’d add XMA to the mix. Once again, extremely impressive athleticism, power, control and flexibility, of that there is no doubt. However, like Wu Shu, I have to wonder about the relationship between those traits and combat effectiveness. It was mentioned in another post that people who practice these styles can probably translate these skills quickly into a combat effective application. I would have to agree with that, they have tons of physical skill and know the mechanics of punching, kicking and weapon skills. It should be easier to translate those skill fairly quickly.

However I am sure that some folks had an eye opener like I did when I started FMA. Its one thing to get fast and impressive with your hands and sticks, Its another thing when you actually start hitting things. Its another thing entirely when that “thing” is another moving human.

My intention here is not to judge these styles, I have no clue what these practitioners do other than what they present via video. But it does  make me think about the relationship between “style”, “art” and application.


6 thoughts on “XMA”

  1. Extreme gymnastics is more like it. What these guys are doing is called “tricking”. Here is the Wikipedia definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tricking

    Of the people I know who do this, combat reality is the farthest thing from their intention. It’s more about pushing the envelope of human performance… and outdoing each other. Like free running/pourkour meets competitive kata competition from the 80 and 90s.

    I posted a video of this stuff in the https://tgace.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/martial-art-absolutely-fighting-art/

    It’s totally fun to watch, and ponder how long I would be in traction if I attempted anyone of these moves.

    1. It is very impressive. Its gymnastics clothed in “Martial Arts”.

      Where does the line blur between “tricking” and Wu Shu? Whu Shu and Kung Fu? Kung Fu and boxing/MMA?

      And where do we cross from all of them into “street application”.

      1. I recommend Marc MacYoung’s Secrets of Effective Offense (ISBN 1-59228-369-1). In the early chapters of the book MacYoung makes a really good argument for defining the differences between limited and unlimited applications and encounters. The whole book is an excellent read. He describes himself not as a Martial Artist, but as Martial Analyst.

        ‘Where does the line blur between “tricking” and Wu Shu? Whu Shu and Kung Fu? Kung Fu and boxing/MMA? “And where do we cross from all of them into “street application”.’

        I believe that everyone doing martial Arts is not necessarily there to learn street applications. Some do martial arts for the sporting aspect, the social club aspect, the exercise aspect. I lived in Japan for 10 years, and practice a Koryu Bujutsu system and that is mostly about preservation and access to culture.

        I am of a philosophy that you fight the way you train. If a guy or gal can use their tricking/Wu Shu/Kung Fu/MMA as a street self-defense then I guess it works for them. Some systems are so sported-out that they have no real practical street application; like Kendo, and dare I say it… even MMA isn’t designed for rolling on the floor of a bar.

        I am making blanket statements here I admit. There are going to individuals who can use Aikido as a street defense system, or wu shu or whatever… but that is going to be because of that person’s attributes and how they use them. The system does not make the man, the man makes the system.

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