Today there is a common misconception, spurred on by people with too much time and not enough research. The argument is foolish, childish and the utter personification of ignorance, but needs to be addressed by both the traditional and modern (mixed martial arts) communities. There is no comparison between the TMA and MMA students and schools, it’s literally apples and oranges.
Number one, traditional martial arts are not all the same, as some weren’t even created with actual combat in mind, while some were created for the actual battlefield. Many traditional martial arts are used and modified for use, by MMA fighters, jujitsu, Judo, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, boxing etcetera….all traditional, all used in mixed martial arts. As a matter of fact, Bruce Lee, who was all accounts an exponent of traditional martial arts, blended several systems and is widely considered one of the first mixed martial artists (Even appearing in MMA video games)!
You see a roundhouse kick (aka Mawashigeri) in MMA very often….where did it come from? You see Jabs, Straights, hook punches, knees, elbows, where did they come from? You see a cross armbar, rear-naked choke, hip throw….where did they come from? All from traditional martial arts!
MMA is for sport, many TMA schools are for combat….period!
Students are each different as well, some are more apt, some train less, some more, this is why so many “Streetfighters” and wannabe “tough guys” have stories of knocking out black belts. Despite the fact that anyone can call themselves anything, each student is unique in their abilities, this is true for both MMA and TMA students.
MMA has come a long way since its inception, it went from no holds barred to a legitimate sport that entertains millions. TMA has come a long way as well but has a much deeper history that fuels the structure, philosophy, and teaching methodologies. Neither is superior, both have their welcoming places in the martial arts and both owe their legacies to those from centuries before them.
The only thing you will ever hear me adamantly speak out against in the martial arts, are frauds who teach no-touch knockouts and throws.