It was like something out of karate kid: Here is a stunning video showing Lyoto Machida’s victory over Randy Couture in the recent UFC 129. The amazing thing is that the knockout blow came from a jumping front-snapping kick landed perfectly on Couture’s jaw. According to Lyoto, he was coached to perfect this kick by martial arts and movie legend Steven Seagal. Interesting was Anderson Silva’s recent UFC victory using a similar kick, also coached by Seagal.

Admittedly I do not follow the UFC much. The practice of MMA for sport is on the far end of the spectrum from what I teach as a self-defense oriented art. However, this win is interesting for several reasons:

Many chairborne warriors who frequent disparaging martial arts discussion boards seem to hold the following opinions:

  • The UFC or other sporting event is the ultimate gauge of whether a martial art “works”
  • That all fights wind up on the ground so the ground game is where it’s at
  • That certain techniques, “never work”

With all due respect, all three of these opinions are crap.

The UFC is the Ultimate Measure of a Martial Art Style

First, MMA matches measure which competitor does best in a particular MMA match – nothing else. These guys are amazing combative athletes, and there is a hack of a lot of training involved. A good portion of their success relies upon conditioning, timing and reflex. Another portion relies upon mental state. Yet another on their skill at executing the systems they are trained in.

Yes, certain systems of training are better suited for combat sports within the rules and arena of the UFC.

Sports events have almost nothing to do with self-defense. Yes, a competitive MMA fighter will have conditioning and skills that will give him or her an advantage over an untrained person in a self-defense situation. But to be good at MMA competitions, it means you probably don’t dedicate a lot of time to training against multiple armed opponents. Some of the things that work exceptionally well in wrestling matches can and have gotten people killed in real self-defense situations.

All Fights Wind Up on the Ground

I have covered why this idea is pure BS rather extensively here. It’s also important to understand that the US Army, after analyzing real hand to hand combat battles, agrees with me. Further, this UFC fight was won before either gentleman went to the ground. Machida only went to the ground to continue attacking Couture who had already lost. No grappling was necessary.

Technique X will never work …

Sometimes I hear people say, “that would never work on the street.” Never is one of those tricky words, it’s an absolute. It means not even once. I bet a lot of people held the opinion that a UFC match would never be won with a front-snapping high-kick to the face, and now it’s been done twice. So if you believed that – you were wrong. Suck it up.

You can quote me on this: The technique that works is the technique that works.

I personally know a guy who fought off multiple opponents with knives with a combination of round-house kicks to the head and running and screaming. I know someone who kicked a knife out of someone’s hand. I’ve been kicked on top of the head with an axe kick in a karate tournament. I’ve personally witnessed a ton of crazy stuff that worked in the moment.

If you are a martial artist, I don’t think it pays to limit your mind.



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