There was a time and place that I was interested in studying MMA and I even took some classes, but it was very short lived. I see MMA as more of a sport than an art, and yes, I understand MMA is more effective on the street than traditional martial arts are. Having taken classes in multiple styles in my life and after extensively researching styles in books and online I settled on a few styles that I knew I’d like to learn. These are namely Goju Ryu Karate Do, Ninjutsu, Kendo, and any style of Iaido really.
So where I live offers two of these styles. I decided on the Goju Ryu Karate Do because I wasn’t a fan of the Iaido school’s practices.
To understand why I’m not studying MMA for its practical applications, you’ll need to understand me a bit more. I’m a spiritual man. Not religious, but spiritual. I’ve studied countless religions, engaging in some practices, and it’s important to me that my spirit is cultivated. This brings me to Martial Arts. I see myself as a martial artist, I want to do more than just go through the motions or learn to kick for the sake of kicking. I do not want to classify myself as an athlete or sportist. My goal is not to actually fight. My goal is not to compete.
My goal is to master myself. I appreciate MMA, and the UFC for that matter, for what it is but what it is.. is not for me. I won’t boast that my style is the best of styles and I don’t wish to engage in discussions with others on that matter either, frankly. There’s a lot of ego in sport. Ego is something I want to shy away from, especially my own.
Lastly, I love traditional martial arts. They have such a deep and rich history, culture, and spirit to them that most MMA arts do not. Sure, MMA arts like Muay Thai go back a long way, but a lot of that history is, again, sporting. I love traditional training methods, hojo undo, and the myths and legends that come with these arts, etc. And lastly, these traditional arts like Goju have a strong emphasis on mental training, not just for competition but for life and that’s something I strive for.