Remember the first couple of UFC events? They remain my favorites, as for the first time you had a televised event with traditionally trained martial arts purists facing each other on neutral ground. No more talking about how the superior ‘Eagle Claw’ style would rip out hearts, or how the ‘Dim Mak’ strike would immobilize any opponent. It was time to put your gloves where your mouthguard was. And boy, was it showtime.
UFC 1 – Savate vs Sumo. Lasted all of 26 seconds.
In a few short matches, the martial arts world was given a collective ice bucket wake-up call and the legendary black belt turned out to be just that – a belt, with the color black. It was clear that many of the traditional martial arts had flaws that were readily exploited by the more pragmatic styles like Muay Thai (Thaiboxing) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and as a response the hybrid style of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) exploded in popularity.
Fast forward two decades, and every event is largely the same; two MMA fighters facing each other, both trained in the same tried-and-tested repertoire of grappling and striking techniques. Frankly, it’s boring me to tears. That said, I appreciate what events like UFC provides – a pragmatic testing ground with agnostic rules that allows for sports-oriented martial artists to try their mettle.
Now, Australian-based Unified Weapons Master (UWM) intends to provide a similar arena for any and all martial arts that use weapons. Continue reading →