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Gymnasium to Street

In my last almost 25 years of interface with various martial arts I have come to understand that there are basically 2 types of Fighting Forms:
  1. Cultural fighting arts - Karate, Kung Fu, Escrima, Ninjutsu, Kallaripayat etc.
  2. Sports fighting arts - Boxing, Karate, Jiujutsu, MMA, Muay Thai etc.

Each fighting form claim their respective effectiveness & supremacy but the matter of the fact remains that each has it own niche and downs.The right amalgmation of both by innovators and experts like Imi, Damian Ross, Jim Wagner etc. have led to the creation of 'Reality Based Fighting Systems' such as Commando Krav Maga, Miltary Combat Systems etc. etc

The transtion from fighting in a gym / dojo or a cage to the street or any damn place is not easy:

  • Dojos & gyms prepare you to fight with a maximum heart rate of 115 -145 beats/min when motor skills begin to deteriorate & you keep working on your alertness and skills to win or score points .
  • Heart rate >175 takes you to a point where you can't think straight, lose peripheral vision & vasoconstriction sets in. This is where most of the fights on the street happen or end, hence this is what we need to prepare ourselves for through 'reality based fighting systems'.

Let us try and understand few of those important things MMA do not teach us:

  1. The cage has no parallel to the street - No denying that blood spills in the cage, the padded mat and grills are softer than the boulder on the streets or brick walls. Throw in other street hazards like broken glass , hot tarmac, or slippery floor and think of the many challenges MMA fighters DON’T face in the cage.
  2. There may be more than 1 opponent & they could also be armed- If you’ve stepped into the cage or ring, you’re going to face someone roughly the same size. He won't be carrying a gun, knife or bat. Violent street confrontations have multiple attackers that quickly complicate things. If you apply a submission hold to one; chances are another guy is kicking you in the back of the head.
  3. Real fight comes as a rude shock rather than a schedule or a fixture -The mugger demanding your wallet while flashing a knife at you didn’t call you six weeks ago to schedule this mugging. You’ll be in a surprise mind set with adrenaline and cortisol running through your veins as your heart rate skyrockets. You never know when you’ll be attacked - your training must prepare you for this moment.
  4. There's no reward or trophy, you are fighting for your life - Flight is always better than a fight on the street but if it can't be avoided then you’re truly motivated to survive a violent encounter in the street as “losing” is NOT an option.
  5. There are no sets of rules -Everything you can not even imagine may be a rule on the street. The rules of engagement in the street are anything goes. There are NO rules, no referees, no corner men or trainers to prepare you for the next round. There’s only the “present” in the street.

Untill next time, stay safe & work out for reality!!


  1. Well Guys,

    I respect all fighting forms & especially MMA which combines the best of all forms (as is known to me). The limited point I am trying to make is that controlled fights & streets are different & one must prepare accordingly for SELF DEFENCE.
    People like Daniel Isaac are legends & into developing potential MMA champs for the country & I really feel proud of it. Please pardon me if I offeneded anyone or any style!


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