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MMA: A Fertile Ground For Filipino Fighters to Thrive In

by Sports Team
31 Jul 2017 | 2:10 PM

From simple bar brawls to full-on karaoke sing-along disputes where people run the risk of losing their lives, Filipinos love a good fight. Filipinos, after all, have a rich tradition in the combative arts. Although Filipino fighting systems didn't thrive as much as Chinese or Japanese fighting disciplines, as fighting disciplines were outlawed during the Spanish occupation, many fighting arts still survived. Filipino fighting systems such as Kali, Escrima, Arnis, and many unarmed disciplines like Mano Mano, Sikaran, Dumog, Buno, and Yaw-Yan persisted.


MMA: A new arena for fighting
Obviously, sticks and knives aren't permitted in the ring, regardless if it's a full-contact sport. Most Filipino fighting arts are more suited towards street fighting where lives are on the line. This may make them quite ill-suited for combative sports where it is a controlled environment.

It also works both ways, though. Imagine a Ju-Jitsu black belter going for a takedown against a street thug who has his whole gang behind him. That's a good way to receive a full-on stomping. And all that on cold concrete? Not a very good idea. How about charging head-on against an assailant armed to the teeth with knives?

That said, it doesn't mean that Filipino fighting methods lack the adaptability to shift and thrive in the MMA arena. In fact, having a fighting background gives Pinoys quite an advantage.

Depending on the situation, a particular fighting art may be more applicable than the other. That is why MMA fighters need to be well-rounded. When it is a competition where practically anything goes, fighters need to train every single part of their body, and turn themselves into potent weapons that can knock down with sheer brute force and take down for submissions with finesse and efficiency.

There is probably nothing more exciting to an avid fight fan than the sight of two fighters trying to knock each other out.

Different striking forms such as Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Muay Thai and Kickboxing,  exist for fighters to employ in any MMA match. Seeing Lyoto Machida land blow upon blow against his opponent is indeed a thing of savage beauty, especially for his fellow karatekas.

Fighters specializing in grappling make arms, legs, elbows, and joints go where they're not supposed to go. Quite a painful prospect if you are the one on the receiving end. From the legendary Royce Gracie to George St. Pierre, many octagon warriors have used their grappling skills to set the stage for their submission acumen and make their opponents tap out. Even Ronda Rousey with her impressive record of submissions via her signature arm bar has contributed to the rise in grappling's popularity. Besides, making your opponent submit must be quite a satisfying feeling. 

A Melting pot of disciplines
Gone were the days of non-contact martial arts exhibition matches. Full contact no holds barred fighting is the trend today. With the rise of the UFC, Bellator, OneFC, URCC, PXC, and other MMA organizations have tickled the pride and fancy of Filipino warriors. You will see gyms filled with would-be Anderson Silvas-possibly the champions of tomorrow. Brandon Vera and Mark Munoz have made the country's presence known in Mixed Martial Arts; it should only be a matter of time before Pinoys gain ground and rise to prominence in the MMA world.