About injuries, fighting and "safe" martial arts.
Since I started with MMA, my kung fu community started to have a problem with that. Not everyone, some were actually very supported, which I am still grateful for. But many people around me kept telling me the same things: “You are always hurt”. “MMA is so violent and dangerous”.
“It is brutal. Violent. No rules!” I heard from my kung fu friends and mostly sifus. Same people, who teach how to kick the groin, stab eyes with fingers or attack the Adam’s apple on the neck. Just saying.
Kung fu is my love. There are many aspects of the art, and not everyone actually wish to fight. That is very OK and does not make anyone a lesser student. However, if you want to understand deeply and teach others, you need to study the function. I found my love in MMA too, but I’m not saying that this is the only way. It is just my way.
My sifu is a modern and open-minded person, he remembers the way his generation used to train as well as the fights, so he understands why now, in the time when most people only want to practice forms, I need to fight. He is proudly announcing it to anyone around when we visit a kung fu party. But also he hates seeing me hurt.
(Not only) For fighters and kung fu/wushu serious practitioners
To write regularly is really easier to plan but much harder to do! I am happy I decided to, except for normal articles, write a personal post just once per a season, not once per week…
The summer has passed and many things happened. To start with, I had a pretty down time after my fight in Thailand in March, which resulted into sitting down and deciding whether I still wish to be in Hong Kong. I stayed and switched gyms. This was a particularly painful decision, because I pretty much was at home at the old one. At first, I planned to have sessions in one gym and some in the other, but later I found myself much more in the other one. My new head coach is the same guy who cornered me in Thailand, so I call it a destiny that I went there. With that, my training has radically changed over the past two months. Especially, when I got into a camp. It was my first camp, when I really had a training plan to follow and all my training partners to help me (push me).
It was emotionally very difficult.
I get this a lot. People keep asking me about kung fu and MMA. I have traditional martial arts background, not only kung fu, but also karate. However, kung fu does define me and creates a big part of who I am. I got many messages from kung fu practitioners and also coaches, being very positive about both my wins and losses in MMA, and I am very grateful for them. I also got several comments, mainly from people here in Asia, about how MMA full-contact fighting is opposite of kung fu, too violent, etc. This makes me usually quite angry, not only because kung fu is fighting, but also because MMA is a rules-based sport, as opposite to often mentioned and promoted self-defense by kung fu practitioners, which is in fact much more violent than MMA. But that is a different topic. Transitioning to MMA with kung fu background is specific. I do not hesitate to start from scratch and get lots of beating, because I understand that forms and fighting are not connected naturally, the bridge needs to be built. And that is what I am doing. Kung fu definitely gives me many positive aspects for my MMA training, but today I would like to talk about one single thing, that I believe we do not talk about it enough.
There were moments when I thought: Hey! I want to write a blog post about this! And… nope. I was postponing until the topic was no longer hot, so I decided I will do a long one for spring 2019. Looking back now, I am proud that I really sit down and wrote it, and it’s not even Christmas yet!
Fight in Thailand
I was desperately seeking for a fight in Hong Kong, but I just could not get any. After few months of frustration, I liked all the MMA facebook circles in Asia that I could find, and through that I heard about this competition called K Warrior in Thailand. This amateur MMA event at the end was absolutely great. They did everything so that we, amateurs, could feel like pros. There was music, lights, walk in, public weight ins, stare downs, live stream, commentators… 20 out of 10 would go again!
The problem was, not only it was 4 hours by car north from Bangkok, but I had no team willing to go with me. I found out that Tiger is going, so I was waiting to see who exactly and if they could corner me, too. The time was coming close and I still didn’t know, so I decided I will go anyway. Even if I have to grab a random Thai person on the street and drag him to the cage, “You will be my corner now! Here is my water bottle!”, simply, I was going to have that fight!
In spring 2017 I, for the first time stepped in an MMA gym. For all reasons one can have for starting MMA, I actually just liked the open gloves, thinking that may be great for my kung fu. I didn’t give grappling even a single thought. Well, I guess I should have done more research on YouTube, but that’s a different story.
So, I started, and while the coach shouted at me being on top of a lying person: “Hit him in the head! You will get more points!”, I was thinking: Wait hell no, I am never gonna compete in this, I have really zero interest. Then, during a second class, I sprained my ankle badly, which put me away from training for 2 months and then my kung fu World Championships came, so I again started in another gym in January 2018. (And actually competed for the first time in June 2018.) I kind of have an anniversary of one year behind me, training at Shooto Gym and also having 3 camps at Tiger Muay Thai. I got absolutely hooked. So as much as I perceive myself green, there are some changes that I noticed already. I guess they are worth telling, especially for people who consider starting too.
What did I learn from MMA?
I have been practicing martial arts since 1999. It became the reason for moving to Hong Kong and it guided many of my life decisions. I am addicted to hung kuen kung fu and MMA. Follow my path to pro fighter on this blog or my social media.
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