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. Further blog posts are sharing of an enthusiast.
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