Will My Martial Art Get Me To The UFC?
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity and ratings over the past couple of years. Love it or hate it, it looks like the UFC is here to stay. Consequently many men in the 18 – 34 demographic are becoming more interested in the martial arts.
After watching great strikers such as Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva and Houston Alexander and watching the incredible grappling and wrestling skills of Randy Couture, Matt Hughes and BJ Penn, many martial artists are asking themselves the question “Will my martial art get me to the UFC?”
The answer to this question is very simple.
No, your martial art will not get you to the UFC! Make that a maybe, instead of a definite no.
OK, I can already tell that some of you may be shocked at that one line put down of you, your chosen martial art and your UFC aspirations. After all I don’t know anything about you but let me expand on my answer so you know where I’m coming from.
First of all, it is important to understand that no one style has all of the elements of a complete fighting system for success in the Octagon, but many styles have a lot of them. The UFC, Pride, WEC and Elite XC are all labeled under the category "Mixed Martial Arts." This should tell you a lot in relation to the question of whether your martial art will get you to the UFC. Mixed martial arts is exactly what it says it is – a mix of several different martial arts pulled together to create the full skill set of techniques needed for survival in the ring, cage or octagon (or the street for that matter!)
To be a successful UFC fighter you need to have a great stand-up game and a great ground game. In addition to this you need to learn take-downs and take-down defenses. This doesn’t even include the physical conditioning or the mental aspect of preparing for a fight. So here are some suggestions as to which styles you should study to give yourself the best chance of becoming a good fighter.
· Striking Skills: Boxing, Muay Thai, Shotokan, Taekwondo, Kickboxing, Savate
· Take-Downs: Judo, Hapkido, Sanda (San Shou), Sambo
· Grappling and Submissions: Wrestling, Brazilian Ju-jitsu, Japanese Ju-jitsu, Aikido
There are many other martial arts not on this list that are also worthy of in-depth study; and some of them on the list include all of the above skills to a greater or lesser degree.
So will your martial art get you to the UFC? Not by itself, but if you combine the strength of your chosen art with the missing elements that you need from some of the other styles above, then you will be well on your way.