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July 7, 2019 (JST)

The US Marines versus UFC Fighters? Who is More Badass? *

GTR's take on this Perennial Question

By Roberto Pedreira

No, Dana White didn't dream this one up. The UFC is not going to go lock-and-load toe-to-toe with the US Marines. An internet business magazine (Business Insider) asked this question. It deserves serious consideration.

Here's what Roberto thinks:

1. Specific skills can be useful in some situations, if and only if you train those skills deeply and specifically for those situations. Although some skills don't need much training and are widely applicable, Thai knee techniques for example.

2. Guns, knives, bayonets, clubs can be good weapons. Kendo training is not  a waste of time. However most kali training is because almost all of kali is about things other than hitting a (real) enemy hard with a stick.

3. Most people are not training martial arts for combat against elite armed marines in combat zones. If they are going to be going into combat they will receive special training for that. Although not a lot. These marines are small group. This isn't standard training. Military forces are not training for honorable, man-against-man, hand-to-hand unarmed combat, although that may rarely take place when all other options fail. Only a small minority of people in armies ever see combat or get up close and personal with enemies.

4. The majority of successful UFC and other MMA type fighters are basically wrestlers (or more recently BJJ people who have studied wrestling for the specific purposes of MMA). What these marines are training is closer to what original jujutsu was in Japan and China (see Craze 1).

5. Most people will never be able to fight their way out of a "paper bag" no matter how much martial arts they train. Why? Too much civilization. However, part of  combat training in any military is intended to overcome the detriments of civilization, i.e., teaching young males (mostly) to express focused, directed, coordinated aggression. The US Marines are better at this than any martial arts training.

6. The old style of jiu-jitsu that military and police etc., learned long ago was and is better suited for their applications than any of the newer martial arts, including and especially BJJ, which currently is as useless is it gets (and because of that, as Rickson Gracie warns, is in danger of drowning). In fact, sumo and tai-chi are more useful than BJJ for the majority of real world applications (all other things being equal).**

7. Roberto suspects that the video and the training it documents is basically a Top Gun type of recruiting thing for the Marines. UFC is popular so let's cash in on that. Young guys want to be tough, and marines are tougher than UFC fighters, case closed.

Conclusion: The US Marines will win collectively but might lose some fights individually. 




Note 1. The above article dates from 2015 and was found (July 7, 2019) in the GTR archives. Roberto at this point does not recall when exactly or why he wrote it, but in any event, here it is, slightly edited. It appears that a reader may have asked the question, but that is only a guess.

Note 2. This remark probably requires elaboration. Briefly (and speaking as someone who has trained BJJ for 26+ years and other arts for longer than that), most real world conflict situations are best addressed by putting distance between yourself and the source of the problem, rather than slamming their head on the street or butt-scooting in and then twisting their foot. Better than punching them in the teeth, subsequently getting arrested and sued; better than slicing their face open with an elbow; Better than pulverizing their liver, kidneys, or spleen with a devastating Thai knee; Better than clinching, punching their face until the probably drug or alcohol influenced, out-of-control person turns over, then then sinking in a sweet rear-naked. Sumo and Tai-chi are good (other things being equal) for putting space between yourself and someone else.  Obviously there are exceptions to every rule. It's advantageous to be well-prepared and versatile.


(C) 2019 Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.



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