Arts with major holes in its game

TKD would have to be the most ragged on with its no head punch rule and flashy kicks. The other would be Aikido with it doing mostly joint locks and not going after the trunk of the body like judo. Im not trying to be negative about them by the way.

I personally think if you only train one style there are going to be holes in your game as none have it all.

I think Hillbilly is correct. To me, realistically looking for vulnerabilities in your style and having those tested by people best qualified to exploit them is a hallmark of the more modern, scientific approach to Mixed Martial Arts.

Before that, a likely response was adding more of what you already had to fix the problem. So, instead of adding a sprawl to TKD, they'd just commit that much more to stopping any and all lunging attacks in their preferred range with their preferred attacks.

Just a thought, not a rule.

And a very few martial artists are honest enough to admit that they emphasise the 'art' bit to the detriment of the raw fighting effectiveness.

I really respect those guys who genuinely train for the love of their art, admit that it is lacking in some areas but train anyway because learning the most effective fighting style is not their goal.

I come from a background of Japanese Jiu Jitsu. It was a great all around system and not too esoteric. Pretty realistic stuff (but no ground stuff or randori). I would call it "nasty Judo combined with wrist locks and striking" (haha) and all this was applied to various attacks. I then studied Judo to practice my throws on resisting people in randori and get a ground game going which we did not do in JJJ. For the last 6 years it has been all BJJ which has really tied all my knowledge together nicely.

The hole in all my studies has been striking as all the arts I studied only dealt with "softening" blows (knees, elbows, headbutts). I will prob look towards muay thai or straight boxing.

Every art has holes in its game but from the beginning I realized that and chose the most practical arts I could AND arts that I enjoyed doing. Because if you dont love you will not excel regardless of the practicality of any given art.

Just my .02...Tony

I really respect those guys who genuinely train for the love of their art, admit that it is lacking in some areas but train anyway because learning the most effective fighting style is not their goal.

if you dont love you will not excel regardless of the practicality of any given art.

I agree completely with both of these statements. For many people, the practical fight skills they get are secondary to their love of training and their art.

To paraphrase bruce lee, all styles have limitations (holes in their game). You may be an expert in that style, but that's not really fighting.

In other words, no matter how good you get in any art or style, your expertise can never augment what is essentially a flawed approach to fighting.

No matter how good a driver Dale Earnhart Jr. is, if he's driving an SUV down a NASCAR race track, he will lose.

Assault and Battery, good point.

I have seen a few TMA friends get into fights through the years. Granted they were not black belts but had put in some serious training etc. The arts were wing chun, karate, tae kwon do.

Here is what transpired. Each one who studied the arts grew up getting into scraps (as most of us have) so they had prior knowledge of basic boxing and wrestling skills (again through neighborhood fights and horseplay etc).

When they got into a more serious street fight (after they studied tma) they still used their boxing/wrestling and ADDED the art they had learned as an addtl weapon.

I still say practice what you love and you will become proficient at it. Once you become proficient in your core art then analyze and fill in the gaps and weaknesses.

Street fighting is brutal and when you are fighting for your LIFE you dont need any training to dig your thumbs in someones eyes. When faced with death you will bite, tear etc.

The arts that I have studied I love. They also happen to be somewhat practical (BJJ,JJJ,Judo,Muay Thai). I want to begin studying Capoiera simply because it looks like fun. I realize its "limitations and holes", but that is not my motivation to study it.

A&B, that is very true, but at the same time, a hammer makes a very bad screwdriver.
When someone asks, "What will you do with a screw when you find one?", I respect the master that answers, "I don't do screws" or "I'd get a screwdriver and manage".
However, sometimes the answer is, "I'll bash it good and it'll be fine."

I disagree with a&b. No matter how good a practitioner is, if they think "styles" is the answer to fighting, they'll lose.

Look at how Sugar Ray Leonard uses his style.

Or how Cro-Cop uses his style.

Or how yip man uses his style.

All of them certainly know how to use their style very well.

Look at all these fighters, and look at how they'd do in a mixed-style format: mma. Each one will LOSE based on the holes in their style. No matter how fast Sugar Ray is with his fists, he'll eat a ton of leg kicks and ultimately get taken down. No matter how powerful cro-cop is, he'll get submitted on the ground. No matter how technically adept yip man is, a well-conditioned athelete would annihilate him.

Bruce said it over 30 years ago, Royce reiterated it with the UFC's 10 years ago, and Minotauro is saying it now: styles doesn't equal fighting. FIGHTING equals fighting.

There's no record (other than tall tales) of Yip Man fighting.


It's a tough choice to make, try and be decent at everything or be fantastic at some things. UFC has shown as that the jack-of-all-trades does better on average, but there's still CroCop, Royce, and other (nearly) mono-stylists that do pretty well.


cro-cop and royce actually do well only against other mono-stylists (cro-cop against bob sapp and vov, royce vs. yoshida and delucia).

As great as they are, they have problems with the new breed of mma fighters, who really don't fight with a set style. (cro-cop got armbarred by mino, royce lost to saku).

cro-cop and royce actually do well only against other mono-stylists
Royce beat Ken Shamrock and had an impressive 90 minutes with Sak. Cro-cop beat Herring. Maurice Smith had a good run in UFC. Sometimes, single-skill stylists do OK.

I think one problem with using MMA as the end-all test of effectiveness is that most people will never fight a pro-fighter. Most people need enough skill to stop a drunk, mugger, or idiot, not Minotauro. Yes, if you have enough skill to stop Mino, you'll all set for the other 3, but that's not possible for everyone.

I'm in no way saying that any single style is unbeatable or superior to a cross-trained approach. I'm saying that for self-defense purposes, it's possible that a single style, well-trained, can suit someone's practical needs.


yes, yes you're right on those fight stats.

I think it is possible that a single-style fighter can defend himself on the street, if the training is geared towards real application. But you and I know that, often, there's very little of the "real application" going on in these styles, because if they did, 90% of what they're teaching (forms, flying kicks, chops, yelling, etc.) would fly out the proverbial window.

And, to me, that's the real problem with styles, and the notion of styles: lack of live application in a controlled environment to test what really works in unpredicatable scenarios.

I'm in total agreement about the lack of live testing of skills and that this is what leads people to be ignorant of their weaknesses. It's a bad thing for a TKD guy to not have a good takedown defense, but it's truly disasterous if he doesn't even know it.

"Give it to a skilled carpenter, and he will be able to build wonders with this tool. "

Not with a hammer on its own. With a hammer, saw, tape measure, pencil, screwdriver - sure.


if people tested their styles, they'd find that their styles won't be enough to carry them through a real fight. This is why Bruce Lee didn't bother with styles, let alone the idea of improving upon styles, because he found that no matter the style, they tend to crap out under real circumstances.

So boxing wont work in a real fight? Boxing is a style. Re-read NowhereMan's previous reply. Assume boxing = hammer.

I actually think it's wrong to consider Ju Jitsu a style (well at least the Japanese JJ). It's a collection of techniques and principles. When you look at the different styles of Kung Fu you can really identify it as a style. You note the specialized patterns of the mantis, tiger, etc... you're almost restricted into using these forms.

just my little rant...