Martial arts>Styles>Style descriptions: M

↩ Back

Style descriptions: M

Some styles of martial arts that begin with the letter M.

Marine Corps LINE system (United States)

The LINE (Linear Infighting Neurological Override Engagement) combat system was developed and used by the United States Marine Corps between 1980 and 2002. Designed to be used even while wearing full combat gear, it focused on causing the most painful damage possible with the least amount of movement. The first steps of every move used pressure points and breaking of bones and hard tissue (especially elbows, wrists, knees, and nose) to cause a "neurological override" where extreme pain would overcome the opponent's brain, so he couldn’t fight back and may even lose consciousness. The initial attack is followed by a takedown, with the attacker keeping pressure on the broken limb. The takedown is immediately followed by a heel stomp to the opponent's head. Since the Marine is wearing combat boots and full gear, this blow is intended to be lethal.

Due to the deadly focus of LINE, it was replaced in 2002 by the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP), which has more non-lethal applications. LINE still taught during United States Army Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, NC.

Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (United States)

MCMAP is a system developed in 2001 by the United States Marine Corps to combine existing and new hand to hand and close combat techniques with morale and team-building functions and instruction in what the Marine Corps calls the "Warrior Ethos." MCMAP teaches unarmed combat, edged weapons, weapons of opportunity, and of course, rifle and bayonet techniques.

MCMAP is a combination of ten traditional martial arts, the old Marine close combat system, and the LINE System. The program uses a belt system similar to that of most martial arts, except that the belts are Marine belts that may be worn with the camouflage uniform, so the colors are complementary colors: tan, grey, green, brown, and black. Green belts may attend additional training to become martial arts instructors. Instructor status is identified by one vertical tan stripe on the belt. Black belt instructors who train instructors are identified by a vertical red stripe on the belt.

Martial signing (United States)

This is a strange one. Martial signing is a unique method of self-defense that integrates the vocabulary of American Sign Language with concepts of pressure point fighting.

MMA (United States)

MMA (mixed martial arts) is a style that is a new way of thinking about old martial arts. Its techniques are gleaned from techniques that are used effectively by different practitioners in open, non-style-specific sparring or competition that is designed to have as few rules as possible while still ensuring safety against death or server or permanent injury.

Probably the first MMA was pankration, a combination of striking and grappling that was introduced in the Olympic Games in 648 BCE. However, for the most part, martial arts were individualistic and specialized in only one or two aspects of fighting, such as kicking, punching, locks, throws, etc.

MMA is used for sporting competition, such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Pride Fighting Championship, or Vale Tudo style fighting matches. These matches usually have two unarmed persons with the core rules being: no biting, no eye-gouging (with fingers or chin), no fish-hooking (inserting body parts such as the fingers into bodily crevices such as the mouth or nose), and no groin attacks (striking or squeezing the groin). Rules are pretty much what the promoters make up. More restrictive promotions of MMA include old pancrase, shoot-fighting, or RINGS rules. These rule sets often ban striking on the ground, closed-fist striking, or both. In general, boxing (kickboxing/muay thai included), wrestling (freestyle, Greco-Roman, and to a lesser extent judo), and Brazilian jujitsu (BJJ) are the three styles that comprise the core of nearly all modern MMA training.

Amongst the shoot styles, two stood out for their effectiveness, wrestling and Brazilian jujitsu (BJJ). Jujitsu practitioners had the early advantage since wrestlers were not trained in striking techniques. Once wrestlers started training in striking, the advantage disappeared. This was one of the first usages of cross-training and lead to the development of mixed martial arts (MMA). Wrestling-based MMA evolved into two styles, the ground-and-pound (takedown and then punch relentlessly) and the clinch-and-pound (tie-up while standing and punch relentlessly).

In early MMA competitions, strikers (karate fighters, kickboxers, and boxers) regularly lost since they had no grappling skills. After they add ground fighting to their training, they scored major upsets over BJJ fighters and showed that strikers could be effective in the sport. BJJ saw the error in its ways and added wrestling and Muay Thai to its training, and became competitive again.

Modern MMA practitioners train in all fighting disciplines but they tend to base their overall strategy on one style of fighting and become associated with it. The primary styles of modern MMA are as follows:
  • Sprawl-and-brawl. Sprawl-and-brawlers are strikers who have trained in ground fighting to avoid takedowns but try to keep the fight standing. If taken to the ground, they try to tie-up their opponents and survive until they can get back to standing or until the referee restarts the fight. Maurice Smith is credited with introducing this style by becoming a successful kickboxer in a time when ground fighters were dominating the sport. Examples of sprawl-and-brawlers are Chuck Liddell, Pedro Rizzo, and Wanderlei Silva.
  • Clinch-and-pound. Clinch-and-pounders are wrestlers who have added striking to their training. Since wrestlers are good at clinching, they prefer to use strikes from within the clinch. If the fight goes to the ground, then their wrestling skills come into play. Don Frye was among the first wrestlers to add strikes to his arsenal, but it was Randy Couture's fight against Vitor Belfort in which he used close range boxing to out-strike a reputedly superior boxer that was the true birth of this style. He demonstrated that standing and ground were not the only phases of combat. Using Greco-Roman clinching techniques, he showed that the clinch could be used effectively. Examples of clinch-and-pounders are Dan Henderson, Quinton Jackson, and Hens Pulver.
  • Ground-and-pound. Ground-and-pounders are wrestlers or other fighters skilled in defending submissions and skilled at takedowns. They take every fight to the ground, maintain a solid top position, and pound away until their opponent submits, is knocked out, or is cut so badly that the referee stops the fight. Since most MMA fights go to the ground at some point, strikes on the ground are essential to a fighter's training. Dan Severn was the first proficient fighter to use ground-and-pound, combining his takedowns with fists, forearm shots, elbows, and knees on the ground. Examples of ground-and-pounders are Mark Coleman, Matt Hughes, and Tito Ortiz.

Moo-do  (United States)

Moo-do "warrior's way" is an eclectic style founded by Grand Master Chae T. Goh. It is built upon taekwondo but incorporates a much wider range of techniques than most taekwondo schools.  In 1972, Master Goh came to America after a remarkable history of success as a student, teacher, and innovator in several martial arts in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Moo do combines taekwondo kicking, karate punching, and hapkido grappling and throwing techniques. The style focuses on street techniques and patterns, as both technique practice and a way of pursuing the "do" or self-improvement aspect of the art. Sport and competition fighting are not encouraged.

Movements and forms are basically linear, but with a lot of training in 45-degree shifts for evasion. A wide range of grappling and throwing techniques designed specifically for common self-defense situations on the street are included.

Each class begins with stretching and aerobic exercise. The classes are physically challenging, but there is a strong tradition of adapting to what the student's body can handle. Kick-punch combinations and multiple technique attacks are pushed hard from the beginning. Sparring begins at intermediate levels.

Basic meditation is part of the curriculum. Students are instructed in the ethics of the hwarang-do, including loyalty to nation and family, truthfulness, keeping one's word, loving kindness to one's spouse, and the necessity to "justify your means" when using force. Senior students are required to research and write essays on various topics in the art to pass belt tests.

Muay-thai (Thailand)

Muay-thai, or Thai boxing, is the national sport in Thailand. It is renowned for its overall simplicity and practicality, using powerful roundhouse kicks, elbow strikes, knee thrusts, and basic boxing style punches. Practitioners are known for their high level of physical conditioning. Although Muay-thai is primarily practiced as a ring sport, mostly by teenage boys in Thailand, it has numerous self-defense applications. It is a very hard, external style, however, because of its roots in heavily Buddhist Thailand, it has some spiritual aspects. Thai boxers typically perform some Buddhist rituals before beginning a match.

Modern Muay-thai boxing originated from krabi rabong, a Thai weapons art roughly meaning "stick and sword." It is called "the science of the eight limbs" because the successful fighter uses hands, elbows, feet, and knees, When the Thais lost their weapons or fought close quarters with weapons, they used knees, elbows, feet, fists, and head-butting. They became famous for their toughness on the battlefield with constant wars with their Burmese rivals. King Ramkhamhaeng (1275-1317) wrote the Book of War Learning "Tamrab-Pichai-Songkram" about the Thai war art, the basis of which was weaponless fighting.

The biggest Thai boxing hero of Thailand is the "Black Prince" Nai Khanom Dtom, who was captured by the Burmese and had to fight against 12 of the best Burmese fighters before he was released in 1560. The Thais still have annual muay-thai tournaments to salute him.

In the old days, the fights lasted until one of the fighters was dead or seriously injured. There were no rounds and the fights could have lasted for several hours. No protective gear was used and sometimes they wore rope over their knuckles and glued broken glass on top of it.

Before the 1940s, Thai fighters fought bare-knuckled. After World War II, the Thai government became concerned due to the high number of fatalities in the ring and forced some rules to be used, such as no groin shots or eye pokes, and they started using weight classes, boxing gloves, and rounds. The Thais felt this watered down their sport. As a result, Thais place more emphasis on kicks (particularly to the legs), knee strikes, and grappling. These skills score higher points than hand strikes.

Muay-thai involves boxing techniques, hard kicking, and knee and elbow strikes. Low kicks to the thighs are a distinguishing technique. Stand up grappling is also used and allowed in the ring.

Training involves rigorous physical training, like that practiced by Western boxers, including running, shadow-boxing, and heavy bag work. Much emphasis is also placed on various drills with the so-called "Thai pads". These pads weigh five to ten pounds and cover the wearer's forearms. In use, the trainer wears the pads, and may hold them to receive kicks, punches, or knee and elbow strikes, and may also use them to punch at the trainee, like the way boxing trainers use focus mitts. The characteristic muay-thai round kick is delivered with the shin, so the shins become highly conditioned by this type of kicking.

Full contact, full-power sparring is usually not done in training, due to the devastating nature of the techniques employed. For training, Thai boxers may box, hands only, with ordinary boxing gloves. Another training drill is for two fighters to clinch, and practice a form of stand-up grappling, the goal of which is to try to land a knee strike. However, full-power kicks, knees, and elbows are typically not used in training.

Promising children will enter dedicated muay-thai training camps as young as six or seven. Where the fighter will be put on a plan aimed at making him a national champion while still in his teens. The Thais fight frequently, a 20-year-old fighter may have had 150 fights. Typically, half the purse from each fight goes to the training camp, with the remainder being split between the fighter and his family. The sport version has been popular in Thailand for decades, and it has recently spread to Japan, the United States, and Europe.

↩ Back

No comments: