Friday, September 24, 2010

The fundamental asymmetry of MMA

I once almost fought a Golden Gloves boxer. Almost.

"F@ck jiujitsu -- I'm gonna break your nose."

"Maybe, but if I get my hands on you there's no tapping. I'm tearing your arm off."

In MMA, it's unfair that the striker gets to hit the other guy at full power, but the grappler has to release the hold when the other guy taps. If there was no referee the striker would think very, very hard before mixing it up.

When I was faculty advisor for the Yale jiujitsu club we considered t-shirts with "Snap, Crackle, Pop" on them, but went with something more conservative like "Yale Brazilian Jiujitsu" :-)


Yan Shen said...

I'm not one to advocate violence in general, but I have a feeling that if Steve Sailer were smacked around a little bit, he'd eventually wise up and stop behaving like a douche.

rz said...

Did you fight much when you were active in MMA? If so, were you ever concerned about getting hurt badly? Do you have a good idea of what are the odds of getting hurt in a way, say, such that you couldn't do physics anymore?

steve hsu said...

If I had known earlier about micro-concussions and long term effects on the brain, I probably wouldn't have played football and I probably would have been much more careful about other head trauma, like getting punched :-) Currently I doubt I'd let my son play football in HS.

When I was really into MMA (in the 1990s, before it was popular) we would train with heavy gloves and headgear. I don't think I really took a lot of hard shots, because the other guy was always worried about defending a takedown and this was an era when it was very rare to find someone with both striking and wrestling skills. But I guess I have a good excuse for when I start to lose my cognitive edge :-/

steve hsu said...

Even if he doesn't knock me out, by going full speed he could break my nose, fracture my orbital bone, crack one of my ribs.

I'm supposed to play nice and apply my submission in a nice controlled way? No way, I could win the fight and take more damage than the other guy if he's a striker and I'm a submission guy.

I like Frank Mir's style of applying his submissions at full speed and power. In a real fight, let the other guy worry about it.

botti said...

I think someone needs to organise a 'beer summit' for Yan Shen & Sailer.

steve hsu said...


I actually think they could learn a thing or two from one another!

Catperson said...

Do you think there is any correlation between IQ and fighting ability?

bfgc said...

I was reminded of this post—particularly the "Snap, Crackle, Pop" part of it—by a bumper sticker I saw the other day. It read "I DO WHAT THE RICE KRISPIES TELL ME TO".

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