Saturday, August 06, 2011

The sweet science

Bernard Hopkins shows Rashad Evans a little about the sweet science. I've never seen Rashad in such good shape, but I don't think Tito will be easy tomorrow. Bernard talks about the chess game inside boxing. Grappling and jiujitsu have it too: feints within feints within feints.

In a real fight Rashad would put Bernard to sleep.

UFC 133


ben_g said...

I wonder to what extent MMA fighting correlates with street fighting ability.  At the very least,  craziness/viciousness is more valued in a street fight, because the guy who is willing to risk his life and fight tooth and nail can do that unlike in a non-controlled environment. 

Would brawlers do better in a street fight without the gloves, or would that advantage be cancelled out by the fact that grapplers could use pressure points and submissions that could potentially kill their opponents? 

steve hsu said...

See "Gracies in Action" video.

lovehorrorfilms said...

I wonder to what extent IQ is correlated with fighting ability.  Steve would be the perfect person to answer that and his blog focuses on most variables.

steve hsu said...

To be a pro fighter you have to be very conscientious and reasonably smart. The sport is very technical and you have to understand your weak points, plan and train accordingly. You also have to constantly watch how other fighters train and evaluate whether what they are doing will work for you.

One good example is the "arm-in" guillotine, which was thought to be impossible 5 years ago but has now become a standard and fairly effective technique. The sport actually innovates at a surprising pace.

Nano Nymous said...

As a teen, I had a misfortune of being involved in many street type fights, some with improvised weapons. My conclusion from those experiences is that beyond simple physical dimensions/size there are two threshold effects involved: 1) Intensity/ferociousness kicks in fairly early and can dominate the outcome of most fights. But it needs to be above certain degree. Basically, it's hard to fight a guy who is not afraid to die and is trying to pick your eyes out. 2) Technical skills kick in very late. One has to be very advanced in martial techniques for them to give a decisive advantage. But when you come across the guy for whom the combat moves have reached the level of reflexes, no degree of craziness on your part is going to help unless you are lucky. Pretty stereotypical, but that's the truth. All these six months courses in self-defense are a waste of time and money. In most cases, acting like an animal is more cost-effective :-)

lovehorrorfilms said...

I agree that fighting skill is related to g, not just for the reasons you mention but also because of the split second decision making and reaction time required.  On the other hand I read that both Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson had IQ's in the borderline retarded range and I've also heard of a special Olympics athlete claim she has a third degree black belt in Karate so I suspect the correlation is pretty modest.  Perhaps high IQ is potentially advantageous in fighting, but high IQ people tend to avoid making a career out of it because they find it too dangerous, unethical, childish or because many high IQ people have nerdy physiques.  

On the other hand I've sometimes wondered (somewhat facetiously) whether bigger brained people have a physical advantage when it comes to head butting and if this might be a partial explanation for why brain size tripled during human evolution.

It would be interesting to know what basic physical and mental traits correlate best with fighting ability: Fat free body weight, strength, height, physical speed, physical coordination, conscientiousness, IQ, psychopathy, aggression etc. 

It would be interesting if there were certain thresholds on various traits below which the odds of becoming a professional fighter were very low. 

steve hsu said...

You're talking about McDojos here, not modern MMA.

Take two athletes of roughly equal ability but no MMA training. Give one of them 6 months of training (say, 6 hours per week with a good instructor; the other guy does some basic fitness training 6 hours a week but no combatives). Lock them in a cage. I'd bet 3 to 1 on the guy with the MMA training.

David Coughlin said...

Dana White was on the radio morning show that I listen to this week.  In the course of conversation he said that if he had to pick a single stand-up style of fighting to teach his kid [does he have one?] it would be Muay Thai.

steve hsu said...

No disagreement from me.

Nano Nymous said...

Yes, I am talking about random street fight. You are talking about all else being equal plus 150 hours of very good training. Apples and oranges. I'd bet the same as you but note that in those 10-30% when a non-trained guy wins, it will be mostly not out of luck but because he had more rage in him. It is something on a simple neurotransmitter level - in a high risk situation some people get mortified and ceased while some others get more intense and fearless. Even if you are the former type, it is possible (but very hard) to train yourself the latter response. If that hypothetical lock up in a cage involves life or death situation, this sort of physiological response can very easily become more important factor than the 150 hours of modern MMA training.

MtMoru said...

"I agree that fighting skill is related to g..."

Theoretically everything is related to g all esle being equal.

"On the other hand I read that both Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson had IQ's in the borderline retarded range..."

Mike Tyson is an example of someone who has a low IQ but is not stupid.

Joe Lewis was considered "slow" even by his fellow blacks (see "The Fight"). But after the future millionaire Schmelling beat him Lewis broke Schmelling's ribs in the rematch.

Curtis Thomson said...

Rashad looked real good against Tito, but I don't suspect he'll last long with Jon Jones.  That guy is a beast!  To your "In a real fight Rashad would put Bernard to sleep."  In the cage, baring great stupidity by Rashad, no question Rashad puts a hurting on Hopkins (Randy vs. Toney again.)  However, in the squared circle, Rashad gets put to sleep (severely beaten up, at least,) baring great stupidity by Hopkins.  The MMA vs. Boxer debate is unsatisfying as one can't reasonably suspect either to succeed in the opposing discipline.  Anderson Silva pounds Sergio Martinez in the cage.  Sergio Martinez destroys Anderson Silva in the ring.  Now, if by a "real" fight you mean a "street" fight.  Maybe.  There is no ref saying, "touch 'em up" and "let's get it on" to officially start the fight.  In reality, it would be more like the picture in the video above.  Two guys jawing back and forth and then Hopkins taking a swing at Rashad or Rashad grabbing Hopkins.  Who does what, and how well they do it, in the first few seconds dictates the victor.  Rashad gets  a hold of Hopkins... nothing good can come of that for Hopkins.  Hopkins catches Rashad, keeps it on their feet... lights out for Rashad.  Well, that was unsatisfying, too.

I found your blog searching for Feynman stuff.  I'm a Feynman fan boy, too, and look forward to reading your blog.



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