by, 03-11-2010 at 11:20 PM (822 Views)
Forest Griffin, in his hilarious and must read book Got Fight?, states that there is a difference between a Fighter and a Martial Artist. He states clearly that a Martial Artist is one who wears pajamas and tells stories about how great they could be. A fighter is one who, simply, fights. He names Georges "Rush" St. Pierre as a martial artist with an identity crisis -- one who needs to find his pajamas quickly.
I disagree vehemently. However, I acknowledge that while they are different, they are not completely "Non-overlapping magisteria." One key difference is Respect. A fighter respects other fighters, a martial artist respects other martial artists. But, there doesn't seem to be any respect given both ways. I think that needs to change.
I consider myself a martial artist and respect fighters for the sheer fact that they CAN fight. Fighting is hard, and certainly not for everyone. With that, I'd like to see more fighters respect Martial Artist.
Why? Because without Martial Artists, there'd be no Mixed Martial Arts.
The UFC have been majorly influential to martial arts -- as I stated with in my previous blog. But, with it, the "fighter" mentality has taken over. No longer is it about testing one's Martial Ability. It's about beating the shit out of each other. No longer are your instructors held in high regard -- they are merely old men. Who trains Brock Lesnar? Who trains GSP? Ask an average UFC fan and they'd have no idea.
Brock has two main "coaches", Greg Nelson out of Minnesota and Erik Paulsen via California. Erik Paulsen has a long list of credentials -- as does Nelson.
Here is Erik's take on Respect and the MMA world...
Respect comes when earned -- sometimes that never happens -- but I want to help give these instructors the respect they deserve. I want the ignorance of the fans to subside and educate themselves on who teaches, influences, and mentors these young (sometimes old) athletes. So, I'm going to try educate the fans on these coaches and gyms where these fighters train.