Some thoughts on MMA, Mixed Martial Arts

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) has become a very popular term in the sport arena.  It is where two individuals of similar weight will box and grapple with one another until the other is knocked out or submits to the other.  MMA is a sport and has little to do with traditional Martial Arts.  Many strikes and targets are not allowed in an MMA bout as they are too dangerous for sport use.

It is true that one can learn the theory and concepts of MMA at Monk Wise Academy, or any traditional martial arts school, yet traditional styles can never completely carry over to the MMA environment.  There is an old saying which states to get better at something you must do it over and over.  MMA fighters need to focus specifically on MMA.  This does not mean cross training is out of the question, it is supposed to be mixed martial arts after all.  Other sports styles such as boxing, wrestling, tae kwon do, etc. are good choices for MMA fighters for cross training.  Chinese Sanda is also a great way to cross train for MMA as it is sport fighting style that allows throws and take downs, unlike boxing or tae kwon do. 

Those interested specifically in traditional martial arts should avoid MMA training.  Many bad habits will be developed.  Self defense training cannot be made into a sport.  One can not learn traditional martial arts with all of its benefits, in regards to usable real self-defense, by training specifically in MMA.  How will an individual smaller in frame than their attacker have a chance if they merely try to box and take their attacker to the ground to make them submit or give-up.  In this type of scenario that approach to self preservation just will not work.

Understand that our intention is to educate.  As different cultural movements come about those who are not educated can make decisions based on what they think versus what is.  For example when kick aerobics and Tae Bo were popular we saw, in the self-defense industry, them being advertised as not just a great work out but that one could learn self-defense too.  Remember, The only way to learn a thing is to do a thing.  Many individuals came in looking for authentic martial arts classes only to realize their martial arts movement based work out program was falling short of empowering them to truly be able to defend themselves.  Monk Wise Academy will get you in the best shape of your life while teaching lessons in honest self-defense.

The Chinese Martial Arts have been a “mixed” martial arts program for 1000's of years. Utilizing circular blocks, direct strikes, grabbing, sweeping, throwing, joint locking, pressure point techniques, chi (energy) development and use. As well as utilizing the use of many weapon types. Being a complete system of self defense and not merely a martial style offers many benefits. A smaller, weaker person or even those with disabilities can use an array of time-tested techniques effectively to defend themselves and those around them.

At Monk Wise Martial Arts Academy we adhere to traditional values and martial teachings. Focusing on maximizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses, creating the ultimate training tool for any body type or personality. So whether your personal goals include; fitness, stress management, self-defense, or an enjoyable supplement to your way of life, we have the Program for you!

At Monk Wise Academy we respect and applaud all who seek to better themselves through aerobics, Yoga, sports, boot camps, boxing, MMA, etc.  And we ask that you recognize and honor those athletes who participate in such sports as MMA.  -One would be foolish not to respect an individual who is willing to face off in a closed environment with another individual and fight until submission. 

Be well.

Brief History, The Birth of Chan Buddhism and Kung Fu


Asian martial artists trace their roots back 5,000 years to India and the Greek martial arts of Pankration. The armies of Alexander the Great brought this brutal art of boxing and wrestling to India in 4 BC.

Dr. Hua T’o, the first doctor to use anesthesia during surgery, is credited by the Chinese as the founder of the first martial art. Around 220 AD, T’o devised a series of exercises modeled on the deer, bear, bird, tiger and monkey. T’o designed these exercises to relieve stress, tone the body and provide a means of self-defense.


The Zen Buddhist patriarch Ta Mo, or Da Mo, was a prince of a small tribe in Southern India and arrived in China after a harrowing trek over Tibet’s Himalaya Mountains.

The Shaolin Temple of Songshan, in the Hunan province, was a sacred place used only for fervent religious study and deep meditation. Ta Mo arrived in 526 AD. and implimented the first system of martial arts study in the temple.

Ta Mo, was a member of the Indian Kshatriya warrior class and a master of staff fighting. He created a system of 18 dynamic tension exercises which found their way into print in 550 AD as the Yi Gin Ching, or Changing Muscle/Tendon Classic. We know this today as the Lohan (Priest-Scholar) 18 Hand Movements, the starting point for Shaolin Gongfu (Kung Fu).

Ta Mo’s introduction of the martial arts to the Shaolin Temple was purely self-interest. He saw the monks as solitary types content to live their lives within temple walls. He dreamed of developing mobile, fearless warrior missionaries able to spread Chan Buddhism throughout the world.

Shaolin Mural

Ta Mo died in 539 AD at the Shaolin Temple at age 57. However, he helped to establish the the basis of Chinese Gong Fu.  Which evolved over the years to be a complete martial art system and approach from which which countless other styles emerged.  Even influencing and providing the framework for the martial arts of others cultures, such as Karate, Kenpo, Akido, Judo, Shorinji Kempo, Tae Kwon Do, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Hapkido, Tang Soo Do, and Krav Maga to name a few.



This is a very brief overview and not a complete history by any means of all Chinese Martial Arts styles taught at Monk Wise Academy. At Monk Wise Academy we teach many different styles of Gong Fu (Kung Fu) or external styles of martial arts as well as many different styles of Internal Martial Arts.  Taijiquan (Tai Chi) just being one of them.