Remember Ron Van Clief? Not that guy from those old spaghetti westerns, I mean the legendary karate grand master who fell prey to Royce Gracie at UFC 4 at the ripe old age of 51. These days he’s the League Commissioner for upstart promotion Global Proving Ground (the guys behind “Warrior Island”), and is featured in a documentary called “The Black Kung Fu Experience“. At a recent screening of the latter, the soft-spoken “Black Dragon” discussed his brief MMA career, and his plans to “renovate” the rules and image of MMA.
Part two after the jump:
Van Clief and presumably everyone else present are very much from the traditional martial arts world, as evidenced by Black Lo Pan sitting beside him. So it’s no big surprise that despite mentions of jiu-jitsu and claims of being an MMA fan, it appears Van Clief’s main renovation is a one minute time limit before fighters are stood up from the mat. How jiu-jitsu is supposed to fit into a rule-set that seems specifically designed to forbid it isn’t explained, but I guess flying armbars and standing arm-triangles are still cool. And it’s probably just a coincidence that Van Clief’s lone MMA fight was spent entirely on the ground.
Anyway, this will be REAL MIXED MARTIAL ARTS™ instead of “just generic ground and pound”, create a “balanced field” that includes all the traditional martial arts, and somehow also ensure the fights are less bloody and thus more “telegenic”. Oh yeah, there’s also mandatory bowing before and after fights, the lack of which in MMA apparently disgusts traditional guys.
It’s funny how Van Clief fails to realize that what he’s proposing is pretty much exactly what the early UFC tournaments were (minus the grappling ban, of course), and that modern MMA is what naturally evolved from fighters figuring out what really works and what doesn’t. Even without grappling, I’m curious how he thinks the muay thai kickboxing style won’t tend to dominate the likes of karate and taekwondo as it has in MMA. Unless of course they ban muay thai too.
(Props to MMAConvert for the find.)