Georges St. Pierre and Lyoto Machida are two of the most successful mixed martial artists on the planet today. Their blend of speed, skill, and technique put them in the upper echelon of fighters. But what is the connection between these two combatants? What’s the intermingling thing these fighters have that makes them into the warriors they have become?
They have both studied the art of karate. Both Georges St. Pierre and Lyoto Machida’s combat days started as children studying the art vigorously, and although it is certainly not the only factor contributing to their success, the studying of this fine art has led both fighters on a path to becoming the greatest fighters in history.
To be a top-tier mixed martial artist, it takes skills of all sorts. Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, boxing, and Muay-Thai are all key components to becoming a world-class fighter.
Karate, on the other hand, is rarely associated with mixed martial arts. Few fighters who have a background in karate and go on to be successful in mixed martial arts. But, as we can see from the examples of Georges St. Pierre and Lyoto Machida, the possibility of starting in some form of karate and moving on to become a world class combatant is obviously there.
Someone who trains in karate will be provided with all of the essentials to begin their training in mixed martial arts. The wider stance and hand placement are more applicable to mixed martial arts than the more common boxing stance; however, few fighters take advantage of this because of their lack of training in karate.
Along with the stance and hand placement, karate provides the basics for how to throw every variety of punches and kicks, and depending on which form of karate you are studying, may also teach elbows and knee strikes. Every other martial arts base starts in karate.
You cannot learn another martial art without picking up some part of karate. So why take a branch when you can have the root? Why take a fish when you can have the pond?
In this piece I am not arguing that the other martial arts are not important to become a top-tier mixed martial artist, as they certainly are. However, with karate one finds all the skills necessary to begin a solid training in mixed martial arts.
As with any mixed martial artist it takes traits from all disciplines to reach the top, but karate supplies anyone who trains in it with the necessary tools to branch out to other martial arts. It takes a root to grow a tree, and karate my friends is the root of all martial arts.
With this in mind, I’m going to describe in detail a little bit about the art of karate and how it can benefit you as a martial artist.