The Triumph of Mixed Martial Arts
When one hears the term “Martial Arts,” one usually thinks of the traditional styles of the Far East, namely Kung Fu, Karate, or Tae Kwan Do. Since the 90s, however, the rising popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Pride Fighting Championship has brought a relatively new style into the limelight: mixed martial arts (MMA). A combination of various styles of grappling and kickboxing, MMA tournaments offer their viewers an exciting “no-holds barred” spectacle of rugged male physical prowess in one of its most brutal manifestations; it is not uncommon to see ring custodians mopping up pools of blood after matches, or cameramen wiping crimson stains off their lenses.
Other than good advertising, the reason why MMA has transcended the traditional arts in popularity is its amalgamation of several fighting styles. Rather than sticking exclusively to Karate or Kung Fu techniques, fighters use whatever works given their particular situation, making MMA a much more practical system. If one is facing a superior boxer, his best bet is to take him down with a grappling move, for example.
Even before the Gracies of Brazil pioneered this method of fighting, Bruce Lee stressed the importance of an all-encompassing martial art when describing his Jeet Kune Do (Way of the Intercepting Fist):
Unlike a “classical” martial art, there is no series of rules or classification of technique that constitutes a distinct “Jeet Kune Do” method of fighting. JKD is not a form of special conditioning with its own rigid philosophy. It looks at combat not from a single angle, but from all possible angles. While JKD utilizes all the ways and means to serve its end (after all, efficiency is anything that scores), it is bound by none and is therefore free. In other words, JKD possesses everything, but is in itself possessed by nothing.
While dedicated practice of the Asian arts may offer a path to self-realization and transcendence, they have become obsolete on their own as fighting styles in the face of MMA. In 2002, UFC commentator and Jiu-Jitsu brown belt Joe Rogan made comments to this extent: “since the UFC came around, martial arts have evolved more than they have in the last 700 years. We know exactly now what works in a real live situation with two warriors fighting.”
This point was well illustrated when I witnessed Brock Lesnar’s UFC debut match against Frank Mir back in 2008. Lesnar is a muscle-bound behemoth who looks as though he could tear a man in half, while Mir is muscular but much less imposing. When the fight began, Lesnar went in as a pure bruiser, swinging his tree-trunk arms and landing nearly every punch; he also scored a few takedowns. It was so brutal a beating that I thought to myself “Mir is not going to walk away from this without some mild form of mental retardation.” At one point Mir was on his back, taking what looked like the conclusive blows from his foe. In the blink of an eye he saw an opportunity: Lesnar’s foot was undefended. With a lightning reflex, Mir grabbed hold and put him into a painful knee bar, leaving Lesnar with no choice but to tap out. He went in thinking that he could simply pound the smaller Mir into submission, but Mir’s grappling expertise slew the goliath.
Paralleling its rise in popularity as a spectator event, MMA has grown in demand as an activity for fitness and self-defense. Dojos and gyms catering to its instruction have sprung up all over the nation, attracting warrior-minded men, women who want more than just mace at their disposal, and your run-of-the-mill fitness fanatics.
The Gracie Family
The rise of modern MMA begins with the companionship of the Brazilian Gracies and Japanese Judo master Mitsuyo Maeda. In the early 1900s, a wealthy politician of Portuguese and Scottish stock, Gastão Gracie, became friends with Maeda after helping him and some of his countrymen immigrate to Brazil. As a token of thanks, Maeda taught Gastão’s son Carlos his martial art, which Carlos then taught to his brothers. Within a few years the Gracies became skilled Judo practitioners and decided to open a dojo in the rough city of Rio de Janeiro in 1925. This was a shrewd business move, as the dangerous streets would encourage many to seek self-defense skills. It was here that they “quickly modified the classical techniques . . . to meet the demands of real, ‘no rules’ fighting in the streets of Brazil,” according to the Gracie USA website. This was facilitated through the countless opponents they faced in the dojo who were drawn in by the “Gracie Challenge,” an advertised declaration that the Gracies could defeat anybody who came in.
The Gracie Challenge matches gradually gained national popularity. They ultimately became sponsored events viewed by thousands in different public venues. Men from across Brazil who were reared in a multitude of different fighting systems went to compete with one another and with the Gracies. One such match, which demonstrates just how effective MMA skills can be, was described in a 1928 Time article:
In Sao Paulo, Brazil, last week, a one-ring circus was held. At the end of circus, as a final and most brilliant attraction, a wrestling match was arranged between a gigantic nameless Bahian Negro and a small, engaging Jap, name unknown. After a few minutes wrestling, the black Bahian had the Jap on his back; but the Jap rolled over, snickering, and at the end of the wrestling he was sitting like a prime minister upon the dark and heaving stomach of his adversary.
The fight was important, not because the contestants were famous, but because they used different and interesting styles of wrestling. The Bahian lout fought after the manner of Brazilian capoeira. This is the national style of fighting; it includes blows as well as grips and it was perfected, as might be imagined, by a huge band of hoodlums who once terrorized Rio de Janeiro. Even kicks in the head are allowed and the Bahia Negro attempted these, without avail, against his little foeman.
These tournaments continued to be held across Brazil, and the Gracie family continued to expand, practice, and disseminate its fighting system. In the 1980s, Rorion Gracie moved to the United States to export the family tradition. In 1993 he struck a deal with Bob Meyrowitz and the Sephamore Entertainment Group for corporate sponsorship of an American MMA tournament; the UFC was thus brought forth into the world. Before long the UFC and MMA exploded onto the American scene via Pay-per-view airings. Sports bars and other popular hangouts assisted in recruiting fans by showing the events on big screen televisions. Four years later an MMA match between Rickson Gracie and Nobuhiko Takada in Tokyo turned into the Pride Fighting Championship.
Though this new fighting style was originated from the Judo teachings of a Japanese master, the Gracies transformed it into an essentially European style of combat. They mastered the techniques of Maeda and then brought them to a dangerous multiracial cesspool to augment them into a more practical system; this was facilitated through countless matches, many of which were likely against blacks, mulattoes, Amerindians, and other mixed peoples.
A Hellenic Antecedent
The European character of the Gracie style is made more evident when one recognizes that it was basically a revival of a much older Aryan form of martial arts: pankration, roughly translated as “all powers.” Pankration was a competition that arose in the seventh century B.C., making its formal appearance in the Olympic Games in 648 B.C. The fighting style itself was probably much older however, since the demigod Hercules was believed to be one of its originators; legend has it that he used pankratist skills to subdue the Nemean lion.
The pankration tournament itself ran similarly to one of the early UFC events of the mid-1990s. There were no weight divisions, and contestants’ names were picked out of an urn by a referee. Jim Arvanitis summarizes what followed:
The fighting arena or “ring” was no more than twelve to fourteen-feet square to encourage close-quarter action. Referees were armed with stout rods or switches to enforce the rules against biting and gouging . . . The contest itself continued uninterrupted until one of the combatants either surrendered, suffered unconsciousness, or, of course, was killed.
The brawl itself would usually consist of boxing, kicking, grappling, arm-barring, foot-twisting, elbowing, and virtually every other technique seen in a modern MMA match. Dr. Paul Nurse even describes an archaic rear-naked choke:
A favored technique used both prone or standing was called the klimakismos or “ladder trick,” in which a competitor leaped or otherwise worked his way onto his opponent’s back, encircling him with his legs and simultaneously strangling him from behind while scissoring the abdomen with the thighs.
Pankration was not merely animalistic bloodletting. Like any martial art, it demanded training and discipline. Aspiring pankratists who came from all social classes went to a dojo called the korykeion, which looked nearly identical to contemporary dojos. Once again, Dr. Nurse offers a concise description:
This chamber contained punching and kicking equipment known as korykos; bags or balls filled with meal or fig seeds and suspended from the ceiling at chest level. Similarly, a sandbag was suspended approximately two feet off the floor for kicking, although some trainees preferred practicing their kicks against tree trunks.
As for training itself:
During practice sessions trainees were usually divided into pairs, with techniques taught progressively. The novice pankratist was first compelled to learn basic techniques and combinations before he was allowed to participate in “loose play;” i. e. free sparring with other fighters. Although participants wore protective equipment in sparring, such as padded gloves known as spheres and earguards called amphotides, full-contact was emphasized to bring practice matches as near as possible to actual contest conditions. Stamina and flexibility were stressed: stretching, running, abdominal exercises, as well as a kind of shadowboxing known as skiamachia made up the bulk of conditioning. To toughen one’s physique, trainees would first strike a punching bag with their fists and then allow the rebounding bag to hit them full-impact in the stomach, chest, or back.
While modern MMA fans have idols like Royce Gracie, Chuck Liddell, and the Shamrock brothers, ancient Hellas had its own array of pankration celebrities whose stories bordered on legends. A Thessalian named Polydamos was said to have stopped a moving war chariot with his sheer strength and skills. Whether this was true or not is tough to gauge, but he was at least famous enough to be invited by Shah Darius to compete in Persepolis. According to Pausanias’s Description of Greece (6.5.7), he challenged three Immortals (members of the Persian military elite) to fight him simultaneously in a match and killed them all.
These stories are epic and surreal, but pankration fighters were so skilled at combat that Alexander the Great made it a point to recruit several of them for his expeditions into Asia, which says something of their ability. In his Library of History (3.17.100), Diodorus Siculus gives us the story of one named Dioxippus: in an organized match viewed by Alexander, the Greek Dioxippus defeated a heavily armored Macedonian using merely a club and his bare hands. “. . . the Greek upset the Macedonian’s balance and made him lose his footing. As he fell to the earth, Dioxippus placed his foot upon his neck and, holding his club aloft, looked to the spectators.”
In 393 A.D. the Christian emperor Theodosius I officially banned the Olympics. Pankration would continue to exist in an underground fashion in Greek society, however. Perhaps it even continued in an occult fashion within the European psyche, manifesting itself once again after the efforts of the Gracies.
Practical Use for Whites
Much has already been said about the effectiveness of MMA training in real life situations. Polydamos was able to slay three elite Persian warriors with pankration techniques. Dioxippus disarmed a fully clad Macedonian hoplite and beat him to the ground in the same fashion. The first conqueror of the known world recruited pankratists for his army because he knew just how deadly they could be on the battlefield. In 1928 a tiny “Jap” was able to manhandle a monstrous “Negro” in Sao Paolo with his MMA ability. While not speaking of MMA directly, Bruce Lee emphasized the superiority that a mixed martial arts system has over any single system.
Even I can testify to the value of MMA training. Though I have never competed in any tournaments, I attended classes at a dojo to learn skills from Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. The conditioning, stretching, calisthenics, bag work, cardiovascular exercises, drills, and practice matches are enough to put you in peak physical condition if you remain consistent, and to give you a solid foundation in basic techniques within a short time period.
It is no simple matter, however; I would experience total body soreness for several days at a time, along with the agitation of tiny scrapes, scratches, and rashes that build up after “rolling” on the mats. There was one point where my entire right arm would go completely numb for several hours after being exerted, likely due to a pinched nerve or some kind of minor joint injury (which quickly healed). I loved every second though, because I knew that all of this pain was actually beneficial; my body was becoming powerful, my mind more disciplined.
Due to MMA’s practical value in realistic combat situations, it would be pertinent for White Americans today to become familiar with it. We are facing a social milieu that is gradually becoming more hostile to us; it is starting to resemble the Brazil where the Gracies developed their system, as black urban gangs continue to expand and newly arrived Hispanic ones establish footholds. Many of us face a danger on a daily basis as we commute into urban areas. Some of us live in urban centers out of financial necessity, making the potential danger even greater. Even suburban and rural settings are no longer safe zones. Let us not also forget that the possibility of complete social breakdown looms over the horizon as America’s financial system continues to deteriorate; out will go law and order, and in will come a Hobbesian state of nature. If there was ever a good time for us as a people to become acquainted with hand-to-hand self-defense methods, this is it; what better place to start than an MMA dojo? Next to teaching one the standard methods of protecting oneself and one’s loved ones, MMA hardens one’s body and disciplines one’s inner faculties.
Racialists especially should become acquainted with MMA, as we have a better grasp on the severity of our people’s situation in modern America. To truly constitute a vanguard for our kin, it is crucial for us to be able to protect them. Some of us have already recognized this fact and heeded its call.
Beyond the practical aspects of MMA, I feel that it truly resonates with the souls of White practitioners, because through it we are essentially embracing a forgotten aspect of our distant yet timeless heritage. A Traditionalist group known as the Physis Fraternity asserts that a “Martial Art does not exist in isolation, as a set of abstract fighting techniques or whatever, but is rooted and can only live in a particular soil, or folk” and that “it embodies what makes that folk unique, and thus can provide health, strength and vitality for members of that folk. In essence, it connects them to their own unique racial ethos.” While the Fraternity is here speaking of its own unique fighting system (Physis), these words can also be applied to MMA.
Though Michael Buell is not widely known, likely due to his political affinities, he is an accomplished warrior with a record to prove it (see the Buell Fighting Systems website at http://www.bfsaz.com/index.html ). He has won a United States Wrestling Federation championship and defeated countless boxers and Olympic wrestlers, one of which he tapped out while enduring the pain of an injured back (which would later necessitate metal rods). Similar to Polydamos’s story, he was once invited to Abu Dhabi by a Sheik to compete in a tournament there. He has even developed his own fighting system with his two brothers, making them a sort of racialist version of the Gracie family. The Buells’ logo is a closed fist between two Celtic crosses encircled by the words “Hail Victory.” Those nationalists and racialists living in the southwest who seek training under the tutelage of a comrade should look him up.
A more overtly racialist fighter named Melvin Costa, sporting a swastika tattoo on his chest, also has notable achievements under his belt. According to an SPLC report, he is the “10th-ranked light heavyweight fighter in King of the Cage, one of the most popular semi-professional ‘mixed martial arts’ (MMA) combat leagues in America.” On his first King of the Cage match, he “knocked out his opponent at 1:06 in the first round.”
The same SPLC report also claims that “forums have recently established discussion groups devoted specifically to MMA; skinhead gangs across the country are raising money by hosting illegal backyard tournaments.”
MMA is essentially a fighting system of White European origins. It first arose in Archaic Greece, where it served both as a spectator sport and military training. The Romans turned it into the plebeian blood-sport of pancratium, which became popular across the empire until its abolition in 393 A.D. by the Christians. It did not disappear, but went underground. The Gracies in Brazil revived it. Through trial and error, they transformed a single Japanese style into the modern, pankration-like style of MMA. Therefore, those Whites who become highly skilled in its practice may very well be the next generation of Kshatriyas, Jarls, Spartans, and Equestrians.