What has everyone talking is not the fact that Silva knocked out Belfort, but HOW he knocked him out.
|"THIS! IS! SPARTA!"|
|Anderson Silva's before cutting weight?|
Yes, Steven Seagal, Aikido practitioner and 90's action movie star, claims that he was instrumental in Silva's victory. Depending on what interview you look at, he's either claiming to have helped Silva perfect the kick, or, in fact, to have completely invented it. Silva even backs him up, according some sources, saying "He perfected it. I did that kick for a long time and he actually helped me perfect it, along with (fellow fighters) Pedro Rizzo and Feijao (Rafael Cavalcante). That was a kick we were working on right before I stepped out (Saturday against Belfort) and actually there Steven kind of corrected me on a few things." (Maclean's Article).
What are we to make of this seemingly spectacular claim? Could Seagal have really been instrumental in helping Silva perfect that kick?
“You may not realize it, but I’m harmonizing with the universe right now”
The kick that Silva used is called a Teep. It is a fundamental technique in Muay Thai, one that Nak Muay have been using for a long, long time. The Teep is usually directed to body, not the face, because in Thai culture, putting the bottom of your foot in someone’s face is rude. Even if they’re trying to knock you unconscious. No, it doesn’t make sense to me either, but the Thai probably think the Jewish aversion to certain types of fish is weird, so who am I to judge? In any case, it’s perfectly LEGAL to Teep someone in the face in Muay Thai, it’s just rude. That doesn't stop people from doing it when the situation calls for it (i.e. when you don't like the other guy very much).
In MMA, of course, it's neither illegal NOR rude to kick someone in the face. MMA fighters are much more open-minded in that way.
Now here, here is where I get hung up. I’ve been studying for Muay Thai for about ten years. I’ve fought once as an amateur. I’ve coached for five or six years (I really can’t remember when I started). And for many of those years, I have been telling students that the Teep is the most underrated weapon in Muay Thai. Most of them don’t listen, but I tell them. And I show them how to throw it, and some of the set ups that I’ve learned; one of which happens to be, look low, sell the Teep high. In other words, the set up that Silva apparently used to KO Belfort.
Oh, and I have a shodan rank in Aikido. Or at least I did. The damn thing really should be considered expired, at this point (side note: martial arts ranks really should have expiration dates. Use it or lose it.).
What's my point? Am I a master of the same level of Silva and Seagal?
Hell no. Well, I'm certainly not on Silva's level. The dude could destroy me with one limb of his choice, and about all I would be able to do about it would be to eloquently beg for mercy. Frankly, regardless of what else you can say about Seagal, the honest truth is, from an Aikido perspective, he'd outrank me, and probably spent a lot more time training that art than I did. (Though I did get to wear the hakama.)
|I can't lie. Hakama are pretty sweet.|
And YET. I know how to teach the mystery kick. I even know the mystery set up. Because the mystery here is not the kick. The mystery is that everyone is so fucking gaga over it.
Don't misunderstand me. It was a spectacular kick. Well timed, well placed, well executed. I am not suggesting that we should not be impressed by Silva's performance. It was very impressive. Shocking, even. I don't think anyone predicted that the fight would go that way. (Except, in fairness, maybe Seagal.)
But this nonsense about perfecting secret techniques is just that. It's nonsense. And the thing that pisses me off about it so much is that there's already hordes of young combat athletes out there who spend way to much time chasing after "the move" or "the secret technique" (funny how last night, everyone was working the rear Teep) instead of realizing that they need to just knuckle down and learn the fundamentals.
Hey look, it's the secret kick!
Let me lay this out for you. If there was one super invincible technique that no one would counter, that would be the only thing you'd ever learn. There would be no systems of martial arts, no combat sports, no Blauer Tactical Systems, nothing. You'd just learn "the move" when you were five years old, and that would be it. You'd be able to beat up everyone and anyone who threatened you (except that no one would, because they'd all know "the move" too).
But REALITY DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.
|Maybe that damn Panda was on to something...|
Now go train.