When I was training as long ago as 25 years in 'mixed martial arts' we simply called it 'cross training'.
At the time the names in the UFC/Pride and so on came from traditional martial arts, kempo, ju jitsu and so on, same as myself and comrades.
We cross trained and added to our knowledge, adapted and evolved. We kept our values and training ethics.
With this solid foundation in fighting, these fighters and coaches went on to do great things, even as far as to change the way fighting was viewed by the masses. However, the underlying factor was good practice and learning things properly from the very start; learning to punch, to throw and basically doing a good apprenticeship. We took years to qualify with gruelling gradings and tests. We travelled 1000's of miles to meet and train, and it cost us time money and relationships.
Then came the next generation of taught fighters and people being people, the fighters often forgot their own history and viewed themselves greater than the history behind them. After few fights and few years they often opened their own schools before they had truly learnt the essence of what they taught.
For example, “We teach techniques from sambo/bjj and thai, freestyle wrestling” and so on, but the arts have not been learnt to the full.
Now there is a third generation teaching 'MMA'. The 'MMA' has changed to two fighters armed with few skills; some stand-up and boxing, double leg takedown and some BJJ; leg locks always are classed as sambo though often they've never trained in sambo at all.
I’m not so much talking of professional fighters, more the average student; the person who trains twice a week, pays his money and leaves with 3rd generation watered down technique.
The big news is MMA is not for the street folks! It can get you hurt or worse. MMA does not help against multiple opponents and does not help against surprise attacks or armed attacks.
Within Russian All-Round Fighting there are answers to this. There is a structured learning system and levels of qualification; Master grades that have to be proven. For example, for 'Master of sport' you need to be a proven champion, not is a single fight in a cage or mat but in international competition, fighting all comers at that event therefore proving that you are truly a master of your sport. No belts are sold or paid for in advance, as in some styles.
If full contact is not for you? Well it’s no problem but your training has to reflect reality and be tested. Not right away, that would be crazy, but following a proper training program not a series of training being plucked from the air each lesson.
Think before you sign up to a school; just what is it you want to gain for yourself or your child?
Chest I Slava
You can contact Darrin at: firstname.lastname@example.org