Back When Kimbo Was Dangerous

I have a saying that I use, “Back when Kimbo was dangerous”…

Do you think Kimbo became more effective when he was just a streetfighter than he is now, as an MMA guy?

I don’t think so. In my opinion, those MMA guys messed Kimbo up by teaching him all that stuff. Maybe if they just took him as is, and put him up against MMA fighters, he would have put on a better show. The thing is, that fighting is scientific but not that darned scientific! When you have a guy who trains himself in what he knows, and does a damned good job at it, he doesn’t really need to have a lot of tactics. He just needs to know the tactics he knows very well.

Do you think amateur boxers learn new fighting techniques when they are training as pros with a new trainer? Not at all. Amateur boxers just do the same thing as when they are professionals, they just do it for a full-time (or part-time) job, unlike many of you who train 3 – 4 hours a week. When they turn pro, they are wiser, more experienced, better skilled, and are encouraged to spend a majority of their time in training.

When Kimbo was streetfighting, he was basically a pro. This was his JOB. He trained like most of you who own full-time schools. He trained while many of you punched a clock, and sat in your cubicles. He didn’t have many weapons in his toolkit, but the tools he had could be used to fix darn near anything. So when they started giving him all these extra tools, he:

  1. spent less time on the things he excelled at,
  2. clumsily fumbled with things that were new to him,
  3. had a difficult time adjusting to the “full” toolbox, which led to his slow response to decision-making during the fight.

 Bottom line, Kimbo was more dangerous when he used the same answers to nearly everything thrown at him. Now that he has clouded his strategy machine with too many options, he became like every other MIXED-UP martial arts fighter who has no specialty:  a jack of all, but master of nothing.I would like to see him return to the old Kimbo.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Author: thekuntawman

full time martial arts teacher, full time martial arts philosopher, and full time martial arts critic

7 thoughts on “Back When Kimbo Was Dangerous”

  1. Have you ever seen the challenge match between Kimbo Slice and the MMA fighter Sean Gannon?
    This was when Kimbo was well known as a streetfighter, and before he started his MMA career.
    There was no groundwork involved in that match, but Kimbo got guillotine choked by Gannon, who is nothing special as an MMA fighter.
    I think that by itself shows that Kimbo really *needed* to add some tools to his arsenal to be able to hang in the cage.
    Fighting with fists is just not enough if you aren’t familiar with all the other things that could happen in a cage fight (especially submissions).

    1. yes, i saw it, but it does not prove anything, except that he did not know how to fight a grappler. if he did learn “some” grappling he would still lose to gannon, because gannon will still be a better grappler than he will be. if you have ever lost a fight, did you decide that you need to learn that man’s style of fighting? or did you say that you lost because you need more training or better strategy? last night at my school’s fight night, i had a jujitsu fighter get bested by a olympic tae kwon do fighter. the answer is not for him to start taking up tae kwon do, but to learn how to deal with the tae kwon do fighter, using what he knows how to use already. this is the point of the article, that when the martial artist keeps taking up new arts because they see something they don’t “know”, they just become so-so at many skills, and cannot adopt their main art to anything.

  2. That’s a useful reply. I agree with the main point, which is that there is a danger of martial artists becoming mediocre at many things.
    Here are some further thoughts.
    Even if Kimbo had a good strategy for dealing with grapplers without playing their game, it would still be a good idea for him to learn how to grapple.
    One reason is that grapplers are also very good at forcing others to play their game.
    So when Kimbo faces a good grappler, who has been training day in and day out to close the gap against strikers and take them down, there is still a good chance that he will be forced into the grapplers favored range, and so he needs enough defensive skills in that range to keep himself from being submitted very quickly.
    In MMA, I just can’t see a way around having a gameplan for each and every area of the fight, whether this area is kickboxing, clinching,or groundfighting. And that just means training in each of these areas, even if the fighter haa a specialty or a strength.
    In the same way, all grapplers in MMA have to train extensively in striking, because they have to be able to last long enough in that range to be able to get the takedown.
    Thank you for the best martial arts blog on the internet!

  3. Good points on both sides. The big question in the ring is whether it’s necessary to learn to fight with all styles, or to specialize in one or two and learn to defend against all styles. Excellent blog posts btw!

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