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Who is the father of mixed martial arts?
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Bruce Lee 12 38%
The Gracie family 12 38%
Polydamas of Skotoussa 0 0%
Edward William Barton-Wright 0 0%
Dana White 2 6%
Don King 6 19%
 
Bruce Lee claimed as 'father' of Mixed Martial Arts   [View Full Version]
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infestructure » Posted 1/18/12 9:29:00PM

Of all the credits attached to the name Bruce Lee, one of the bolder claims made in the documentary I Am Bruce Lee, is that he was the de facto father of Mixed Martial Arts

LINK TO ARTICLE (BBC NEWS)

What do you guys think?
Heres another cool thing to look at

This guy here could also be considered to be a father of MMA.

I personally don't think there is any one 'father' of MMA. Nor does there need to be, MMA is a culmination of a "fighting" effort by mankind

mentalcase » Posted 1/23/08 2:35:00AM

royce gracie

mrsmiley » Posted 4/12/07 4:37:00PM

I wouldn't claim Lee as the father of mixed martial arts. Nor would I say he had a pivotal role in the development of the sport. On an individual level though he did influence a lot of fighters and got a lot of people into martial arts through his movies and physical abilities. He crossed trained in different styles and opened the doors for martial arts to be taught in America.
I think that's Lee's legacy and maybe i'm wrong here but I feel this is the need to keep Lee relevant in the martial arts world today. Not that he isn't,I still love watching his movies even today,but I feel calling him the father of mixed martial arts is a dis-service to the athletes that truly did pioneer the way.

Of course their are fighters that would even disagree with this. I think Randy Couture has gone on record as saying Lee was as well.

roadking95th » Posted 1/17/07 2:43:00PM

I do no kow a lot about Bruce Lee, but did he have a developed ground game?

airkerma » Posted 1/6/10 12:05:00PM

Don King hands down

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Boo_Radley21 » Posted 7/19/07 12:28:00AM

What about Seagal? He must have used the headscissors at least once in one of those old movies

FastKnockout » Posted 9/24/10 8:39:00PM

Didn't read the article butIs there a true "father" of MMA? I don't really think so. Bruce Lee was a master at a number of arts, but not MIXED martial arts. As far as I'm aware Lee didn't have any extensive training in grappling. Similar can be said for Royce and most of his family for lack of striking ability.

Manak » Posted 6/29/07 12:28:00PM


Posted by mrsmiley

I wouldn't claim Lee as the father of mixed martial arts. Nor would I say he had a pivotal role in the development of the sport. On an individual level though he did influence a lot of fighters and got a lot of people into martial arts through his movies and physical abilities. He crossed trained in different styles and opened the doors for martial arts to be taught in America.
I think that's Lee's legacy and maybe i'm wrong here but I feel this is the need to keep Lee relevant in the martial arts world today. Not that he isn't,I still love watching his movies even today,but I feel calling him the father of mixed martial arts is a dis-service to the athletes that truly did pioneer the way.

Of course their are fighters that would even disagree with this. I think Randy Couture has gone on record as saying Lee was as well.



I do agree on the individual level, because bruce lee was the inspiration for a lot of fighters today. I'm pretty sure I've heard bas rutten and GSP both said they saw one of his movies and they were was hooked esp since they both grew up with bullies.

Its hard to say who actually started but he was the 1st guy to make it big hence why ppl argue him,

Manak » Posted 6/29/07 12:28:00PM


Posted by FastKnockout

Didn't read the article butIs there a true "father" of MMA? I don't really think so. Bruce Lee was a master at a number of arts, but not MIXED martial arts. As far as I'm aware Lee didn't have any extensive training in grappling. Similar can be said for Royce and most of his family for lack of striking ability.



I would disagree on one point mainly because he was on of the 1st pioneer in taking different martial arts and making it more practical to fighting; so more of an mixed martial art.

I have heard though he has some grappling training from these guys, mainly in judo and then incorporated into his own style: Wally Jay, Gene LeBell and Hayward Nishioka. I got these names from another forum so dk how much truth there is to it

TheCatFather » Posted 3/1/07 12:36:00AM

The Romans are the fathers of MMA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gladiator's where the mixed martial artist of their time.

warglory » Posted 2/4/07 2:44:00AM

Bruce Lee is not the father of mma, because he never competed in active competition. MMA is a sport, not a martial art, therefore you need someone who applied practical knowledge in mma like competition. The earliest incarnation I can think of, that really made this apparent were perhaps the Gracies, simply because they voluntarily challenged and accepted challenges from many different disciplines, but they themselves never perfected their skills in striking until later generations. The first stand out I can think of, that really pushed the sporting aspect of having multi dimensional skillsets was Antonio Inoki.

roadking95th » Posted 1/17/07 2:43:00PM

Yeah, I don't get the whole Gracie thing. They started the UFC to prove that their Art was superior to others. Right?

Of all the "Arts" Sambo, Judo, Muay Thai, BJJ, Karate, Kenpo, Boxing, catch wrestling/grappling etc...wouldn't Sambo be the closest to MMA?

machodog76 » Posted 6/26/07 10:37:00PM

I'd say it was Helio more than anyone. He was the first guy I know of who fought under mixed rules against multiple disciplines.

Copenhagen » Posted 4/16/07 12:41:00PM

Royce Gracie didn't really symbolize Mixed Martial Arts. He really only represented one discipline: BJJ.

Lee was the first to combine different disciplines as far as I know, so I went with him.

Sir_Karl » Posted 9/7/07 9:27:00PM

None of these people are the fathers of MMA. All Martial Arts are Mixed Martial Arts. All arts derive from various inside and outside influences. Some of these influences even come from the animal world. It is all MMA. As far as Bruce goes, the founder of my system (Liu Seong Kuntao) Master Willem Reeders (Chinese name Liu Seong) was one the the teachers Bruce sought out when he moved to America as Reeders had moved here a few years before Bruce. Bruce was well aware of Reeders' skill and knowledge. There are many "theories" as to what Reeders taught Bruce but one thing is certain....Bruce eventually changed his philosophies of martial arts to encompass many styles and he also changed the name of his art from Jun Fan Kung Fu to Jeet Kune Do. Kune means fist and Do means way. This is the Cantonese way of saying "Kuntao" which was the name of Master Reeders' art. Liu Seong Kuntao isn't strictly Kuntao....it is an amalgamation of several Chinese, Indonesian and Japanese arts. Master Reeders was doing what Bruce was doing long before Bruce. Bruce is definitely not the father of MMA nor is anyone on the poll. All martial arts are MMA as l said previously...they are all influenced by other arts and they all draw techniques and concepts from other arts. It is all MMA.

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