Hand to hand combat: elite soldiers in MMA / UFC?

Why don’t we see many elite soldiers in MMA competitions?

Between an elite soldier and a professional fighter, there are huge differences in terms of:

  • Training – One trains to kill quickly without limitations, the other for a bloody but sporty show / competition, one for example to march for a long time, the other to give the maximum for a few minutes, one to widely use weapons, the other to fight bare hands (with gloves), one to survive in extreme conditions, the other to fight only in predetermined contexts (etc.)
  • Interest – Not all soldiers may appreciate the idea of fighting and wasting their time / energy on something that (in a reasonable way of seeing the world) is totally useless (eg. not for their country); another possibility can simply be that they have seen enough blood in their lives and that they do not want to see more
  • Conceptions – A soldier may not recognize as “real” a clash with such restrictive regulations (read The 6 types of martial clash), he might consider it “fictitious” (eg. in the reality of a lethal context it is not enough a pat on the back to preserve life nor strategically make points to gain the victory)

The fact is that, although the comparison may seem “logical” (to a neophyte / amateur):

  • It is like trying to compare a digital graphics expert with a programming expert – It simply does not make sense, even if they both deal with information technology, they work in totally different sectors
  • Having two professional careers is not normal – If having two normal careers is difficult, having two at the highest levels is, at least, rare; who already excels in his field for what reason should spend the little time left to enter in another one?

Primary and collateral attitudes

Having said this, it is a matter of logic that, at the same psycho-physical conditions, everyone becomes good at doing what he does for more time and with the greater dedication. No one can excel in everything.

There are limits to what a human being can optimize and when we talk about the highest levels of preparation (elite military corps, sports champions, etc.) it is obvious that they can easily be reached:

  • Are elite soldiers good free-body hand to hand fighters? – On average, surely yes, it is an abundant part of their training
  • Are they better than expert fighters who train all day to do it in an extremely more specific way? – On average, certainly not, it’s mathematics

In conclusion, it is important to stress that:

  • Some soldiers actually fight in the cage, sometimes, with good results (let’s do not limit our research to the 3-4 most  famous names)
  • Nothing excludes that a person can prevail even in a field that is not his but it is simply less likely
  • The elite units are the flagship of military propaganda (let us not be fooled by what we see on the internet or on TV)
  • The greatest impact on the effectiveness in the fight is given by the person who fights, from his mental setting and from the training that follows, the technique of struggle is (proportionally) much more secondary

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • What is the principal difference between a warfare combat system and a fighting sport in your opinion?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

How to master 6 Dragons Kung Fu?

Are you searching for:

  • Daily training exercises?
  • Synthetic theory and concepts?
  • A step by step path from white to black belt?
  • A path (clear, consequential and gradual) designed to build real martial skills?
  • A direct contact with Master Kongling?

Go to our Patreon page and choose a training plan: starting from the Practitioner level, you will gain access to all this and much more.

Inside each Premium Lesson, you will receive the same teaching (practices, tips, concepts, small secrets and corrections) reserved to the live students of Master Kongling.

Important - Once a certain number of registrations are reached, no other participants can be accepted. For more information write to: [email protected].

Support us (1€ / month):