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Fedor's Martial Arts Styles

On baseball fields all around America, you'll find pitchers mimicking Alex Rodriguez's swing down to every last detail. High school quarterbacks watch hours and hours of Peyton Manning tape each week, dissecting how every move and decision is made. When it comes to Mixed Martial Arts, there's only one fighter complete enough to bother copying. Do I even need to reveal his name?

Okay, so we know it's Fedor, but what is his technique exactly? To the casual fan, it just looks like a good old fashioned beat down. It's actually a little more complicated than that. A combination of Sambo, Judo, and a little Muay Thai lead this man to be called the most dangerous in the sport. Unlike other sports, where a motion or stance can be copied easily, it'll take more than that to master what Fedor does so expertly. The United States is filled with schools that will train you in these disciplines, but before you jump into the Red Devil camp, take a second and see which of the master's styles suit your abilities best.

Sambo is one of the four main competitive wrestling styles practiced internationally and varies slightly depending on which Sambo rules you are using. The basic elements, however, remain the same. The word Sambo is an acronym for the Russian phrase "Self defense without a weapon," and as such, it makes sense that the sport is mostly composed of throws, specific body control, and arm or leg locks. Fedor uses these elements perfectly in all his fights due to the fact that his striking is not as developed as many he would like it to be. Every fight that Fedor has taken to the ground has been won by the Russian, a testament to his ability in the discipline. It is designed to give smaller fighters an advantage against larger competitors, similar to the methodology behind Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The main difference between Sambo and BJJ is that Sambo uses throws whereas BJJ uses traditional wrestling take downs. While Sambo doesn't use the wrestling take downs, much of the sport is derived from wrestling, making it an excellent choice for anyone with some grappling background.

Sambo is recognized as being derived from a larger umbrella of Judo, a form in which throws and locks are again emphasized, but with certain versions where striking is permissible. The major difference is that in most forms of Judo, choke holds are legal, whereas in Sambo, they are not. Any mixed martial artist with knowledge of chokes would be smart to choose Judo over Sambo as he would be able to polish and utilize his strengths to a greater degree. Again, striking is at a minimum so if a fighter is looking to base his attack on striking attacks, he'd be smart to steer away from Judo and towards a more aggressive martial art.

Fedor's final element of martial arts training is his most recently-acquired as well. His ground work has always been superb, but his striking was suspect. How does the greatest fight of all time go about fixing this problem? He adds the most explosive striking discipline, Muay Thai, into his repertoire and mixes it seamlessly into his fights. Known as the art of the eight limbs (two hands, feet, elbows, knees), Muay Thai is the most dangerous of striking repetoires as those who master it can literally strike from any position or angle. Fedor is able to use this to his advantage when combatants are so reluctant to go to the ground with him, they choose to strike instead. Anyone with boxing knowledge and great cardio would fit well into a Muay Thai program.

No matter which of Fedor's disciplines you choose to study on your own, two facts remain. First, you can't go wrong. All are highly successful martial arts and different initial strengths will lend themselves to different styles. Second, no matter how much you train, you still won't be able to beat Fedor.