Back in 1967, when I was studying Kenpo Karate, I used to drive my instructors crazy. I kept coming in with books and doing forms out of them. Specifically, from the Best Karate Series by Nakayma, I found first Heian Two Karate Kata, then Heian Five, and I was in heaven.
I loved the power of those stances, I loved the feeling in the air when I did those whole body movements.
And, of particular interest to me was the art of the jump. I figured out how to swing the leg and rock the body into a launch. I figured out how to pull those legs high up under me, and then land low. The idea was to jump over a low sword swing, and then land under a high sword swing.
These are things that you don’t learn in MMA. I have nothing against MMA, I just don’t study it because it is sport instead of art.
The intent of sport is to beat another person, the intent of art is refine the self (achieve perfection).
I don’t mean to speak ill of other physical disciplines, because there is something to be learned from all, and darn, there is a part of me that just loves a good competition. But when it comes to my personal evolution, I prefer the art, and to this day, near forty-five years later, I still practice the Karate Kata known as Heian Five, or as it was called in the traditional martial arts school I later went to…Pinan Two. Check out my site for Evolution of an Art, it has three complete classical martial arts, dozens of forms, hundreds of techniques, and all sorts of things that will aid you evolution as a martial artist.