By day, he is a professional mixed martial arts fighter, with multiple black belts and a winning record. By night, he is Seattle’s own neighborhood crime fighter, operating under the costumed alias Phoenix Jones.
Phoenix recently shared his origin story, methods and motivations
First reported by KOMO News:
Phoenix Jones is a superhero.
He has a day job but wears a costume underneath his street clothes in case he encounters crime. He carries a “net gun” and has a sidekick named Buster Doe.
But this isn’t the plot from a Hollywood movie. There are no special effects. This is real-life and Phoenix patrols Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood every week- stopping fights, feeding the homeless and helping folks who have run out of gas.
Artist: Nicki Minaj
Video: Your Love
Styles: Kenjutsu, Karate
Facts: Michael Jai White, who plays the sensei in “Your Love”, holds black belts in seven different styles of martial arts, including Tang Soo Do and Kyokushin.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an excellent martial art for fighting competitions. After provoking a tussle with an angry redneck, BJJ student Joseph Guichebarou executes a takedown and mount with relative ease. If it were a tournament match, he could have proceeded to choke the man unconscious, or break a limb, or wait for a submission or a referee’s call.
Tapout – Cheezburger = FAIL
But this was not a tournament match. It was a scuffle at an Austin Whataburger, with a dozen laughing spectators. And in taking the superior position, the BJJ artist had essentially painted himself into a corner.
Years before The Ultimate Fighter and pay-per-view MMA specials, talk-show host Jerry Springer pioneered “reality” fighting entertainment.
While Jerry Springer’s talk show environment is obviously somewhat contrived, his guests’ fighting technique is in other respects spontaneous and natural. So how do the lessons taught in the average martial arts dojo compare to combat performances on Jerry Springer?
Dojo Fantasy: There are no rules in a real fight.
Jerry Springer Reality:
After Karate expert Lyoto Machida’s recent win in UFC 98, fans immediately started talking about a comeback for traditional martial arts. Prior to Machida’s victory, the couch potato consensus had written off traditional training methods as superstitious and ineffective. How quickly perceptions change.
Two short weeks later, Brazilian featherweight Jose Aldo won a truly stunning victory against Cub Swanson in WEC 41. Total match time: 5 seconds. Winning technique: crane kick.
BLACK BELT – That uniform accessory most coveted by students of martial arts, who, upon receiving it, pretend it never held any interest at all.
PRACTICE – To endlessly repeat the same sequence of movements, always hoping for different results. (See also: INSANITY.)
KATA – An awful form of dance, often assumed to divulge some hidden meaning after sufficient PRACTICE.
Last week, we considered the evolution of mixed martial arts, specifically:
How do we define the ecosystem of mixed martial arts? Where are its boundaries?
The most obvious boundaries of MMA are its official competition rules. Techniques carrying the highest risk of injury are typically banned:
- Eye gouging
- Hair pulling
- Attacking the groin
- Striking the back of the head, or spine
- Striking the trachea
Significant as they are, these explicit rules do not fully capture the difference between a sporting event and a “martial art” (when conventionally defined as an art of life and death, killing and self-preservation). The majority of rules governing MMA fights are implicit.
Rabid fans of mixed martial arts often consider their sport to be a proven, scientific, and highly evolved form of fighting. Modern MMA practices are contrasted with those of American Judo and Karate-do—unwittingly cast to represent “traditional martial arts” at large—and judged uniformly superior.
Putting aside the revisionist history underlying such comparisons, let us consider the possibility and implications of MMA’s evolution. What can Darwin’s theory teach us about the present state, predict for the future fate of mixed martial arts?
Ask a Dodo About MMA
Many centuries ago, a flock of pigeons departed their native land, roosting on the tiny Indian island of Mauritius. Enjoyed the relaxing tropical atmosphere, and an environment free of natural predators, they decided to stay awhile.
While the vast ocean protected the birds from attack, evolutionary forces reshaped their bodies and minds.
On October 4, 2008, Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson accepted a last-minute unscheduled fight with a relative unknown. Kimbo entered the match with advantages in strength, weight, and reach. His opponent, Seth “Silverback” Petruzelli, held the advantage of greater experience.
In a shocking outcome that should inspire martial artists everywhere, experience won.