NUDDA M.A.X.TRAINING AND THE SUPERIOR ARTS PARADIGM
“A MARTIAL ART THAT CAN PREVAIL AGAINST ANY OTHER MARTIAL ART AND WITHIN ANY CONDITION IS WHAT I CONSIDER TO BE A SUPERIOR ART” Antonio Faedda
An introduction from Antonio Faedda the Founder of NUDDA M.A.X.TRAINING
I like the term Cross Training. If you ever come across an old NUDDA video, you will be able to spot some vintage NUDDA T-shirts that read “NUDDA Martial Arts Cross Training”. It was in 2003 that I came up with the acronym NUDDA M.A.X TRAINING, which literally means ‘NUDDA Martial Arts Cross Training”.
In my mind “Cross Training” always resonated more than “blend”, “Mix” or “Mixed” etc. because to me NUDDA is the point where the Arts intersect, and like a cross roads, it is from that point that you have many options to travel, each of which is equally good. This is, at least, how I picture Cross Training in my head.
But what is Cross Training? Cross Training means experimentation, and it should be a liberating experience. However, if functionality is our main objective (which is the case in NUDDA), when it comes to the empty hands aspect of Martial Art training (STRIKING), we have to prioritize and have a solid base in the only two striking Arts that are worth really getting down to a Tee. These are the arts that have a combined evolutionary timespan of thousands of years. They have been battle tested and proven to work time and time again against each other. They have been proven to work against any other striking art out there. These, Ladies and Gentlemen, are The Sweet Science of Western Boxing and the Science of Eight Limbs, Muay Thai.
Don’t get me wrong. Success or failure in combat (or, in other words winning and losing) will ultimately be determined by the prowess of the Practitioner and not solely by the efficacy of the Art they are training. Yet, there are some Arts that are superior to other Arts, and if you practice Boxing or Muay Thai you already know their efficacy is simply beyond question. For this reason, in NUDDA we makes sure that we develop a solid foundation in these arts.
If you are learning another form of Striking that doesn’t include a sound foundation of the two, pack it up and leave at once because you are wasting your time.
THE MMA MATRIX AND THE EVOLUTION OF COMBAT
Combat is always evolving. And if we are going to take seriously the ever evolving nature of empty handed combat, then we need to pay attention to MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and the lessons we can learn from it. Love it or hate it, it doesn’t really matter because simply put anything that at this point is not embracing the MMA training methodology is doomed to become obsolete.
I love MMA for one very simple reason, it decimated the myth that any one art can stand alone. It proved you needed to crosstrain. The Modern era of Fighting and Martial Arts training has never been so real since the dawn of the Vale Tudo and MMA era of the early 90’s.
The beauty of MMA is that it allows us a means to test the Arts with relative safety and find the truth in combat through combat, not through theories that are essentially untestable. I call this process of testing and learning the MMA Matrix, and it through the MMA Matrix that those Essential Skills necessary to be great martial artist emerge.
I think the younger generation is lucky to have been born in today’s world of Martial Arts. Some people think (or maybe they simply hope) Mixed Martial Art is just a trend destined to fade away. I believe MMA is here to stay and thank the Gods for that.
If MMA is the evolution of Combat (which it is) it proves my statement that Boxing and Muay Thai are the Superior Striking Arts, as they are both part of the essential Skills Set in the Striking Matrix of MMA which is the “Ultimate Evolution of the Combat game”.
Superior Arts are superior for three main reasons:
1) Superior Arts have a work ethic that allows a progression only through the tangible achievement of combat related physical skills
2) There is no quick fix in Combat and Superior Arts assume athletic abilities
3) Superior Arts should be classed as a discipline , not a style because a Style is concretized, a discipline is ever evolving but it evolves according to the Universal Laws of Combat.
In NUDDA we believe in evolution and not burying our heads in the sand. Our maxim is ‘NO IF’S NO BUT’S”. We make use of the MMA training methodology to transform ordinary people into exceptional and highly effective martial artists.
NUDDA AND THE UNIVERSAL LAWS OF COMBAT: THE NUDDA DIFFERENCE
The Universal Laws of Combat is my way to state a simple truth. There are better ways of doing things and there are worse ways of doing things.
There is a better way to “keep guard”, a better way to punch, a better way to kick. There is a better way to move.
This better way, according to these Universal Laws, are not arbitrary. They are the result of a “refining” process that took place during the evolution of those Arts that have been truly “battle tested” time and time in the most extreme circumstances.
It seems to me that there are many looking for these Universal Laws, and the good news is that, the blueprint to the Universal Laws Of Combat is out there. We just need to look in the right places. Let me be perfectly clear I didn’t invent these Laws. Instead, NUDDA is a blueprint, a map, that will allow you to understand and move according to these Laws. NUDDA is also the distillation of these Laws. The Universal Laws of Combat are a formula that has been proven to work time and time again in any context. They are deeper than mere ‘techniques’: they are what governs the efficacy of techniques. It was for this reason that I originally organized my training program to focus in on expressing these Universal Laws.
One of things that is distinct about NUDDA is that we invert the usual training paradigm. We get to the Universal Laws, not via an accumulation of techniques, but through the learning and refinement of Essential Skills. These skills, are the common thread that runs through all of our movements and drills. They constitute an important piece of the map that allow you to grasp the Universal Laws. It took years for me to break down the most valid information learned from my teachers and systematically distill Combat and Striking to its essence.
As you progress along the NUDDA path, you will find that the Essential Skills are the core skill needed to perform any ‘technique’ to a high standard. It for this reason that we choose not focus on accumulating techniques, but rather on the never ending process of building and refining our Essential Skills. I really cannot highlight enough that this focus is really a defining aspect of NUDDA and what makes us so different from what is out there. For example, although we use Western Boxing as one of our base arts, we systematically break down each of its core components and then string these components together. The practitioner then has a clear mental map of how to perform the full movement to a higher level than they probably thought themselves capable of.
You need to grasp The Essential Skills and Universal Laws not only mentally, but on a neuro-muscular level. Once understood on this level, you will move naturally to ever more advanced drills. But crucially, these ‘advanced’ drills can only ever be the product of the body understanding the Skills and Laws. Again, NUDDA is an inversion of what is commonly seen out there. We give you the essence at the start.
This program works wonders for anyone that is looking to get off a great Start in the Arts, and is also an excellent source of information for any serious Martial Arts Coach looking for a way to bring out the best in his martial athletes.
THE NUDDA COACH
According the NUDDA standard, a good Coach knows what there is to know about Combat in a balanced formula of:
1) overall understanding of the fighting game,
2) overall understanding of body mechanics
3) the science of conditioning and nutrition, sport and performance psychology
4) being able to develop, adapt and evolve fighting strategies
But being a Coach of NUDDA requires more.
It requires an innate passion for getting the best out of people. How can we motivate our students to be the best they can be if they don’t feel our own passion radiating from us in the first place?
Being a good Coach means knowing “what’s what”. This means the Coach will really understand be able to apply the Universal Laws of Combat. He has a “big picture” understanding of the Arts, and sees how things intersect. This all might seem like overly colorful language perhaps, but the Universal Laws are there for the taking for those that are willing to pursue the NUDDA path and truly grasp the essence of Martial Arts (as opposed to simply collecting more techniques).
I will be blunt. The Universal Laws of Combat and the Essential Skills are the only thing worth learning and they are the only thing that really matter. It’s a course of action, a process. It’s the truth of combat. And let me continue being blunt, this process works through the Superior Arts and needs to be implicitly trusted. Part of the process is breaking yourself down and reforging yourself. But we have seen time and time again that those who trust the NUDDA process are forged from Iron to Steel.
Let me also add something very important here. I believe that there will be a time for questions and debates, but the time for talks should only come after you can “genuinely” handle yourself well against an “uncooperative opponent”. Trying to get an intellectual understanding of what you can’t put into practice is simply a form of delusional behavior. For this reason, to doubt the process will only lead to confusion and delusional. Simply put, at least in martial arts, you cannot guide someone to a place you never been yourself. Once you have it, you will know where others need to go and you can get them there.
I will give a little advice here on something that many ask, namely, how can you recognize a good Coach?
It’s very simple.
When you start training under the tutelage of a Good Coach you will be told to shut up and listen and just train hard.
And so you should. Because, when you come down to it, the Universal Laws and Essential Skills are really the language of combat, and if you do not yet understand how to speak our language, how can you ask us a question?
To allow too much questioning (especially beginners) is detrimental to the students development as they are not able to distinguish what the main difference is between a “safe training environment” (in other words DRILLS) and fighting against someone that really wants to hurt you (in other words the FIGHT).
THE NUDDA EQUATION
Before going any any further in explaining what NUDDA is (or is not for that matter), it’s very important to establish what kind of person will suit NUDDA and it’s environment.
In NUDDA, we do not pretend that we are for everyone. Only those who are looking to learn Martial Arts and experience his own progression in the Arts through a sense of authentic achievement in “combat related” physical skills can learn NUDDA.
This sense of achievement has to be measurable in three main areas:
Physical Strength – Above average stamina, agility and power
Mental Strength – The ability to face and withstand any combat related challenge
Spiritual Strength – The love for the Arts will be bigger than your ego
You need to be willing to push yourself to your edge, and then go beyond it. NUDDA® can only be integrated as part of the Matrix of the Superior Arts. NUDDA won’t work when added into inferior arts simply because those who belong to this circle do not apply the required level of intensity into their training and in my experience give far too much importance to things such as theoretical knowledge, verbal gymnastics and techniques collection which are in fact of secondary importance to combat related physical Skills and athletic abilities.
NUDDA® is a Martial Art and its aim is to forge people into fighters. Whether you choose the sport oriented competition route or not it doesn’t matter. The Arts can only work when performed at a competitive level, it will otherwise collapse and fail to reach its full potential. The full potential can only be expressed by an individual that has reached and exceeded the average of mental, physical and spiritual strength.
Perhaps one of the most distinctive and genuine aspects of the NUDDA® methodology is that it inverts the common “Contemporary Martial Arts Paradigm” that centers training on “techniques accumulation” and the memorization of fixed patterns, which is the case even in those inferior Arts that claims otherwise.
NUDDA® Instead turns its attention to the essential “Skills and Laws” which is the true driver for any application within a standing range. This distillation to the essentials means that the NUDDA® practitioner is able to move away from diagnostic thinking (I do “X” he does “Y”) and instead focuses on the unfixed chaotic nature of Combat.
Have I invented a new Art? No one does that and anyone that claims such a thing is a fool.
What I have discovered is a new way to see old things. NUDDA is a new vision and represents my own contribution to the evolution of the Arts. And after almost twenty years of continuous and diligent training, study, and testing, I am confident to bring my contribution to the evolution of the Arts forward with NUDDA®. NUDDA® is a young Art, certainly new compared to the Superior Striking Arts such as Boxing and Muay Thai, and we need to establish that NUDDA can only become functional if a solid foundation of these two essential Superior Arts has been reached. If you don’t have this foundation we will have to teach you from scratch before you can start learning NUDDA®.
THE NUDDA VISION
So what is NUDDA? If I have to sum up NUDDA in a few words, NUDDA® is outstanding Boxing supercharged with limb destructions and unorthodox attacks.
However, there is more to it. NUDDA® is an exploration of that range that I believe to be the most dangerous yet fascinating area of Combat, the “transitional range” which I like to call the “In between”. The transition from one range to another is when we are at our most vulnerable. In other words, we express NUDDA in the transitions between the known ranges of the Superior Arts.
Many people are obsessed with and believe the “close quarter” range to be the most dangerous. I must admit I used to believe this myself in my early years of training. However, maturity and plenty of sparring taught me well, and I now feel very different. You can become an excellent “in the pocket” fighter and I personally feel extremely at ease at close quarter. But the grey area is where the Long and The Close quarter ranges “meet”.
That’s what really fascinates me as a Student of the Arts, and this is where NUDDA as a Striking Method brings the real value. The Grey Area, the transitional range, “The In Between”.
I am a natural Counter Puncher. Some people feel that it’s more natural to attack, and while sometimes it is true that “attack is the best defense”, I personally believe that great defensive skills is what makes the real difference when two people that are equally skilled, equally trained and in the same weight category meet.
People that are great offensive strikers are dangerous, but when they meet someone that is, faster, stronger, and more resilient, unless they have a great defensive skill to get back to, they will inevitably lose.
People that have great defensive skills have an edge, because they can decide whether to attack or not. As long as you are sharp and work your explosiveness, strength, and stamina, being a defensive fighter will put you in the most advantageous position and more importantly, you will take less punishment.
Defensive fighters are more intelligent, they have a strategy and they only go to war when they have done their homework and developed a sound strategy. A good general goes to battle only when he knows he can win, as to go into battle without a strategy in place is suicidal.
The NUDDA defensive structure (The X Guard) has been codified to be “a living guard”. It is not static, but adaptable, solid and strong. It is a defensive mechanism that will give you excellent protection when needed yet still allow you to access the weapons you need to finish your opponent. The primary weapons we use from the NUDDA X Guard are elbows and short range punches, as well as unorthodox clinches, limb destructions, and body manipulations.
The NUDDA X Guard will feel natural to the serious practitioner, but can only be learnt by Martial Artists that have reached a high standard in the Superior Arts of Boxing and Muay Thai therefore it cannot be learnt at the beginning of your journey as this would be the equivalent of reading a book from the last page backward. It wouldn’t make sense to do that.
You have to be patient if you want to learn NUDDA and its “X Guard”, you will have to go through the Cross Training stage first and allow yourself the time to nurture and build your essential skills.
But one thing I know and I can promise, the NUDDA X guard works. No Ifs No Buts.