The Architypes of Fighting

Here is an unusual and very interesting analysis of different fighters and their fighting styles by an ex Bellator fighter Schyler Sootho.

He looks at their styles from a Jungian psychology standpoint:

Sootho writes in the description of his video:

Why is it that certain fighters gravitate toward specific fighting styles? How should YOU chose your fighting style? The answers may lie within the psychological phenomenon of Archetypes.

What is an Archetype?

The archetypes in this video are based on those presented by Carl Jung in his work: “The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious.” Jung described archetypes as images or themes (symbols) that derive from the collective unconscious and have universal meanings across cultures.

He likened archetypes to: instinctual patterns of behavior.

Plato also described this phenomenon with his concept of the Idea: which the Princeton University Press summarized as a “Primordial disposition that preforms and influences thoughts.” So in the context of fighting, an archetype is the manifestation of the all conscious and unconscious forces that guide a fighter, in and out of the ring.

These forces include:

Their martial arts background and training styles.
Their personality and temperament.
Their purpose and values.
And literally any other subconscious motivation you can think of.

This video also introduces the eight different fighter archetypes, from Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and Boxing – which include:

The Trickster – Saenchai, Lerdsila, Sean O’Malley, Michael Venom Page, Prince Naseem Hamed, Tyson Fury, etc.

The Brawler – Rodtang, Justin Gaethje, John Lineker, Michael Chandler, Roberto Duran, Joe Frazier, etc.

The Technician – Israel Adesanya, Giorgio Petrosyan, Alexander Volkanovski, Kamaru Usman, Islam Makhachev, Floyd Mayweather, etc.

The Artist – Yair Rodriguez, Lyoto Machida, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, Dany Bill, Vasily Lomachenko, etc.

The Bully – Jon Jones, Colby Covington, Petr Yan, Conor McGregor, Mike Tyson, etc.

The Warrior – Forrest Griffin, Dustin Poirier, Daniel Cormier, Julio Cesar Chavez, Rocky Marciano, John Wayne Parr, etc.

The Crusader – Khabib Nurmagomedov, Muhammad Ali, Beneil Dariush, Yoel “The Soldier of God” Romero, etc.

The Monk – Jiri Prochazka, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Bruce Lee, Alex Caceres aka Bruce Leeroy, etc.

MMA Coach’s Thoughts

I really liked Sootho’s take on how fighter’s psychological outlook informs their fighting styles.

I would only add that not all fighters are a clear cut case of one architype or the other.

While fighters can possess one architype predominantly, I believe there can exist more than one in a person. For example, Jon Jones is not just a “Bully” but also an “Artist” and a “Technician”.

We can actually choose which one we can express and to what degree. I do however agree that one is dominant in each of us.

And I subjectively believe that “the Technician” is the best and safest architype to embody.

Although I’m not well acquainted with Jungian psychology, at a glance it seems to me that these fighting archetypes correlate to Jungian ones as follows:

The Monk correlates to the Magician.
The Artist to the Artist.
The Warrior and the Crusader correlate to the Warrior(Hero).
The Bully and the Brawler to the Shadow.
The Trickster to the Trickster.
The Technician to the King. The Crusader might also correlate to the King.

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