Is the Ubiquity of Football (Soccer) in Europe easily a Prime Reason Eastern Martial Arts didn't Take Europe By Storm the way it did with the rest of the world esp North America? In particular the UK?

Already I seen people repeat on this sub the ad nauseam argument that the Brits dismissed not just Savate but heavily leg-usage martial arts esp kicking based ones from the various Kung Fu styles of China to Capoeira and predecessors to BJJ from Brazil because because they saw kicking as ungentlemanly and that real men fight only with their fists…

Discounting British wrestling which as someone pointed out has sweeps and trips with knee pins and locks as well as chokes both using the legs… Another argument I see at Quora and other places online is that while they are now mostly dormant, a big reason why Eastern martial arts did not dominate Europe as it did during the Bruce Lee Craze of North America is that traditional local styles in Europe like Savate and Zipota and Italian Fencing still existed in towns and old neighborhoods across Europe (which Catch and Freestyle Wrestling are arguably British examples). Sure they are unknown to the majority of the populace esp Middle Class in the generic thriving Metropolis, but the simple fact in neighborhoods in Rome boxing styles with some of kicks similar to Savate in are taught in local gyms and fight clubs among some isolated ghettos that largely remain the same as before the unification of Italy (with the addition of modern appliances like electricity and plumbing) is often another theory why Europe did not have the mass martial arts fad that USA experienced in the 70s and still is suffering the effects from…

As well as the dominance of Boxing in Europe (which another poster brings up) esp the British Isles.

But I have a theory that is often overlooked esp since so many martial artists don’t tend to be into mainstream sports and are the intellectual white collar types…

The sport of Football (Soccer for you English speakers outside Europe).

I have a grandma born in Scotland and lived in London for her young adult life before immigrating to America. She grew up watching violence by local Footballer Hooligan. She still tells me stories and among them is that some hooligans she knew personally trained in boxing clubs and underground fight clubs when they weren’t spending the rest of their freetime kicking footballs outdoor along with drinking at pubs and brawling across many places.

In plenty of fights she’d always notice hooligans wouldn’t just box, they’d be doing toe kicks using their heavy worker’s footwear , instep kicks with locked ankles similar to what she seen among karate practitioners in the 60s but almost entirely vertical, round circular kicks resembling ballet dancers and the effeminate dancing of the pansy Frenchies with their feet boxing (probably referring to Savateurs in London)-her words not mine-, hitting someone with knees, sliding leg tackles (I mean the move to steal the ball in soccer, not a MMA style sprawl and takedowns), and well a bunch of other Association Football moves she’d often used herself when playing Footy with her brother on the sidewalks of London.

Now a few Bartitsu and Savate websites mention about Soccer Hooligans and their use of kicks so it makes me wonder…

Is Association Football easily one of the most essential reasons if not the prime reason why Europe didn’t develop as big a fetish for Oriental styles esp Karate and Kung Fu the way Americans and Canadians as well as the rest of the world did after WWII’s end?

I mean just go watch news about the recent riots in England after Italy’s victory at Wembley. Plenty of Football fans (some who aren’t even into Hooligan culture but just everyday normal law abiding citizens) throwing a lot of leg strikes despite never taking a single martial arts class (I doubt a lot of them ever even learned wrestling or even Boxing).

And if you watch old videos you see a lot of incidents not just in the UK but across Europe like a German fan knocking down a lady down the stairs Leonidas Well Scene Style in 300 and Russian gangs doing sweeps and locking legs after a game in France.

And nevermind that we are forgetting Football’s universal mainstream popularity across the whole wide European continent which takes away people from being interested in not just Asian martial arts but actively hampers the continuing growth of other mainstream popular sports like Basketball and Rugby…

So is it fair to say the Association Code is among the prominent reasons why America took the Oriental martial arts craze far wider than Europe ever did and even today is an obstacle to MMA’s growth in the Continent esp in the United Kingdom?

You’re not British are you? That’s not confrontational, it’s a straight question.

Being a Brit I’d say you’re way off piste. Karate and judo have been massive here since the 70’s, boxing is still probably the most dominant martial art but Queensbury rules were created here so it’s understandable why it’s been so popular for so long. Muay Thai and kickboxing have been popular since the late 80’s.

Martial arts films have been polar as well, from Bruce Lee in the 70’s up to Van Damme in the 90’s.

One thing I do agree on though is the relatively slow uptake of MMA. Now it’s fairly common but we seemed to be a few years behind the US on clubs and fight circuits. Why? I don’t know but I doubt it’s to do with football.

That has allot to do with the Anti cage fighting agenda of boxing experienced over here .

UFC had similar in some states but at least they had states that didn’t actively try to stop them .

I am still experiencing it at a local level with my show .