Tuesday, September 30, 2008

As The Turd Slides Down The Hill



(D.R.)-I just don't know, man.
Sure, I watch MMA every now and then. I still say it's a sport, not a Martial Art. I do not see any redeeming value in training this way, and you certainly can't keep it up past your early thirties.
* You can't have too many Circus's at the fall of an empire.*
-------
Promoters hope cage fighting catches on in Arizona
The Associated Press
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 09.28.2008
PHOENIX — A more intense form of cage fighting has begun in Arizona in what state leaders say could become an economic knockout.
The first show under a new law that eases rules involving mixed martial arts was held Saturday night in Prescott Valley.
And a Glendale training facility created a fight organization to take advantage of the new law. The first event for EVO MMA, short for the Evolution of Mixed Martial Arts, is next Saturday at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Nine fights are scheduled.
Cage fighting had its first U.S. event in 1993. The no holds barred sport targets younger fans who grew up playing Mortal Kombat video games and are now willing to pay for loud, fast-paced entertainment.
In cage fighting, two opponents face off in a giant cage, striking each other with fists, feet and knees. They also use grappling techniques on the ground for chokeholds or other moves to inflict pain — almost anything to get their rival to concede.
Arizona joins several states — including California, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Minnesota — in adopting legislation modeled after the New Jersey State Athletic Board’s Unified Rules of MMA, which have become standard in most mixed martial arts organizations. The new rules allow fights to elbow and knee an opponent in the face and hit a grounded opponent with a closed fist.
With the relaxed rules in Arizona, the state sees an opportunity to cash in on the big-money events.
Cage fighting fan Mike Medley of Gilbert said he’ll definitely attend events in the Phoenix metro area.
“I know we were one of the states that had a lot of restrictions ... Now they lifted it and are getting with the times,” said Medley, 28. “Not only will it bring revenue, there are a lot of fans out here. They will have no problem selling out.”
But John Montano, executive director of the Arizona Boxing Commission, has expressed concerns about the potential for serious injury, particularly when blows are landed to a fighter who is down on the mat.
Proponents say the fights are less dangerous than boxing. Rep. Jonathan Paton, R-Tucson, who trains in mixed martial arts and sponsored the new legislation, points to figures showing only two deaths in MMA bouts in the past decade, compared with 70 boxing fatalities.
“I think we’re going to see an explosion in the sport,” Paton said. “I imagine sometime this winter, you’re going to see some serious bouts here.”
The people running Ultimate Fighting Championship say it’s only a matter of time before big events are held in the Phoenix area.
“Phoenix is definitely on our radar,” said Marc Latner, UFC’s vice president of Government and Regulatory Affairs, who added the organization’s calendar is booked for the rest of 2008.
“I would think next year is safe to say,” Latner said.

14 comments:

Bob Patterson said...

I too watch it now and again. They've also come up with some good training ideas, drills, exercises, etc. that can benefit all martial arts.

However I have issues with it:

1. It does glorify violence and winning and the general public assumes traditional martial arts are all like this.

2. It's a cash cow for promoters so I think the fighters are getting the short end of the stick here. (can you say union?)

3. It is a sport--albeit a violent one.

Depending on your "style" of taekwondo or karate you can truly say you are in a martial sport and a martial art. (there's also traditional tkd and karate that are not sports).

MMA is so far removed from the trappings that make a traditional martial art a martial art that I'm hesitant to call it that, too.

Then again, I wonder if we can honestly call American Boxing a martial art?

Charles James said...

Before you can call anything an art you have to have the definition. I would wager that most who believe they practice an art form are missing the definition.

There are some excellent sources on that definintion as to Koryu, etc.

If one were really concerned about whether they practice "Art" or not.

Hand2Hand said...

I'm sorry. I usually say a big "AMEN" to most of what you say, but this time I have to disagree.

All the arguments about MMA were used against full-contact karate in the 1970's and 80's. They were also used against point karate when that sport had it's start in Japan.

I once read an interview in Black Belt where Nishiyama was asked what he thought Gichin Funakoshi would say to him in Heaven.

Nishiyama said he expected to catch hell from Funakoshi for turning karate into a sport.

I credit MMA with forcing martial artists out of their comfort zones to reconsider what would work or not work in a free-for-all.

K T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K T said...

I agree with hand2hand, and particularly his observation regarding taking martial artists out of their comfort zones.

Yes, MMA is a sport, but in my opinion its impact is not solely negative.

MMA has made a lot of martial artists re-think aspects of their training. It has attracted many talented up-and-coming martial artist practitioners and provided them with a framework in which to develop new techniques. This has benefits for all of us - seeing what works, and what doesn't, and under what circumstances.

MMA does put emphasis on winning (as do Judo and Boxing and Wrestling), but anyone who watched episodes of the Ultimate Fighter would have seen numerous instances where people who lost but fought valiantly were encouraged, and in several instances, given the chance to try again. In some cases, they were even rewarded with contracts (Stephan Bonner, for example).

MMA training does have limiting aspects, as compared to training for street; but it also has a format which is helpful for those wondering if some of their techniques would be effective - hard contact, little protection.

I agree that this is difficult to keep up beyond a certain age - I know this from personal experience.

But for someone with 30 or so years in the arts, to dismiss MMA training as not having ANTHING of value, and to compare it to a circus, is not exactly what I would call open-minded.

Formosa Neijia said...

"Rep. Jonathan Paton, R-Tucson, who trains in mixed martial arts and sponsored the new legislation, points to figures showing only two deaths in MMA bouts in the past decade, compared with 70 boxing fatalities."

I noticed the little R next to the reps name. Score another one for de-regulation by the Repubs, eh?

Sigh.

With increasing de-regulation comes the higher risk of MORE fatalities. Why would he use the fatality fact to argue for de-regulation??? Good grief. I'm gonna have to switch back to Independent.

Dojo Rat said...

You know, maybe I just dis on MMA too much. Everyone had good perspective on the values of reality training.
I guess what puts me off is the bloodlust demonstrated by some of the UFC fans. I could say the same for Pro Football where moronic fans turn me off the same way.
MMA is fightsport, not art.
Fighting brings necessary pain, Art necessarily brings pleasure.

Hand2Hand said...

Hey FN,

This is one of the few times I agree with a Republican lawmaker.

Personally, I subscribe to the philosophy that as long as a behavior does not harm the person or property of another, it should not be prohibited.

Yes, MMA can be dangerous. I also agree with Bob that the fighters should probably form a union to make sure to get a fairer share of the millions of dollars made by promoters.

But as long as everyone involved does so of their own free will and no innocent people are being hurt, we don't need to ban MMA.

s. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kenposan said...

H2H: "I credit MMA with forcing martial artists out of their comfort zones to reconsider what would work or not work in a free-for-all."

This a fallacy.

First, MMA matches are not free for alls. There are two trained fighters in a ring with rules. Trying to extrapolate MMA matches to the "real world" doesn't work.

Second, if one practices their TMA correctly (live training, adrenal stress, etc), the art will work. Thus, the TMA will not need to be pulled out of their comfort zone because they learned their art correctly. Keep in mind that the vast majority of drunks, junkies, punks, muggers, etc. that one is likely to encounter is not going to be a trained MA, much less a trained MMA.

K T said...

Kenposan,

You wrote

"if one practices their TMA correctly (live training, adrenal stress, etc), the art will work. Thus, the TMA will not need to be pulled out of their comfort zone because they learned their art correctly."

What if the TMA lacks basic groundwork, as do many TMA ?

What if the TMA is taught so that it tries to make the student fit the art, and not the art fit the student ?

From what I have seen in my 29 years in the arts this is how most TMA are passed on.

When all is said and done, between the TMA practitioner, and the MMA practitioner, I would prefer the MMA guy by my side in a street fight.

Formosa Neijia said...

"But as long as everyone involved does so of their own free will and no innocent people are being hurt, we don't need to ban MMA."

Problem is, MMA wasn't banned there. The lawmaker is talking about allowing more brutal stirkes -- the kind of things that the UFC has outlawed. I don't think that's smart at all.

DR's right -- it's feeding bloodlust and is a step downward.

Formosa Neijia said...

Basically this is my fellow Republican's argument: "No one has died yet so let's make it more dangerous so they will."

Does that make any sense? Ugh....so embarrassed.

Hand2Hand said...

Hey KT,

Testify brother!!!

And to Kenposan, in my 34 years in the martial arts, my training has run the gamut from extreme traditional (like Tang Soo Do, Shaolin, Taijiquan) to extreme modern (like Jeet Kune Do and SCARS).

The trouble with the overwhelming majority of traditional martial arts emphasize tradition over the martial. They're more concerned with hierarchy and sucking up to some distant and/or dead grandmaster than they are with helping the man or woman who's worried about being mugged or raped.

True, a competitive MMA match is a sporting event. But as a sport, it does a better job of cultivating the qualities that are needed in a streetfight than 99.99999 percent of the strip-mall dojos out there.

Some of those qualities include learning to push yourself, to take punishment as well as dish it out.

And yes, I do consider boxing and wrestling to be martial arts, certainly more so than most of what passes for martial arts these days. The key word is MARTIAL which denotes combat.

I agree with KT. If I had to go to a shitty neighborhood after dark, I'd prefer your average MMA fighter to the overwhelming majority of TMA guys any day of the week.