Mixed Martial Arts: Legitimate sport, or just a bunch of thugs beating on each other?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 25, 2008 8:12 PM GMT
    You can guess how I feel about it from the title of this thread. It all seems so trailer park to me (and I’m speaking as someone who grew up around trailer parks). I can appreciate the strategic elements of boxing and other martial arts where you score points with the judges by landing blows, but unless I’m missing something, MMA matches are about nothing more than inflicting pain on another person.

    But don’t get me wrong; I’m not anti-violence. It’s a big ol’ bad world out there, and the skills those guys learn are likely to come in handy some time. And if two guys want to beat on each other until one or the other submits, I say have at it. What disturbs me is that so many people – not just white trash but well-educated suburban yuppie types – would find that so entertaining.

    Maybe if it was marketed differently I’d have more respect for it, but the overblown hype and cartoonishly exaggerated trash talking seem to me more like professional wrestling than a legitimate athletic competition.

    What do you guys think?
  • mcwclewis

    Posts: 1701

    Jul 25, 2008 8:16 PM GMT
    Depends on what group you're talking about. MMA in and of itself is certainly a legitamite sport. If you can appreciate the training it takes as well as learning all of the different martial arts moves you'd probably be more interested in it. As martial artist myself I enjoy watching other people executing the moves that I've been learning myself.
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    Jul 25, 2008 8:30 PM GMT
    As I said, I can appreciate the skills. And I can understand other martial artists being interested in the competition. What I don't get is the UFC-type pay-per-view matches that are wildly popular with guys who haven't thrown a punch at anyone since they were nine years old.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Jul 25, 2008 8:39 PM GMT
    What you are talking about is not Martial Arts or at least in my opinion it's not.

    Sport is not about inflicting pain on someone, so in my opinion it is not sport either. Martial Arts is not sport anyway.
  • justinlee86

    Posts: 501

    Jul 25, 2008 10:43 PM GMT
    I personally enjoy MMA. The training that these guys go through is intense...if trash talking seems like a cheap knock-off of WWE or something...that would mean all sports are some cheap knock-off in a way.

    I feel that MMA is a way for an athlete to prove themselves. Think about it...there are more injuries in Rugby and Football...dont you think its sort of trailer park to chase a ball and beat eachother up and make millions of dollars?

    Plus MMA now-a-days has strict rules and regulations. Hence there being less injuries and less long term problems like lets say in boxing.
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Jul 25, 2008 11:40 PM GMT
    At the higher levels, MMA is definitely a sport and it's stars among the most highly trained, coached and conditioned athletes in the world. In order to be physically good enough at striking (punching, kicking AND elbows), wrestling and submissions, smart enough to overcome seriously dangerous opponents with strategy, and with enough endurance to last up to 25 minutes in a FIGHT...I can't even comprehend that level of physical and mental development.

    Having said all that, I see your misgivings and have them myself. At the low end it does seem populated by thugs, trash-talkers and rednecks. MMA fights feature a lot of pro-wrestling like bravado to generate interest and promote matches in almost the same way.

    As a very, very amature martial artist myself it is interesting to see some of these fights and how different styles and strengths match up against each other. Some of the fighters really have a lot of admirable qualities -- I'm thinking Forrest Griffin and Randy Couture, Quentin Jackson too, he's come a long way even from where he was in PRIDE.

    On the other hand, two legitimate martial arts masters from two different disciplines (aikido and Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu) said the same thing at separate seminars -- that the goal of their art is to enable it's practicioners to 'remain undefeated', meaning self-defense. If you can escape a dangerous situtation ALIVE and intact, then that means you won!

    But MMA is traditional martial arts' antithesis. The goal in MMA is to 'impose your will on your opponent.' A lot of MMA guys and coaches say that, most notably Matt Hughes. I find that philosophy a bit chilling, especially when it's starts to escape into our culture which is already fairly pitiless and ignorant as far as the consequences of violence.

    Daaaaaaaamn, that was a long-ass post! Anyway, that's my take. ;)
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Jul 25, 2008 11:45 PM GMT
    I'd say MMA as a sport, is a sport. Meaning that is regulated, etc. Two guys on the street using MMA moves are just thugs beating each other up.

    While the trash talk does look a lot like WWE, it's the same in boxing. Perverted by promoters, but it's sure as hell a sport.


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    Jul 25, 2008 11:53 PM GMT
    Colbert_Nation saidThe goal in MMA is to 'impose your will on your opponent.'...our culture which is already fairly pitiless and ignorant as far as the consequences of violence.

    I think this sums up the issue nicely, as to why a martial artist would take offense to the sport.

    I think it's sport like dog fighting and cock fighting are sports. The element of risk, pitting opponents against each other in a cage is basically what all sports boil down to. Minus the bullshit veneer of it being for gentlemen or gentlewomen.

    A part of me applauds it for its honesty. The other part, the artist, yearns for something more redeeming than a pissing contest.
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    Jul 26, 2008 12:21 AM GMT
    Groundcombat - point well taken about boxing. It has definitely become perverted by promoters with Godzilla-sized egos. And I wince whenever I see someone step into the ring wearing a pair of trunks that look like the upholstery of a Mexican taxicab.

    Yes MMA is obviously a sport, in the same way that dogfights and cockfights are (as mickey said). I think what bugs me most is that it's found such a broad audience. In most gyms, if I'm looking for the biggest thugs all I have to do is see who's wearing Tap Out or other MMA-related sportswear (although the guys I've known who actually competed - including Royce Gracie, who used to go to my gym - tend to be fairly quiet and unassuming).
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    Jul 26, 2008 1:20 AM GMT
    See they are just fans. I mean I have seen the most outrageous football fans who paint themselves naked and get in fight in parking lots, what about soccer riots in Europe you can't base the sport on its fans. Boxers trash talk so much it is incredible! So do basketball stars more than anything.

    It is a Sport because I am doing it myself because it combines Brazilian Jujitsu, wrestling, Kick Boxing, and other martial arts. It takes intense training and lots of mental training as well because you utilize so many different techniques.

    I feel that the assumption about its fans is like saying I dont like basketball because the fans are too ghetto... it seams a little ignorant. And also Most people who wear Tapout gear and the other stuff dont do it at all! They just want to. its just all been marketed to the consumer. Also just because someone wears a laker uniform doesn't mean they are like the stereotypes of the fans. Every single person at my gym is the most calm and respectable person I have ever meet. So not calling it a sport is just BS. I mean what about baseball! or Golf! those are sports?
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    Jul 26, 2008 1:34 AM GMT
    What's not to like? Two hunky guys in trunks split half-way up the thigh erotically wrestling in the octagon. Sounds like heaven to me. icon_twisted.gif
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    Jul 26, 2008 1:49 AM GMT
    A: A legitimate sport used by a bunch of thugs to beat on each other in a socailly acceptable way.

    I say let those hot thugs channel their aggression for us all to enjoy.

    Also I think boxing has become something of a farce, so this is what's left for folks who would otherwise get into boxing.
  • metalxracr

    Posts: 761

    Jul 26, 2008 6:21 AM GMT
    I consider it a sport. The training is intense and you have to learn so much real fast.
    My brother and his wife are MMA fighters. They both can kick serious ass. My sister-in-law has spared a few guys in practice and totally kicked their asses. lol

    They haven't been doing it very long. My brother was in boxing for a while, and then when they got married it was something they both decided to take up.

    Their two little boys go with them to practice and they're MMA freaks and practice together non-stop! It's cool to watch, but they're really good. They always ask, "Can you come watch us practice because my mom said, we can only fight if there's an adult watching" It's cute haha.
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    Jul 26, 2008 8:41 AM GMT
    It's a sport.



    If the loser got fucked, it would be porn.



    Oh come on, that was funny. Someone laugh and send me a private message to let me know you appreciated the joke.
  • TallSoCal

    Posts: 321

    Jul 26, 2008 9:20 AM GMT
    Personally, I'm a HUGE fan of MMA and UFC and all of that. Yeah. It's a brutal sport. To some, it's an ego boost. To others, it's a stress reliever. The fighters get paid about 6 figures a fight, and most of them are in school getting degrees for Psychology or Biology or Business and other things. They have their reasons for doing it. I could probably never willing sign up to get my face bashed in, but I'm gonna try to watch every fight I can.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 26, 2008 11:32 AM GMT
    I like it too.

    In my opinion, it isn't brutal enough.

    My mother grew up in Llano Texas during the Great Depression. I remember her telling me that "it was a slow Saturday night in Llano when someone wasn't gunned down on main street". She also said that "when Bonnie and Clyde came through town they were treated like a King and Queen".

    The per-capita instance of actual violence in contemporary culture must be as low as it has ever been in history, perhaps (and I don't have supporting statistical evidence) it just might be at its lowest level in recorded history. (at least speaking of culture in the industrialized and industrializing worlds.)

    Furthermore, we live in a world where reportage is omnipresent and possible even with a mobile telephone - of which billions are in circulation (did anyone see the film of the Quantas airliner incident yesterday? Have you ever seen anything like that other than in a movie?).

    The surplus of information means that incidents are more reported than they have been at any point in history.

    We are more passive and, as a consequence, our entertainments are much less so. We aren't very different from the oh-so-orderly Romans who enjoyed bloodsport.

    If two absolutely perfect specimens of male virility and aggression wish to fight literally to the death in a ring for whatever motivation, I am all for it - so long as they are not obliged to do it and it is their choice (even if such choice might be driven by greed).

    Furthermore, I expect to see the day dawn in my lifetime when that will be on Pay Per View.

    The sheep loves to dream of being a Lion.

    Terry
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    Jul 26, 2008 7:30 PM GMT
    Hmmm, interesting responses. Let's recap.

    People have given several arguments for considering MMA a legitimate sport, including:

    a) the competitors are highly trained (mcwclewis, justinlee86, Colbert_Nation, metalxracer)

    b) it's regulated (groundcombat)

    c) the guys are hot (ruck_us)

    d) "because I do it myself" (ItsMyLife)

    I'll point out that by the above criteria, professional wrestling would also be considered a legitimate sport.

    Those who compete appear to dismiss the idea that their audiences are more thuggish or trailer parkish than any other legitimate sport.

    No one seemed willing to engage on my concern that unlike any other legitimate sport, the sole purpose of MMA is to inflict pain on your opponent - except ursamajor, who longs for the days when people were gunned down in the streets every Saturday night in his mother's small Texas town, and would like to see pay-per-view matches to the death. I honestly don't know if he's serious or trying to be ironic, but either way, he scares me.

    I'll remind you guys that the gladiator bouts in the Roman Circus are traditionally considered to be symbolic of the decadence of the Roman Empire, and existed primarily to distract the public from the crumbling state of the society.
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Jul 27, 2008 4:55 AM GMT
    Riptjock,

    You sound like a good friend of mine who I used to train BJJ/MMA with. We talked not too long ago and he was talking about how annoying it was by how much MMA had become popular lately. 12 year old Hermosa Beach kids wearing TAPOUT shorts and everyone sporting some "Tommy Tough Nuts" Tshirts.

    While I laugh a lot at some of those sights, I think overall it's good for the quality of the sport. With it becoming popular, you increase the demand for it and the availability of schools to train at. While LA may be a BJJ meccah, west FL has a long way to go and I think the spike in popularity will help make it more available to more talent and increase the quality of fighters.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 27, 2008 3:38 PM GMT
    I need to apologize to everyone on this forum.

    I originally posted this thread to the "All Things Gay" forum, because I wanted to find out what the Realjock general public thought about MMA. Within an hour it disappeared from there. I could check the Forums I've Posted To and see that people were reading and responding but I didn't know where it had gone. It took me two days to locate it, and I was extremely chagrined to find it had been transferred to the MMA forum, where only MMA competitors and fans would see it. I don't know how or why that happened, but it was certainly not my doing. I'm not the kind of person who walks into someone's house and tells them their baby is ugly. That's just plain disrespectful.

    Once again, I apologize. And I thank you for your patient and thoughtful responses.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 27, 2008 9:27 PM GMT
    Ok so On the point about just beating the shit out of each other part. It is not just going in and beating the hell out of someone.... its hard to explain. You both know and understand that you are going to do this and a person is going to loose. Its a masculine thing, and adrenaline thing, a competition thing. I think it is something more animalistic and psychological too. Its for very intense people who have no other outlet that can give them that release. Yes sports and competition can but most have too many rules and restrictions. You know I am not doing a good job at explaining it. But the gladiators were forced to fight for the fans, but MMA guys do it for themselves. I just say dont dish it till you try it. I think the real question is what makes a sport a sport? Is it the rules, or the competition
  • PRDGUY

    Posts: 641

    Aug 08, 2008 9:18 AM GMT
    riptjock saidHmmm, interesting responses. Let's recap.

    People have given several arguments for considering MMA a legitimate sport, including:

    a) the competitors are highly trained (mcwclewis, justinlee86, Colbert_Nation, metalxracer)

    b) it's regulated (groundcombat)

    c) the guys are hot (ruck_us)

    d) "because I do it myself" (ItsMyLife)

    I'll point out that by the above criteria, professional wrestling would also be considered a legitimate sport.

    Those who compete appear to dismiss the idea that their audiences are more thuggish or trailer parkish than any other legitimate sport.

    No one seemed willing to engage on my concern that unlike any other legitimate sport, the sole purpose of MMA is to inflict pain on your opponent - except ursamajor, who longs for the days when people were gunned down in the streets every Saturday night in his mother's small Texas town, and would like to see pay-per-view matches to the death. I honestly don't know if he's serious or trying to be ironic, but either way, he scares me.

    I'll remind you guys that the gladiator bouts in the Roman Circus are traditionally considered to be symbolic of the decadence of the Roman Empire, and existed primarily to distract the public from the crumbling state of the society.


    Personally,my last bunch thrown, in anger, was in high school. And by ur standards any sporting event attracts trailer person/rednecks.... we call them rural residents of the community here in the NC mnts....

    Ud be surprised at the income levels of thsoe persons who in fact do attend events. It skews hier than ud imagine... and in regards to inflicting pain... that not the point.

    Competitors try to make their opponents submit, and please dont say there's no pain inflicted [or insinuate] in boxing... Ive seen persons worse off from boxing than MMa.

    Plus a doctor can and does often stop the fight at any time... witness the last CBS Sat nite fight title bout, a repeat where the fight was stopped by the doctor the first time.

    It almost seems that u shud perhaps simply state that MMA isn't legit than guising ur views in form of a question.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 08, 2008 10:37 AM GMT
    I think it depends on your definition of terms like 'sport'. When you think of it as a competition requiring athletic prowess (no matter how specific or minimal) at it's most basic level, then there's nothing wrong with it, whatever the specific sport is.
    When it's a 'legitimate sport', your typically adding a governing body to determine and enforce the rules.
    Take bowling. It is considered a sport. While I occasionally enjoy going bowling, I get no feeling that I've physically exerted myself in any way. It is competitive and it does require a physical skill that can be developed.
    Ultimate fighting is on the other end of this, though not totally diametric. It requires strength, speed, and strategy. However, since I, personally, do not find any pleasure in a sport where the object is to cause pain to the opponent, I don't watch it nor do I want to participate. There are Martial arts competitions that test the skills of individuals in an athletic, competitive environment, where the goal is not to hurt your opponent, but to utilize the skills as if you were (like fencing).

    The movie "Slapshot" was a parody on the idea of causing pain to the opponent rather than winning via better skills, was far more popular with the spectators. That was over 30 years ago. We've come so far. The 'trailer trash' element (specifically spectators) is always greater with sports where physical pain is inflicted. There was a study several decades ago pointing out the educational levels between the sport participants and the spectators of the same sports. At the time, baseball players were found to have a lower mean educational level compared to football players. Conversely, football spectators, were found to have a lower mean educational level compared to baseball spectators.

    Personally, I'd prefer gymnastics as a sport of great athletic prowess since it requires, great strength, highly refined skills both athletic and a certain artistry. Although the gymnast can get hurt, that is not the object, but a result of failure to succeed. In fighting competitions, the only way that someone can come out of a match completely unharmed is when the skill levels are completely uneven which is not a 'fair match'. The more evenly matched, the more pain they will have to inflict and endure.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 08, 2008 10:51 AM GMT
    wagen22302 saidIt's a sport.



    If the loser got fucked, it would be porn.



    Oh come on, that was funny. Someone laugh and send me a private message to let me know you appreciated the joke.


    That would be HOT.. they should add that to the rulesicon_twisted.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 08, 2008 11:11 AM GMT
    I enjoy watching it man
    It's not about people inflicting pain on each other.
    To me it's more about people training hard in whichever martial art they practice and then going out into the octagon and putting all that training in practice.
    Guys go out there to put themselves against other athletes that have trained just as hard, to try and prove themselves and to compete to be the best fighter.
    That's what it is, a competition. A championship.

    It'd be the same if it was chess, drag racing, fencing, spelling bee or freaking Halo 3. Only that what this guys are training for here is martial arts, which pretty much means that they will get hurt and they will hurt someone.

    The hype and the commercialization kinda sucks though.
    Although I admit I'm a bitch for Tapout icon_razz.gif
    Sorry...
    But hey, we all played Street Fighter II as kids
    We all wanted to be Ryu or Ken icon_razz.gif

    art-021.jpg
  • PRDGUY

    Posts: 641

    Aug 08, 2008 10:47 PM GMT
    Lapinblanc said
    wagen22302 saidIt's a sport.



    If the loser got fucked, it would be porn.



    Oh come on, that was funny. Someone laugh and send me a private message to let me know you appreciated the joke.


    That would be HOT.. they should add that to the rulesicon_twisted.gif


    You mean the ground and pond isnt them fucking? My bud and I love adding the moans and other sound necesary voices.... and have gotten hard many a times if they stay down there a while!icon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif