Mixed Martial Arts and Ethics
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a form of combat sports that involves the use of variety of fighting skills, martial arts and combat techniques to defeat a particular opponent. This particular sport can be traced way back on 648 B. C. The earliest documented martial arts sport was called pankration. It was organized by the Greeks and was first held in the Olympic Games. Pankration came form two Greek words, pan, meaning “all” and kratos, meaning “powers”. The sport had very few rules and encourages a no holds barred concept.
The only rules are no biting and eye gouging. The sport often lasted for several hours and could only be finished if one competitor dies, conceded to defeat or was rendered unconscious. This became the most sought after sport in the Olympic Games and all throughout the Hellenic world (Walter). The pankration match took place in a twelve by fourteen arena and was monitored by a referee. As the sport goes on, the participants develop several techniques such as punches, kicks to the stomach, face and groin and elbow and several strikes to the knees and elbows.
The popularity of the pankration matches enables the Greeks to make legends and myths in whom the heroes were believed to be pankratiasts such as Alexander the Great. He was believed to be an excellent pankratiasts because of his combat skills during battles. These stories traveled on the other side of the globe and were believed to be the origin of Asian Martial Arts. The popularity of pankration dwindled giving way to the rise of other combat sports such as wrestling and boxing in other countries and Jiu Jitsu in Europe.
These types of sports were so admired and as a result, many people wanted to study mixed martial arts. One of famous persons in this filed would be Bruce Lee. He formed his own fighting styles allowing him to develop excellence offensive and defensive moves (Dunn). The developments in mixed martial arts led to the establishment of the now famous and most watched Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Royce Gracie was the very first Ultimate Fighting Champion in 1993. As of today, UFC is among the topmost watched sport channel due to the thrill and passion of the participants.
The prominence of Mixed Martial Arts is consistent and it is still growing giving rise to several contests and events all throughout the globe (Walter). The evolution of Mixed Martial Arts can also be seen through its fighters. The participants today have different body and different fighting tactics as compared to the fighting champions then. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is watched by millions of people throughout the world not only because of the adrenalin rush they get to experience while watching the fighters but they are also curious as to which fighting style would prevail.
(“History of Martial Arts”). The perception that Mixed Martial Arts is a dangerous and vicious form of contest and that the participants are out to kill each other just to prove their masculinity is a common misconception. Mixed Martial Arts has evolved from a bloody sport into an ethical sport. Records show that MMA has a better safety record that that of boxing. The boxing participants punch harder than that of MMA contestants as evidence by their boxing gloves. The environment in a Mixed Martial Arts fight is specifically designed to protect the contestants as well as the viewers.
The cage enveloping the contestants is a safety and precautionary measure to keep the participants from being thrown outside the fighting area and into the viewers as compared to boxing matches where we have witnessed many contestants being thrown outside the ring and ending up injuring not only themselves but innocent people watching in the crowd. Long term injuries and impacts to the brain and other vital organs are more prone in a boxing match than a Mixed Martial Arts match. The impact of a punch is much harder because of the boxing gloves which are specifically designed for heavy blows (Below the Belt).
The question of why do people want to submit to such combat is common to many people. The sense of competitiveness is something that is innate to all human beings. It is a gauge of measuring their talents and skills. Other people compete at school, work and other sports and for some people mixed martial arts is a perfect outlet for self-assessment. This particular sport has grown into something that people love to do; it has already turned into an art. The classification as to something qualifies as an art is relative.
For many, Mixed Martial Arts has become a way of expressing themselves and competing with others using new and different fighting styles. It has become an ethical sports not because of the rules but because many people have come to respect and admire it. Engaging in Mixed Martial Arts is way too aggressive for some people. They prefer to play football and other outdoor sports. Football also requires a great deal of physical endurance and skill. The National Football League (NFL) provides challenges from players. They are always looking for something innovative that will catch the viewers’ attention.
In some ways Mixed Martial Arts and football are different but they are also alike in certain ways. The priority goal in Mixed Martial Arts is to defeat the opponent using different combat styles while the main goal in football is to get the ball and score a touchdown. Although in football several physical challenges are involves such as blocking the opponent, the combat only lasts for a couple of seconds while in Mixed Martial Arts, the fighters have no other goal and are purely engaged on a fight with each other.
This maybe a surprise but when it comes to injuries, football players encounter a whole lot more of those than Mixed Martial Arts participants. Studies show that the lifespan of football players are shorter than most people and the accidents and injuries they experience in the field are more incapacitating than the injuries suffered by Mixed Martial Arts participants. In both sports, protective and precautionary measures are definitely required.
People may think that the danger of getting injured is an often occurrence in Mixed Martial Arts because it is more visual than football but the accidents here are not as devastating as those that occur in the football field. The repeated occurrences of injuries are more common in football as compared to Mixed Martial Arts because the participants here are well aware of the defensive moves which they try earnestly to avoid as much as they can. The weight classification is another factor that Mixed Martial Arts have and football does not.
In a fighting match, the weight of person fighting against each other are always similar thereby minimizing the damages but in football, a player may find himself against a much larger opponent which means that graver injuries and damages may result (Dambrath). Mixed Martial Art is a sport of mind and body. Over the years, this sport grew and diversified quickly attracting many participants young and old, male and female. This is a type of combat sport but it is still a sport nonetheless. Regardless of the many bad rumors, joining this type of competition is relatively safe.
As compared to when this first started, Mixed Martial Arts has now plenty of rules and regulations strictly and consistently being imposed all throughout the competition and due to these sets of rules there have never been any serious damage and injury report arising out of this competition. Martial arts are work wonders for the body. Several people always wonder why the old men in karate movies are a lot stronger than younger men in good shape. The secret is that Martial art gives the body a full work out that can never be experienced in any gym.
Increases in stamina, speed, strength, endurance and eye-hand coordination are among the many advantageous effects of Martial arts. This is also a good way of losing weight because of the complete work out system coupled with a healthy dietary program (“The Benefits of Mixed Martial Arts”). Parents should really consider enrolling their children in Martial Arts classes. This type of sport brings out the best in children, physically, mentally and spiritually. The disciple that people learn in Martial Arts training, if passed on to children at a very early age, will definitely improve their well-being and perspective towards other people.
It is but natural at first for parents to be antagonistic about this type of sport but if they should investigate and observe more, they will see that the advantages of this sport far outweighs the alleged danger that a child faces. Many children grew to become obese due to poor lifestyle and lack of exercise habits. Children who practices Martial Arts at a very early age often grow up to and develop a healthy lifestyle. Getting children involved in sports are healthier than letting them watch television and play inside the house.
Children who are often denied the opportunity to be active in sports are often those who became adults with poor health as a consequence. Other sports such as gymnastics for children often generate more serious injuries to children than Mixed Martial Arts do. Children often encounter accidents and injuries during gymnastics training rather than Martial Arts training. Even though it is also a given fact that accidents cannot be avoided in Martial Arts, the injuries arising from this sport are mere injuries to the elbows, shoulders and knees and they often heal quickly.
Sports active children will always experience injuries no matter what field of sports they are into. Another important point to consider why parents are hesitant to enroll their children in Martial Arts is because of their fear that their child will grow up violent. The truth of the matter is that children who grow up training in Martial Arts are less violent than those who don’t. Studies show that children who often pick a fight are those who lack discipline and self-esteem (Adams). People of all ages who engage in Mixed Martial Arts also experience the benefit of using it as a self defense technique.
This sport teaches students self control and restraint. A person with self control knows how to reduce his temper which is often the cause of many street fights. A person who knows Mixed Martial Arts turn out to be a confident and disciplined person who knows when to use his capabilities. Several studies show that some people are more likely to be attacked and assaulted because of certain characteristics that make them easy target. The most basic self defense technique is to appear confident and aware of the surroundings. Mixed Martial Arts provide this type of training.
Some situations cannot be avoided and the person’s only hope for survival is to be prepared for such a situation. A person confronted by any attacker has a few seconds to decide whether he wanted to flee or to fight. Escaping these types of situations is most recommended but in cases when escape is impossible, basic self defense technique is to use the body as a weapon. Understanding what body parts should be best used as a weapon and how to use them is the essence of self defense which Martial Arts training provides as a basic knowledge. Practicing these techniques habitually will enable a person to master and easily execute them (Linkroll).
Mixed Martial Arts, like any other sport, instills values to people. It teaches people to control their ability and to never use it to harm others. Perseverance is also another lesson that students learn. Not everybody can get and achieve something at first try. It is through hard work, courage and passion that people learn something and the harder it is for someone to achieve the more he learns its value. Mixed Martial Arts also train people to be responsible for their own actions and to follow rules and regulations. Adherence to the rules is hard for some people but this is one of the qualities that a student of Martial Arts should achieve.
The training that Martial Arts pass on to the students can be applied outside the ring. It improves a person’s well-being and outlook in life. Respect to authority is also one important thing that a Martial Arts student must perfectly understand. This type of sport is considered a solo sport but it is something that one should seriously consider joining because it teaches the values and honor that no other sport provides. Works Cited Adams, M. (2008). “Why Mixed Martial Arts Training is Good for Children”. Natural News. com. 26 April 2009 < http://www. naturalnews. com/023000. html>
“ A Guide to Basic Self Defense Techniques”. (N. d. ) Linkroll. com . 27 April 2009 < http://www. linkroll. com/Self-Defense-Recreation-and-Sports–74209-A-Guide-to-Basic-Self-Defense-Techniques. html> Below the Belt. (2009). “Mixed Martial Arts Reality versus False Perception”. Sunday Sun Blog. 27 April 2009 <http://blog. sundaysun. co. uk/2009/02/mixed-martial-arts-reality-ver. html> Dambrath. (2009). “Which is the more violent sport, NHL or MMA? ”. Bukisa. com. 27 April 2009 <http://www. bukisa. com/articles/47976_which-is-the-more-violent-sport-nhl-or-mma> Dunn, J. (N. d. ).
“The History of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)”. Ezine Articles. 26 April 2009 < http://ezinearticles. com/? The-History-of-Mixed-Martial-Arts-(MMA)&id=651615> “History of Mixed Martial Arts”. (2009). The MMA Zone. 26 April 2009 < http://www. themmazone. net/Martial-Arts-WP/2009/03/28/history-of-mixed-martial-arts-aka-mma/> “The Benefits of Mixed Martial Arts”. (2009). Matthews Martial Arts. 27 April 2009 <http://www. matthewskenpo. com/article-MMA. htm> Walter, D. (2003). “Mixed Martial Arts: Ultimate Sport, or Ultimately Illegal? ”. Grapplearts. com. 27 April 2009 <http://www. grapplearts. com/Mixed-Martial-Arts-1. htm>Sample Essay of BuyEssay.org