Skip to main content

MMA is misunderstood

The further in love I fall with jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts in general, the more need I feel to articulate how the sports, and lifestyles, impress me.

While finishing the book, Into The Cage: The Rise of UFC Nation, written by Nick Gullo, I read the following passage that sums nicely MMA as a sport.

"MMA is the most misunderstood sport on the planet. On talk shows and news reports, critics wag fingers and complain that hand-to-hand combat somehow undermines society -- but their arguments ignore how this 'mock combat' unites and inspires us. Whether it's reality-as-theater or theater-as-reality, the hero's journey transcends borders, languages, and cultures; and for the fighters, the cage is the field upon which they test their resolve." (pg. 211. Into the Cage: The Rise of UFC Nation. 2013. Gullo)

It's true that MMA is misunderstood, and changing anyone's perception of the sport is not on my list of things to do. If someone is turned-off by the violence or feels anything related to that repulsion, I get it. Not everyone wants to experience the hero's journey through the lens of two people willingly entering physical combat resulting in injury and bloodshed; or as one of my favorite media personalities, Joe Rogan, has described it, "... high-stakes problem-solving with dire consequences." MMA is violent; not for the sake of violence but as the ultimate primal expression of an individual's story of hardship and loss or triumph. The telling of that story is a beautiful thing.

Perhaps in a later post I'll unpack Gullo's book a bit more than that one passage. There are a couple of nuggets in the book worth sharing. Check the book out. You'll find terrific photography that help tell the story of the UFC in a way that text alone cannot.

Comments