A Sporting Event is an Experiment : On Mixed Martial Arts, Womens MMA, and the School System
Born out of the oldest drunk soldier argument in history, “Which style is best for defending yourself in a street fight?”. In its first few events, the UFC produced a definitive answer, as a tiny little Jiu Jitsu legend from Brazil, Royce Gracie, defeated men nearly twice his size, and won the tournament, 3 years out of 4. A decade later, it’s a diverse sport with weight classes, rules, and the best martial artists in the world.
I think most people don’t understand the pull of MMA. I think they feel it appeals to the barbaric nature of men. I’ve even heard it called sadistic… But, a sporting event, especially an individual one… Is an experiment. Two people with different diets, training routines, angles, strategies, and body types, are going to spend months calculating billions of positions they can find themselves in, and one will objectively prove superiority. If you ever want to be at peak performance, that’s the guy whose strategy you should follow, but someone’s working on something new as we speak.
Women’s MMA, has, of course, lagged behind men’s. There’s less interest, and less young talent. It’s often dismissed as foxy boxing. Female martial artists are often ridiculed and assaulted with homophobic slurs. Recently I watched America’s first Olympic Judo medalist, Rhonda Rousey, fight for the Strikeforce women’s championship, and quite honestly I was blown away. It’s impressive work these women are doing, and in a few years men are going to be stealing strategies from a few of them.
I think Mixed Martial Arts, has a place in the school system, and the Olympics. I think women’s mixed martial arts, should be encouraged in society, and you might enjoy it. I think martial arts inspire confidence, discipline, and self control. I think being capable of defending yourself, makes you feel safe and calm in stressful situations. I also think the ted community might disagree with me a bit… Have at it.