[Marxism] Capitalism and the rise of Mixed Martial Arts
dave.walters at comcast.net
Thu Jun 5 17:49:56 MDT 2008
Some random thoughts on the biggest growing sport in world history.
If any you few sports fans out there in Marx-land haven't noticed, the
fastest growing sport *in the world* is Mixed Martial Arts. It
officially was launched in 1993 under the auspices of the Ultimate
Fighting Championship, to this day, the largest and best financed of the
fight promotions internationally. It has, now, bypassed boxing as the
most watched marital art, in both audiences and revenue. I've been
watching it since then...
UFC No. 1 was fought as a no-holds-barred, bare-knuckled, anything-goes,
no-time-limits-fight-until-submission (or knock-out, or...loss of blood)
fighting match...and done in an eight-sided metal 'gage' six feet high.
It was, for all intents and purposes, true gladiator style fighting sans
weapons, and, death. Everything else was the same. Especially the blood.
The clearly vicious nature of this style of fighting was compounded by
the fact that the early UFC had no weight divisions. A 150 lbs
Afro-French kick boxer could (and did) go up against a 350 lbs Sumo
wrestler from Osaka. Ouch-Squash! Exactly. The amount of blood spilled
and numerous (but ultimately minor) injuries and breaks brought this
sport to the attention of the more conservative elements of the
capitalist State. Moves were made to ban it, and in fact, about 24 US
states still ban it. Az. Senator John McCain was horrified and called
hearings. Yet the popularity grew, made so by pay-per-view on cable and
satellite. And it grew.
The term "Mixed" in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in the beginning meant
mixed 'styles': the aforementioned "Kickboxing vs Sumo" "Jujitsu vs
Boxing" "Karate vs Judo" "Panktraton (a Greek MMA) vs Sambo (a Russian
MMA that goes back to the Civil War days)". This is the way the MMA was
promoted until the last 10 years or so. Because of the rules it was
evident that the "traditional" fighter from boxing, karate, etc known as
'striking sports' because you stand up and throw kicks and punches was
useless if you were taken to the mat by an experienced wrestler or
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