5 Sep 2007

Ban Everything - especially dull stuff

Two honed and highly trained athletes pit their skills in a bid to win the title, but one of them is vastly superior in strength and size. It seems almost unfair and, sadly, it is, the bigger competitor falls on top of the other and crushes his spine, he ends up paralysed. But he is the lucky one, others who have competed, have died. The result is calamitous and the press call for a ban in this barbarous sport. Just another day in the life of a cage fighting contest? Well you would be wrong, the event I am describing here is horse racing. But it could be rugby, motorsport, boxing, hell, even wrestling has its fair share of death and serious injury.

Spoilsports from the British Medical Council today released a press release in an all too predictable knee jerk reaction to a sport that is practised by thousands and enjoyed by millions. For a contact sport, the safety record is incredibly good and the rules ensure that this continues to be the case.

To be fair, shows like the UFC and Cage Rage don’t exactly help by building up the hype to promote their shows with words such as ‘Extreme Fighting’ and ‘No holds barred’ but this is just marketing. The critics say it is human cockfighting. No, it is a sport governed by rules where both competitors choose to enter at their own free will and the loser has the chance to always ‘tap’ out. Roosters that fight – nearly always do so to the death.

I don’t follow MMA as avidly as most of my training buddies, but I have been to many shows and even participated in training. It’s not my first love but I can understand the ‘art’ of the sport and appreciate how much conditioning and skill is required. Of course, there should be people who voice their concerns as this helps make it safer. A call for a complete ban on MMA (the press release also asks to ban boxing) is singling out one sport when there are others that create far worse damage. Personally I can’t stand golf and think it should be banned on the grounds that it eats up precious countryside and is pointless (oh and also includes it’s fair share of eye-watering injuries), but that’s another story.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.



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