After I posted my blog last week, I received a comment that propelled my mind into outer space. Here is what it said:
“Ok Mr. Robbins, you asked for the comment. NOBODY should be fighting. Martial Arts promotes self defense NOT fighting. It teaches discipline and honor. . . .almost a composure of integrity. Only when confronted does a warrior kick some butt. But to stand by for the fun of it and just whip on another human being. Sorry, it’s just wrong. I don’t care what protective gear or arena it’s in. What’s wrong with our society is that things like this become so complacent that we turn around and teach our children. It used to be wrong to hit your sibling, your fellow student. Will it become ok then to hit your parent, your co-worker, your minister?? Just because it’s cool?? Each of us leaves a footprint on this earth. It’s defined by the life we live. What kind of footprint will you leave for your children? Something they will be proud to follow in. Or just cleaning up after your mess?? You can change this direction now or pay the consequences later on. What goes around does come around!” -Angeli
I’d like to thank Angeli for this comment. It really means a lot that a.) Someone supports my writing, even if they don’t approve of what I’m writing about. and b.) Someone is brave enough to post a comment on a fight-related site, regarding their disapproval of fighting. First of all, thank you Angeli. It’s truly appreciated that you support my article. Secondly, I admire you sticking to your guns, and not being afraid to say what you think, even if everyone else that frequents this site disagrees with you.
After Angeli posted the comment, I wrote a response. Here is a (bit) shorter version of my response:
“Fighting has been around since the dawn of time. In the early biblical days, we read in Genesis that Cain and Abel fought. Theirs, of course, was out of rage and jealousy, but it has been around since the second generation of human existance (that is, of course, if you believe in the Bible). Greek wrestling has been dated all the way back to 700 B.C. (If you don’t believe in the Bible).
Humans, as creatures, are naturally competitive, just like any other animal on earth. We are born and bred to try to out do one another. Whether it is work, video games, track and field, or eating (which is my personal talent), people want to win against the other. Fighting is no different. What the difference is, is that people shouldn’t fight for recreation, as opposed to other types of competitions.People not only like to compete, they also enjoy watching competition. Ask any person in a sports bar during Monday night football.
MMA is something that takes decades of practice to become a professional. When one becomes good at something, what do they do? They show it off, right? So, you see someone that is really good at what they are doing, but you have also been practicing your own forms of Martial Arts, and you wonder who’s practice has paid off more, which one is better. How do you decide? You compete. How do you compete? You fight.
What a lot of people see in fighting is steroid-ridden muscle heads with a bad attitude. What they are not seeing is that most of these people are the most peaceful people in the world, if you met them face-to-face. They are well-disciplined and mild-mannered outside the ring. These people are often parents trying to raise their kids, as well. Most of these fighters are just average people whose office is surrounded by chain-link fence.
Here’s some stats for you that you may find surprising:
Every year, there are about 2600 pro football players that show up to training camp. By the end of a normal football season, on average, 420.25 people end up injured by some point and time. If I did my math right, that is about 16% of the original 2600 people that started out healthy, and at some point, ended up hurt. 37% of the 420.25 were considered “Serious”, meaning they physically took players out of commission, where they missed multiple games. 9% (or roughly 40) of the 420.25 will require some sort of surgery.
In major league baseball, there are 1,200 (30 teams x 40 players per team) players on the roster every year. On average, three players are out for more than 15 days per season from injuries, per team. (30 teams x 3 injuries) causing 90 people per year that are hurt for more than 15 days. So, 13% are hurt per year. Baseball doesn’t keep stats regarding how many surgeries are had per year. I have to imagine that, especially including pitchers, that number is high.
The UFC at any time has 250 fighters on contract. Per year, on average, 7.5 or 3% of them will face “serious” injury that will require them to have surgery (I’m counting training for fights as well, not just in the ring.) Now, a lot of people walk away with mild injuries, but rarely is it considered “serious”.
So, statistically speaking, both baseball and football are far more dangerous than MMA.
Now, I will agree with the fact that hitting someone just for the sake of hitting them is wrong. Fighting should be done in a cage. People shouldn’t run around hitting each other.
Finally, if one of my kids want to be a fighter when they turn 18, I’ll buy them their first set of gloves. It will be hard to watch, but I’ll support him/her. I will leave the world a better place for my kids, I have no doubt. They already have it better than I did, but I don’t believe teaching my kids fighting is going to be what determines the world I leave behind for them. Mainly because I will teach them responsibility and respect first. I will introduce them to Martial Arts, and I will support whatever decision they make from there.”
Of course, I meant everything I said, and would stand by it.
Now, it’s hard to find good, solid stats on any sport, and truthfully, UFC is the easiest place to pull stats regarding injuries, believe it or not. The hardest, is Baseball (the MLB does not carry any type of injury statistics, so most are random statistics that I just had to believe).
When I used to compete in tournaments, the worst thing that ever happened to me was taking a front kick to the gut, knocking the wind out of me. Playing football, I had knee injuries, shoulder injuries, a foot injury, and walked off the field with some serious headaches from time to time.
I don’t think fighting is any worse than any other sport. I don’t think that fighting makes us look like barbarians. As a matter of fact, I think fighting takes more skill and discipline than any other sport. I also think fighting is a lot more of an art that requires a lot more quick thinking than any other professional sport, and I like thinkers.
I know we have a lot of fight fans reading this, but we also have a lot of Mommies and Daddies that are reading this, as well. What do you think? Think about last week’s blog “Should Kids Be Allowed To Fight In the Cage?”, as well. (Keep in mind that I do have the power to delete dumbass comments. Truth be told, I am (kindof) a writer, I have a way with words. If you post something dumb or rude, I will make you look stupid and then delete your comment. This isn’t a threat or a challenge, it is a fact. Plus, babyfightgear.com has a partnership with Chael Sonnen, the best trash talker in the UFC. If I run out of things to say, I’m sure he’d be happy to help.)