The San Jose Mercury News posted a story this morning with an interesting take on the potential affects that MMA is having on America's ability to compete at the Olympic level in wrestling. Essentially, reporter Mark Emmons begs the question of whether MMA's powerful draw of money and fame is "siphoning away potential American medals."
I would ask the same question about boxing. Or is professional boxing broken to a point that we'd need another Mike Tyson to come out from nowhere and breathe new life into the sport? Or is it that potential boxers and wrestlers are being wooed by the popularity that MMA is enjoying?
In typical journalistic fashion, Emmons explores both sides of the issue - the ex-wrestling coach, Mark Munoz, who has discovered a new career in the UFC - no longer living paycheck to paycheck. And then there are the wrestling boosters who point out that the glory of fighting for something bigger than individual gain.
I think MMA has become the new gateway sport for for many kids who would have little or no opportunity to achieve financial success, let alone escape whatever socioeconomic condition they were born into. Kinda like how boxing used to be the way out for poor kids (muay thai still serves this purpose in Thailand).
Aside from my personal opinion on how MMA is decimating the already watered down ring-style of muay thai, and that muay thai should be stripped from all MMA vernacular and replaced with another term to describe the striking systems currently used in the cage, this article is worth the five minutes it takes to read. Makes you wonder whether MMA is an agent of evolution, devolution, or dilution.
Original Story can be viewed here.
Source: San Jose Mercury News
I think in the short term yes it will siphon talent away from these sports. As far as mma's longevity maybe it is wishful thinking but it seems to have peeked in the U.S and is on the way down. Unfortunately the rest of the world is embracing this abomination with open arms so maybe it will balance out olympic medal wise .ReplyDelete
just my opinion but because mma has no foundation and has been built by con men promoters and is already resembling pro wrastlin i can't see how it can last . The fighting styles that have stood the test of time always had a very strong spiritual component to ground it
thanks for your articles they are always enjoyable
An "MMA fighter" is a fighter who either takes part in practice of multiple martial arts or trains in order to succeed in the sport of MMA.Delete
Identifying yourself as an MMA fighter says absolutely nothing about your spiritual views or the foundation your training is built upon.
What actually matters to MMA is competition. The same goes to any sport. As long as the competition stays in the spotlight the sport itself is going to flourish.
Naturally, trends will shift and MMA will eventually enjoy less attention. However, now that it has broken into mainstream attention as a legitimate sport (at least in USA), it won't go away. And as long as there are multiple competitive forms of hand-to-hand combat there'll be need for the format of MMA.
That's why I see MMA as something that'll stand the test of time a lot better than many traditional martial arts. It's dependent on people wishing to compete while traditional martial arts are dependent on their own ability to market their particular flavor.
I think the first post was talking about the trash talking hotheads and lack of respect that turns MMA into a low class WWE style fight.Delete
I'd say that it goes like it goes in biology: there is no devolution, there's only evolution. Which is to say that there is only change. People need to accept change and work with it.ReplyDelete
I like the point that MMA is making more people take up wrestling. I don't doubt it since grappling in MMA is usually broken down to wrestling and submission game and on top of that wrestling is advertised as the best way to prepare yourself for MMA. Even if a lot of that new wrestling talent goes to MMA it ought to be a fair trade.
The same is probably true to boxing, MT, BJJ and many other forms of combat that get visibility through MMA. I think the real damage happens to those martial arts/combat sports that aren't found useful in the realm of MMA.
Is the damage there? Hard to say.
Overall, I'd say the emergence of MMA has benefited the world of martial arts and combat sports. MMA isn't just drawing people from other combat sports, it's drawing people from completely different circles. Some percentage of these people will keep doing MMA, some fall in love with different martial arts.
Pretty much a win-win in my book.
Hey Donnie, this is a great observation. I think that MMA has become an altogether too formulaic style of competition fighting, where people throw around the name of Muay Thai but few fighters actually have an in-depth concept of the art. It's like Muay Thai has been reverted to anything that involves leg kicks, while there are so many more integral aspects to the art itself. Like you, I appreciate what MMA has done to bring fighting to the public in a massive way, but there is an element missing for those of us that have dedicated ourselves to in-depth understanding of an art and its culture. There is a lot to be said for competitive fighters. Without a doubt they are some phenomenal athletes, and some are excellent tacticians and excellent martial artists. But at a certain point training for the cage becomes exactly that, training for the sport and circumstances of the cage, and some of the essential combative aspects of the arts are left by the wayside. Good read.ReplyDelete
Good points. I would agree that in America, MMA is definitely taking away from the post-college amatuer wrestling scene, guys that would compete in the olympics. But that is only because America is such a wrestling heavy country. Almost every high-school offers it, it's cheap unlike hockey, reletively safe from concussions unlike football, and you don't have to be an athletic phenom or physical speciman to compete at a high level. I mean, does a 125 lbs, 5'4" senior have any real hope of playing college football or basketball? No. But he sure as hell can wrestle.ReplyDelete
But of course, there are some athletic phenoms that do choose wrestling, and many of those are now going to MMA for the money and fame. And why not? Don't guys as gifted as Jon Jones and Josh Koscheck deserve the chance to sit in the spot light and make money every bit as much as Peyton Manning or Lebron James? The hard truth is amatuer wrestling will never turn into a money making sport in this country because, for most people, it's just not that exciting to watch.
Which leads me to my next point...While MMA may be taking away some top athletes from wrestling, I think it's also bringing a lot of interest to sports like Muay Thai and boxing. Why? Well, one, because they are fun to do. Who doesn't like to hit things? There are alot of guys that go to a 'MMA" gym because they like the UFC, then decide that their favorite aspect of it is the striking. Alot of guys just aren't comfortable with rolling on the ground with another sweaty guy, or just don't like the grueling, workman like effort it takes to fight out double leg takedowns, or escape from the bottom. they want wanna be the guy pulling off highlight reel knockouts. As a result, they stop showing up for the grappling classes and double down on the striking. Those that are serious seek out true MT, KB, or boxing trainers. this is what happened to me. I still like MMA, but I love Muay Thai.
Second, as I said, the general audience doesn't find the wrestling, and therefore the grappling side of MMA, that entertaining. They boo when fights go to the ground, they call for ref resets when fights stall along the cage. Even promoters that fully understand the sport (one in particular) rail against this kind of fight. So the obvious question is, if the only part of MMA I alot of fans want to watch is the stand-up, why not promote kick-boxing? Enter Spike TV's deal with K-1. Now kick boxing will air on a major viacom owned cable network that used to run UFC shows like it was going out of style, and, I may be wrong, but also runs Bellator. Even though K-1 is definitely not MT, it's a step in the right direction. I hope it does well, and believe it will. Maybe someday we will see true blue MT bouts on American basic cable.
Great feedback, Anonymous. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Great post and comments. Not sure about wrestling, but I would say that boxing has its own internal problems (the degeneration of it from more of a fight to a point-scoring game, etc.) that has contributed to its decline. About the only thing I appreciate about MMA is the fact that it has kind of taken the place of boxing in the American fight imagination, and allows for that occasional socioeconomic escape. It's somewhat as if the London rules come again...ReplyDelete
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Alliance bjj / Brazilian jiu jitsu
When we talk about olympic talent, my personal perspective about MMA is to be disciplined and be trained for the betterment of health and for self-defense as well.ReplyDelete
I don't think so=)ReplyDelete