I have always been a big fan of sports events. I particularly adore martial arts. In fact, I have consumed just about every movie there is about martial arts, from Jet Li’s Once Upon a Time in China series and movies from other Chinese martial artists-turned-actors like Donnie Yen. It is only natural, of course, that I would find myself enamoured of this new trend in the martial arts world – MMA, or what is known popularly as the mixed martial arts.
I am not a martial arts practitioner, which is ironic since I am a big fan of these arts. I have no interest in learning what those guys in the big screen do nor fraternize on the ring with those muscle-bound fighters involved in MMA. I am more interested in being a spectator and cheer from the side lines for my favourite fighters. The one thing that makes me interested in watching martial arts movies or attend MMA events is the raw energy that you could see from the people who are involved. You have to admit, MMA is raw power. It is basically survival of the fittest! I had heard of Jon Jones getting injured in his fight against Vitor Belfort when he refused to submit to an arm bar that eventually resulted to a shoulder injury! Talk about audacity and steadfastness!
While I had been a big fan of martial arts for a long time now, it was not until 2006 that I was first exposed to a mixed martial arts match in my hometown. Someone had organised a small fight between lesser known fighters – after all, one can simply watch big name fights from the television – from nearby cities. I did not really know what mixed martial arts was all about at that time, but when I saw “martial arts” attached to the name I readily bought a ticket and see what it was all about. I brought some friends along, most of whom have already witnessed a match or two in the past and did not bother to invite me along. Well, all is forgiven as we have all watched that particular fight together anyway.
I have to admit, I could not describe what I saw when I first stepped inside the stadium. There was a tall ring that was circular in shape, like a cage or enclosure for the fighters. I thought to myself, “Are they making people fight like animals with this?!” Then, the fighters came into the ring, half-naked and fitted with fighting gloves that covered only the knuckles. Now, I said to myself, this will be a savage fight. The fighters themselves looked as if they could eat each other alive with their determination to win this match! I could feel the tension in the air and, when the bell was rung, all chaos broke loose from its cage!
That fight was different from all the other fights that I have witnessed before. In boxing, the competitors were all limited to fighting with punches specific to their type of sports. In mixed martial arts, however, I was kind of shocked to see the fighters employ more than just punches and kicks. The other fighter clearly was not comfortable trading punches or kicks with his opponent, and instead opted to tackle the other martial artist down to the ground after which he applied arm bars, arm locks and other grappling techniques in an attempt to make his opponent submit! The match was exhilarating! I have followed a lot of boxing fights in the past, and you could see that some fights appeared to be staged but, with MMA, it is raw fighting at its best. How can you fake it when the lock that is being applied to you is really hurting? Well, I could not say that it is a “no holds barred” competition since there are rules enforced to ensure the safety of the competitors, but I have recently found that MMA actually started like that in the past. You could not have one of your fighters dying of injuries in the ring as an organiser, could you?
I left the match after its conclusion with a weird taste in my mouth. That was a new and exciting experience. After a match, I knew I was hooked on to mixed martial arts, and I did not even know about the fight had if not for the local organiser that decided to subscribe to cheap flyer printing, because it had been effective in spreading the word about the match within our local area.
This article was written by Deborah Malissa on behalf of Wales Print. Wales Print offers cheap flyer printing services. Deborah is an avid art enthusiast who enjoys writing for the many technology blogs that she writes for.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellbailey/3704836813/