Posted: January 18, 2010 in Sports

Which would stand for Mixed Martial Arts…something that after the thread over at ND’s I am feeling like writing about.  So yeah, what is MMA? 

Well, most well-known via the UFC, MMA is one of the fastest growing competitive sports in the world, classes for it are springing up at gyms all over the place, and while yes, most participants are men and they make more money/get more TV time and press in it, there are women competitors in MMA as well.   In the sport itself, participants (who often come from boxing,  martial arts or blended backgrounds) basically get in a ring and fight until one is declaired the winner or one is no longer able to continue.  A lot of folk think it is barbaric as hell.  A lot of people think it is fine entertainment.  A lot of folk will tell you that the athletes in MMA are the most finely conditioned athletes in the world.  Some folk will tell you they are nuts.

So yeah, why am I talking about MMA again?  Well, since it is obvious stripping is the most evil form of physical fitness ever, and because I’d seen ND mention MMA (specifically UFC) before, I thought I’d ask her thoughts on it, more specifically, what she thought of women who did it.  She says its whack and she doesn’t figure women acting like men (doing MMA) makes any difference in the whack factor…

Which sorta makes a Renegade wonder… I mean, whats up with the idea/declaration that MMA is a man thing?  I mean, is that to mean that men would be the only ones who would ever want to do it?   That kind of thing makes me nervous…I mean, just in general, I have had in my life various females I know say they wish they could have played sports (and I mean sports in general) like I did growing up but they weren’t allowed to because “girls did not play sports”.  Period.  Band, sure, music, sure, art, sure, theatre, sure…but nope, couldn’t play sports because girls did not do that.  Sports were a man thing.    I also knew girls who could do gymnastics or dance or do figure skating, but even if they really, really wanted to play hockey or basketball or take karate…nope, because those are contact sports and only boys do those things. 

I never liked that idea at all myself. 

And I also wonder about the thought that a woman who would want to participate in an aggressive sport is somehow trying to be “like a man” or whatever.   I mean, I played rugby in college.  I knew a lot of women who also played rugby…and truthfully, I do not think a single one of them was doing it to be “like a man”…they were doing it because they liked playing rugby: liked the sport, liked the physical nature of it, liked being part of a team, all that. 

So part of me wonders if it goes back to the Very Culturally Enforced idea that women…well…cannot be aggressive or physically competitive blah blah blah good girls just don’t get in a ring and beat the snot out of each other, no matter HOW good they are at it, how much work it takes to get that good at it, or how much they enjoy it as competitors, fighters, and athletes.    Tut tut, how freakin’ uncivilized and all that…and we all know it is women’s jobs to be forever civilized and, well, boys are different and can get a slip there and get in a ring and all.  I also wonder about people who might think it is great for a gal to take karate (for health and self defense and all that), even though sparing is part of the karate learning process, yet have a totally different opinion of (especially competitive for pay) MMA.

Now sure, do I think some skeevy shit goes down in competitive MMA?  Absolutely.  Steroid abuse, fighters getting ripped off by promoters and agents, big time stars feeling as if they are above the law and everyone else… all that Bad Sports Stuff (which happens in all sports and countless other industries).  I also get that many people, flat out, Do Not Like sports like Boxing, Wrestling, MMA, Football, or any other sort of sport where hitting and such are part of the plan if not the whole plan itself…as well as people who do like them but do not think women have any place in them.  Some feel that things like MMA put us a single step away from the days of the gladiatorial ring and all…

But I sort of think that is a part of us and always will be… and I am also rather pleased to see women in MMA because, well, I know girls who were not allowed to participate in sports- at all.   Hell, Vlad takes boxing at a gym that teaches a MMA class (the instructor is a woman) and sure enough, I’ve considered it (seems like one heck of a full body work out)… and I don’t think I would be doing it to be “like a man”, but rather because I think the women in MMA are probably pound for pound some of the best conditioned athletes in the world and in possession of some amazing and useful skills…and well hell, I would not mind a little of that myself.  Also might be a great outlet for some of my aggression…you know, a constructive outlet and all. 

But I guess along with stripping, MMA is just not an okay form of fitness either…even if it is…well…a great form of fitness.

Humm, maybe politics need to stay out of both the bedroom and the gym.

  1. rootietoot says:

    One only has to look at the woman in the picture to see that she’s in AMAZING shape. You don’t get like that pouring tea on the verandah. (those ARMS!)
    I was raised that women Don’t Do That. Part of me reacts strongly to the idea of a woman in a boxing ring. I get the fitness aspect of it, and can totally see myself whacking on a bag, but to actually get in a ring on bash on another person? No. Not necessarily because of the gender thing, I have the same reaction to men doing it. It’s the whole “brain damage” issue, and why would someone want to intentionally inflict that kind of harm on another person…I react very negatively to it.

    Greco-Roman wrestling isn’t in the same catagory, because you’re not deliberately inflicting brain damage on a person.

    I understand the appeal, it’s a visceral thing. Probably the same sort of emotional reaction I have to blowing something up or playing with the 30.06, but still, I cannot get past the brain damage issue. That shit’s PERMANENT.

  2. Roy Kay says:

    I’m not sure how MMA relates to Ultimate Fighting, but I’m pretty much of the view that this is seriously risky and not only wouldn’t I do it, I am disinclined to watch it. For the same reasons Rootie gives.

    That said, I don’t own other people’s bodies nor other people’s wallets. If someone wants to get in the ring for free or for cash, let ’em. If they’re a friend offer your counsel, but don’t try to control them or attack (especially criminalize) someone else for “exploiting ” them as a means of secondary control. That’s a really reprehensible bit of nastiness – interdicting someone else to get them to do your dirty work.

    Meanwhile on the general subject of sports, I see no reason why women shouldn’t play any sport they want. Stupid to think a woman is less that a woman for playing football, just as it’s stupid to think a man is less than a man for taking ballet. Another bit of abuse that presumed “Feminists” engage in – accusing a women of acting like men, as though men and women aren’t both human with universal inclinations – be they tender or vicious.

    • Ren says:

      MMA and Ultimate fighting are pretty much the same thing…(hence the big MMA thing being UFC- Ultimate Fighting Championship)

      • Roy Kay says:

        That’s for the clarification.

        I know a woman who get into MMA/UFC, in part, as a sort of therapy after a rather horrendous group rape experience. Apparently she did rather well, and the “therapy” worked wonders for her.

  3. Gaina says:

    If I were able-bodied, contact sports would definitely be my cup of tea. I can easily think of one week a month when I would be best put in a ring to beat the crap out of somebody in a safe controlled environment! Haha.

    I like to watch Womens’ boxing too, it’s so fast!

    You know what I find hilarious? The likes of ND harp on about those nasty men re-enforcing gender stereotypes then in the next breath it suites them to come out with the most outrageous inverted misogynist crap I even heard.

  4. Deb Sens says:

    I absolutly haaaaaate the phase oh she is trying to be a man…. a lot of people told me I was trying to be a man becaue I have always been itnterested and very good at woodshop and auoto shop….I also don’t understand why anyone would be interested in things UFC and boxing it will hurt your brain but I am not going to judge people that do!

    I don;t understand how ND can consider herslef a feminist and yet harp on what woemn chose to do.

  5. I personally love watching MMA matches. I’m in awe of the discipline and technical coolness of MMA. I think I enjoy MMA more than most other sports because it has a more practical application than say, football, for me, in the real world. I probably don’t need to know how to kick a field goal but I DO need to know how to do a rear naked choke, especially since I ride public transportation on a daily basis. I’m kinda interested in classes but I’d spend most of the class acting like Arthur from “The Tick” yelling, “Not in the face! Not in the face!”. 🙂

    That’s Cris Cyborg in the picture, right?

    And I’m so beyond sick of seeing sports as gendered. Especially when “feminists” do so. So does ND also dislike Title IX? Is she against the WNBA and women’s college basketball? Can we women fence?

  6. …An interesting Post I want to reply to later on over at …

  7. Paris Sangh says:

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