As a Martial Arts Instructor in a very traditional Martial Art, one of the things that drew me to it were words like honor, respect, compassion, humbleness, tradition, history. Everything that the Code of Bushido stands for. The Code of Bushido can hardly be applied to the fiasco that is MMA, UFC whatever you wish to call it. It’s disturbing because of my love for the Arts and everything the Arts have given to me. And make no mistake, Jujitsu and Judo have given to me more than I have ever or could ever hope to give back. The founder of my system is a great man who I dearly love and respect. He has earned that respect not just through his ability as a Martial Artist but by his actions. He is wonderful human being first and a Martial Artist second. This is true of all of my instructors throughout my more than two decades of training.
Every time I see one of these buildups to a big MMA event I am horrified. To the average or casual observer and even to those who religiously follow these competitors, they believe this is what the Arts are about. Unstable individuals for the most part, who do not represent or respect anything I, or anyone that I know in the Arts stand for. I completely understand that much of these press conferences leading up to a big fight is show but even by macho, standoff standards, they push the limit. I for one, am embarrassed by the majority of these individuals.
The schools I have competed against over the years would never condone such behavior so I am unsure as to where these competitors train or who there instructors are. I don’t mean the ones training them now, I mean when they first came to the Arts. I often joke that some of these competitors are found in bars. Bar fights can involve some of the toughest men you would ever want to come up against. So a trainer hits one with a two by four in the head and if he doesn’t go down, they become an MMA competitor. Obviously there are real issues with some of these competitors, which was spelled out so well on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
We constantly here about the two main organizations and how lucrative they are, so why aren’t the competitors in the biggest fights earning ten, fifteen or even twenty million dollars for a title defense? It’s because the same people who follow this circuit, are the same ones that followed wrestling in the 70’s and 80’s, young kids and middle-aged men. .
All I suggest is that for this type of competition to ever be more than just a fringe sport, which is what it is, it will need to completely overhaul it’s reputation starting with the competitors. While I recognize not there are no longer standards in much of society, in the family of Martial Artists, there are still a great number of individuals that believe as I do.