The state of New York is banning the practice of MMA within the state territory and therefore any related sports shows. The video here below collects statements and interviews to make a point against it. The stronger message is by Chael Sonnen, MMA fighter for UFC, who in several parts of the video states how unions and politicians are in fact banning MMA in New York for political reasons and to put pressure on some Las Vegas businesses. However the reason this decision is not affecting me much: I am Italian, living in Cambridge – UK, never been in NY. However I am against this banning when they mask it behind the excuse of violence.
Martial arts practice techniques that can hurt people, true; so is for boxing, football, rugby, hockey and many other sports. Good thing about martial arts is that when you enter the ring or the octagon you know your opponent will be there to fight you, with referee and judges who are there to enforce rules and for your safety. On the contrart when you are playing other sports, e.g. like some heavy contact ball sports, your aim should be to deliver a ball to a particular destination but a lot of violence, often unaccounted for, can happen in between. As Dana White correctly points out in the video many people died and die during boxing matches but nobody died so far in the relatively short 12 years of UFC.
Learning martial arts is not about becoming violent it’s about understanding violence and when to use it, in the right way. It’s about discipline, it’s about ethics and many other important values.
I am not a MMA practitioner and I’ll probably never will. However MMA has allowed martial arts to become popular on mainstream TV and create a new generation of professional sport men and women so I will promote it and support it because it will help the popularity of all martial arts.