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The benefits of the combat sports

From the blood soaked sands of the Antiquity to the brilliantly illuminated stadiums of Pay Per View broadcasts, society and the individual has had a yearning to see athletes compete under the banner of sanctioned and controlled warfare. We all have a curiosity whether perverse or informed to look at two warriors test one another with reckless abandon as they attempt to best their foe for honour, prize, freedom, national pride or merely for entertainment.

The Combat Sports have barely changed over time, the bare essentials remain the same. Two athletes, the mob, an arena, an official and agreed upon rules by which the combatants will abide by during their contest. The purpose for this form of sport has essentially remained the same, though unlike some of the high stakes battles of the past where champion vs champion solved national or tribal issues today the ultimate prize is a global crown awarded not by birth right or privilege but given to those who risk and sacrifice the most, those who run the gauntlet of every challenge, by those whose nobility is drenched in blood, sweat and tears. They who wear a crown placed upon them by the cheering crowd after the felling of a worthy combatant.

The nature of sports is some times confused and under appreciated by a great many of societies engineers and controllers. They see sport as a mere distraction or means to entertain the public, they see it as something in which that they can govern and control with self appointed authority as though the sports would never exist if it was not for their ignorant blessings. The combat sports always have and always shall be deeply rooted in human nature, it is something we are born to do, it is merely the evolution aspired by elite competition that changes what two children do in play or contest when compared by two world beating super athletes that have simply continued with that child like instinct to grab, pull, seize and strike and that have made it an exceptional physical craft.

The concept of two consenting adults standing before one another and fighting under an agreed and well established set of rules pre dates most forms of tyranny or even most societal structures yet it is still subject to malicious and ignorant controls and criticisms put forth by those that seek to police the individuals every aspect of life. It is according to many of the combat sports detractors, that all that is wrong with the world is due to the ‘violence’ found in the cage or ring. It is according to these inhibitors of consensual activities that they pose a danger to society and only serves to ‘beget more violence’.

Before going into the very real benefits of combat sports we shall have to first address the criticisms and the hypocrisy of those critical of Combat Sports and any form of consensual activities.

It is perhaps with some putrid irony that those social engineers and political over lords that wish to ban or overly regulate combat sports and most of our activities in general like to suggest that Combat Sports are ‘barbaric’ and liken it to ‘Human Cock Fighting’. Invoking such labels to associate a very professional and elite set of athletic crafts with something disorganised and abusively criminal. It is suggested that if we have combat sports like MMA or boxing on television then we will only promote greater violence within the community and help to produce more violent people. Though long before multi media, television, radio, or web streaming humanity had washed itself with the blood of others via violent and perverse means thus dispelling this idiotic myth. And it always no matter what the species is, that any time you confine or fence in a naturally free being, it will do its best to violently break itself free. It is perhaps with these natural fundamentals of all animals, not just human that one should appreciate that danger of greater constrictions and just how it helps to promote violence in our society.

It is also with greater Irony and hypocrisy that these men and women that arbitrarily create laws so as to enslave us do so with our best interests at heart. They feel that should we not be allowed to anything ‘dangerous’ to our health then we would ultimately be safe. Yet these same political over lords will gladly send our citizens to foreign soils to kill and die so as to protect other’s freedom’s while our own freedoms are impinged at home. These same law makers and policy maker-breakers will gladly commit the ultimate form of violence on its own citizens and foreign nationals on the battlefields in far away lands streamed live via satellite every second of the day. Killing, maiming and destroying homes with the mere stroke of a hand across a map of another nation, they will with a straight face tell us that it is for ours and their freedom in which this violence is justified. Yet this murder and death, carnage and mayhem is beyond condemnation and critical thought it is merely another generations business as usual. All the while it is the combat sports and other consensual acts between individuals that is to blame for violence in and out of society. Such idiotic arrogance can be learned only at the highest levels of education.

The beautiful thing about combat sports and any act of consent is that should you not like it, simply do not watch or participate in it. No one is forcing your hand. It is extremely simple. Yet the prohibition of such sports and acts is invasive, controlling and tyrannical no matter what benevolent spin one throws on it. The constant swallowing up of liberties by an ever hungry and gorged state will only serve to starve us individuals more and more as time passes. It is when we are able to stand firm and muzzle this hungry beast of our own creation that we can again enjoy the sweet fulfilling fruits of liberty for ourselves. And like every marketplace, not every fruit is for us all. We can simply pick and chose those which we wish to consume. Combat Sports is not for all, but it is the staple for a great many.

The benefits to combative sports are tremendous, not only to the athletes but also to those who watch. Like any sport the general public gains virtue via the trickle down effect. Whether that be those technologies derived from motor racing that we now find in our automobiles to the advances in medicine that come from the fast pace need for sport science so as to keep the athletes in top form. The combat sports give us a more primal benefit, the contests of the arena allow us an honest means in which we can see what will and what will not work in battle. Whether that be relevant for every day self defence to the demands of modern day Close Quarter Battle in which the soldier may find himself unarmed in the combat zone. The elite training, technique, tactics and outcomes of these sports allow our citizens and soldiers alike to gain first hand knowledge from those that ply this very physical and admittedly violent by nature trade to real world solutions.

The drip down effects of the combat sports also sees that the effective methods, tactics and training utilised by combatants against a varied array of foes should benefit those non athletes. Those individuals who are not blessed with natural physical gifts, those who are born to be bully fodder or simply exist in a place of violence, they should find an honest and PROVEN set of training which should help give them an edge should they be forced to defend themselves. For women, especially, the landscape of self defence is full of deception and blatant liars when it comes to what is best for their personal defence. Combat Sports provides actually proven methods, one can watch, certainly under ‘controlled’ situations the applications of such methods against TRAINED and EXPERIENCED combatants. Near every martial art and academy of bunk can not boast this and if they do, it is usually filled with lies.

Every sport, well near every sport, has cross over applications to general and esoteric day to day life. It is when elite athletes are forced to compete against other members of this esteemed few that we get innovation and inspiration that many of us would never ordinarily find in our day to day activities. It is how these combat athletes address the challenges that they face in the arena that we can ultimately benefit. We can see if that risky application of a technique or that unimagined movement would pay off and then it is with their demonstration and evolutionary excellence that we can derive an ‘every day’ use for this.

It is with the heroics of these few those champions or never will be champions that defy the odds that excel with tremendous courage at that key moment that we as every day individuals can find and draw inspiration. Like many of the champions and heroes of Old, when man challenged the elements or mythic beasts it was those that defied the conventional fears of mere mortals that to this day we still know off and look to for inspiration. Even in this age we still feel a glowing warmth deep inside when we whisper their names in admiration. It is with the Ancient legends of Heracles, Achilles, Beowulf, Perseus or Lancelot that for centuries we have aspired to be more than a simple man or woman in face of great challenge and it is today in which we have Ali, Fedor, Couture, Gable or Ray Robinson for a new generation of ordinary people that can now day dream and yearn and perhaps utter “some day”. The need for heroes in day to day life is one very important and liberating aspect of the human condition. It gives us role models, confidence or perhaps belief that we to can be more than the sum of our bits-genetics-circumstance and that we as individuals can stand proudly above our adoring peers. Inspiration derived from the greatness of a One or Few is perhaps one of the most powerful forms of liberation we can find, freeing us from whatever conditions that we may be seemingly trapped by.

A combat athlete can become the symbol of some social change or a national emblem to inspire the oppressed. Whether a Jack Johnson wanted to become a champion of his ‘race’ in a period of brutal racial oppression or if he did it all simply for selfish greed matters not because the fact remains as the first ‘coloured’ Heavyweight champion he became more than simply another ’N’ word or Worlds Heavyweight Champion. He became an ideal. He became a beacon that proved man of all colours and races could dominate in the arena should they be allowed to.
From the jungles of Biafra as that nation fought with desperate hunger for freedom and national identity it found in Dick Tiger its symbolic national hero, a rebel that defied not only Federal oppression at home but considerable odds as he become champion. These men are but two examples of endless scores of others that have represented higher ideals that helped in mind and spirit remove either the shackles of ideals or actual physical tyranny.

It is no small secret that many from poorer backgrounds find the combat sports, especially boxing, as a great means so as to free themselves from their economic circumstance. What greater act of self realisation and heroics can one find but that of a prize fighter that uses his fist to feed his hungry family, who with every punch is able to fight his way out of poverty and into social comfort or wealth solely based on the virtues of his own talent and hard work. It is with a great many of these ‘rags to riches’ tales that the combat sports, more than any other field of athletic endeavours is swollen with. Yet no matter how many welfare programmes and state sponsored packages a great many still suffer, yet a few will with their own steam punch themselves out of poverty.

Again it is with more irony that one can not help to draw upon when mentioning these controlling parties that wish to deny the individual their natural born rights to par take in consensual activities, that we can mention the agents of their control also benefit from these combat sports. The Police and Military need the methods and techniques utilised by combat athletes to make their jobs safer and to help give them the edge. Imagine what would happen if our police and military continued to practice techniques of the hypothetical and those based on art, as opposed to the very real functional methods that are again and again tested and proven in the highest pressure laboratory available. The edge will always be given to those that learn the lessons of self and others, and it is with these lessons that those who are on the front line of crime and combat that they should benefit the most from the picthed battles of the athletic combat arena. Yet it is with great idiocy and absolute ignorant arrogance that policy makers-breakers continue to either deny these men and women access to such available knowledge or merely simply continue their stampede towards prohibition.

Free of any prohibition and in a society where individuals can participate in relative freedom and fight under these controlled and agreed upon rules, what ever the combat sport happens to be, the benefits gained by individuals is tremendous. Any sport is valuable for day to day health but also helps to give the individual physical intelligence which allows them to recover from a fall, helps them with the ability to lift those heavy objects but most importantly it allows them to adapt to physical stresses. It is usually those who do not have a recent athletic background that suffer the most in temperature variations and when great physical demands are suddenly thrust upon them. The age old concept of duty to self has given away to a need for greater sloth and comfort because “I” is no longer as accountable, but “We” is. It is with a sense of competition and challenge early in life that a life style of goal setting and competitiveness can be maintained. And it is in limiting the spectrum of sports that we have less scope in which to spark the interest of more individuals because it is while some may be drawn to yacht racing, others may find the appeal of basketball and then others may heed the call of the combat sports.

It is the realities of life that nothing so long as individuals exert and challenge themselves, is going to be safe. It is not the role of the state to deny us this risk. It is for us to make this decision on our own. It is for us to prepare for any challenge, to draw upon ourselves and to strive for greater excellence free of the the odds, that is the greatest appeal of sport and combat sport. It is something we can take with us every day for every application of our life’s, it is the adaptive flexibility of the athletes mind that is the greatest benefit to our society. Whether they be warrior or ball player, it is an intellectualism which unifies body and mind and creates a character distinct to a few. It is perhaps in this growing age of collectivisation that anything which rewards individual sacrifice and talent should be frowned upon and condemned and it is in an age where the common good and safety is apparently sought that the ultimate challenge and form of risk taking should be denied by those brave enough. It is perhaps in an age where ignorance and arrogance unify in the halls of policy and law making where individuals are looked upon as being the problem, and not the solution to everything in our society.

Kym Robinson

Feb, 2011.

Published inAll Articles and EssaysCombat Sports and Fighting