NPR does MMA
Before you read any further, I'd like to write a little disclaimer. The following in no way expresses my opinion on Mixed Martial Arts. I actually do not spectate MMA, nor have I ever spectated boxing. I do recognize the importance of the sport. However, my personal principles are not up for debate on this forum, and I would please ask that you respect that.
I was listening to All Things Considered on NPR about a half hour ago, and heard that they were going to do a story on MMA. I grabbed a pencil and some paper, and waited till the story came, and then took some notes just for all of you. You're welcome.
The report will probably have nothing new for people here, but it's interesting to hear what people outside the Martial Arts community are saying, but more importantly hearing.
I was jotting down bullets pretty quickly, and managed to capture a lot of the story. The highlights from the exposition are the following:
Their format was to interview different people, and talk to each one seperately. I will seperate my notes based on what different people said.
- They began by mentioning that it's "big business," and that it was one of the largest growing sports in the country.
- In their description of the sport, they talked about punching, kicking, and "beating out prizefighting" for audiences.
First, there was Tamara Keith, an NPR reporter who went to a UFC match and described it in her interview. Here are my notes on what she said:
Between her interview and the next, the interviewed someone at the match who described the athletes as "gladiators," and said he enjoyed watching people beat each other up. He also mentioned again how high grossing the sport is.
- The fights changed drastically. She said that at one moment, they were boxing, and the next they were "rolling around on the ground wrestling."
- The matches could end either in one person "passing out" or tapping out. She described tapping out as an act saying that they can't take it anymore.
- At some point in the fight, one fighter began bleeding from the face, and as they went to the ground, he was actually bleeding onto his opponent's back, but nobody seemed to mind.
- Audiences were "not content with boxing," and became excited when there was a kick or takedown.
Next, they interviewd Stephen Acunto, a man who "all his life has loved, taught, and coached boxing." He was heavily opposed to Mixed Martial Arts Competition. Here's what he said.
Dana White, current owner of the UFC, was then interviewed. Here is what he said.
- MMA attracts more people because it satiates the barbaric pleasure of people who like to see someone hurt."
- Spectators of MMA would watch bullfighting, dogfighting, and cockfighting, and "anything of that nature."
- The violent competition has been "cloaked" with rules and regulations.
- MMA should not trule be considered a sport.
The regulations are progress in the eyes of Senator John McCain, who's said that "it's not human cockfighting anymore."
- When they bought the UFC, they "felt these guys were athletes," and that it was a sport that deserved to be sanctioned, so they accepted more rules and regulations.
- There have not been deaths in the UFC, now in its 74th season. There are deaths in polo. "You'd be surprised to hear how many kids die every year playing high school football."
They described the IFL as a smaller orginization mimicing the UFC. They talked to Brian Vetell, and here's what he had to say.
They then interviewed Dr. Joseph Estwanik, and orthopedic surgeon. He helped get MMA legalized in North Carolina, and also helped develop the glove used in the UFC. Here's what he had to say.
- MMA has "a lot of freaks, a lot of weird people." He says that if somebody likes to get punched and get in fights all day, maybe they're not a very normal person, and even goes so far as to admit that he himself is not a very normal person.
- There shouldn't be concern about injury, and if that's you're worry, you shouldn't be fighting. There's a referee whose job it is to look after your health.
- There is a chance of you walking out on the street and getting hit by a car. Any accident could happen.
They also interviewed Dr. Robert Cantu, who co-directs the Neurological Sports Injury Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Here's what he said in his interview.
- Very few MMA fights end in a knockout.
- Though blood appears more gruesome than a knockout, a knockout can produce serious and longer-term effects, as where cuts heal relatively quickly.
- In boxing, matches generally end in knockouts, which are more damaging to one's health.
They then brought Bryan Vetell back for round two, so to speak. They asked him if it should be made a high school sport. Here was his response.
- There are not enough studies in Mixed Martial Arts to really determine the risks of competition.
- Data should be obtained, but the sport should not be illegalized.
- If it were illegalized, it would still go on, but with less or no regulation.
- The sport requires more maturity than most kids posses. He "doesn't even know if he's mature enough to handle what he's doing," and kids shouldn't be doing it.
- What you're actually doing is beating someone up, and that could be too much for kids.
- Kids should train for it, but not neccesarily do it competitively.
Again, there's probably nothing new here for readers of this forum. However, it is important to know what peope outside the MA community are hearing about the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
There is also a written version available at the folowing URL:
It leaves many things out of the radio story, but is still good to read. I used it as a reference while writing this post. All my quotes are taken directly from that page.
It now occurs to me that maybe this belongs in the news section...
Dr. Joseph Estwanik? I haven't heard that name before. If that is true then he is an important part of MMA history. I just created a .ORG page for him here: http://www.bullshido.org/martialarts...oseph_Estwanik
Thread is fine here.
There should be an mp3 of this up shortly....
Great article. Wow, Stephen Acunto is a dick.
Interesting conclusion about class.
Acunto teaches boxing and has the sack to say MMA is barbaric.... I find that extremely funny.
I also find it very funny that they pick the most oblivious correspondant to cover the show. Interviews with teenagers no matter what the topic are going to come off in a bad light. I, for one, am not a fan of the term gladiator, modern day gladiator or anything of the sort. It's just plain retarded to claim such.
I thought that guy was a bit of a meathead. Or a lot of a meathead.
WTF is up with the comment about the strip mall TKD academy?
Besides Little Cro Cop (who definitely didn't come out of a strip mall TKD academy), can you think of any other MMA fighters who are known for their skills acquired from TKD?