August 29, 2011
Americans Given Gladiators Instead of Jobs
In case you have been asleep, a new sport is taking the Western World by storm.
Ultimate Fighting Championship tournaments have been thrust into the limelight by a seven-year deal with FOX.
This sport is not for the squeamish. In fact it preys on the most violent feelings of the audience. The rules are set to make the most of a person's ability to maim his opponent using any part of his body as a weapon, including a strangulation with a sleeper hold.
Bloodied and battered and bruised, opponents try to destroy each other as they circle within the confines of a steel cage separating them from their screaming fans.
Las Vegas is the set for many of the bouts. That is befitting as the owners of the UFC are the owners of the Station Casino chain, the Fahitas brothers. They knew a good thing when they bought it several years ago.
Going to one of the UFC two or three day signing parties is also quite an event. These take place within the convention halls of one of several major casinos.
The fans pack the walkways between exhibits lining up for hours to get autographs of their favorite fighters. The fans consist of people of all ages and especially women and children. Yes, the gentler sex and children are some of the most rabid collectors. I was amazed at the turnout.
Not only are they fans but there are continual events wherein the children can be brought in and taught different strategic movements so that they can train to be future fighters. These events cater to children of both sexes of all ages. Whereas at one time youngsters learned the art of boxing and wrestling, now they learn the art of every type of kick and throw and disabling movement designed to destroy one's opponent.
It seems that the glory of Rome is once, again, upon us as the audience feasts upon the blood of the players. So, as America marches around the globe, borrowing and borrowing and killing and killing, the citizens are packing the new coliseums, screaming for the destruction of the new gladiators.
It is strange to see how history repeats itself ad nauseum. And it is interesting to note that the tournaments seem to mimic the destruction of the various battles in foreign lands and the dead end battles within the congress that have brought about the end of this once great nation.
Many years ago, as the Roman Empire was beginning to unravel, Caesar knew how to control the masses......, "Give them games and bread and they will be complacent"
So, let the games begin! Yell for your favorite fighter. For, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, as Rome burns.
FOX broadcasting these is the ultimate irony since it poses as a broadcast network which proffers "Family Values" and sells to the lower and middle classes. I concur that these fights represent a further decline in culture in the USA, one step below boxing and one above dog fighting. On the other hand, considering the absolute level of violence perpetrated by this putative Christian nation, I suppose the question is are we surprised that there is an audience and further that this audience is not only in Las Vegas.
I'm surprised you didn't bring up the blatant homosexual appearance of the sport. Two men, barely clothed, rolling around on the ground, hip on hip, trying to over power the other.
Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Martial Arts and or Combative arts are not the problem. Its bringing the act into the entertainment arena is what has ruined what it means to be a warrior.
As a mattter of fact if the arts where presented in the old ways of honor and respect, training and cultivating yourself physically and mentally to be sharp to take on your adversaries, to fight for truth and honor instead of a whore and paycheck,
Your probably wondering why a woman is telling you this. My husband is holding one of the longest Martial Art Camps in US History this Labor Day weekend Water and Steel
I can assure you the most upstanding men and yes some women will be there. I can also assure you as a practitioner and female, we have no illusions of taking or beating up a man toe to toe. I feel confident that I could get out of a "assault/abduction" situation to run from a man, but to engage in hand to hand combat with him, no, we know reality and reality is not sport or a movie starting an 80 lbs chick kicking the crap out of men twice her size
Anyway, I invite any of your readers to actually try the right martial arts with the right instructor to be enlightened in the combat arts. Because "homosexual appearances" aside. There would be nothing "gayer"(I know that's not even a word but I don't care) than not knowing how to fight.
Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at