May 30, 2008

Ultimate Fighting and the Military / Elite XC

Asian American issues, politics, social issues, and...Ultimate Fighting. Well, most of these guys study martial arts, and martial arts come from Asia. Jaehwan is armed to the teeth with excuses to talk about fighting! In my own defense though, I know that kimtae, Rebel, Lopan, Catty, and others who are also big fans.

The NY Times had an article today on MMA and the military. Apparently MMA is influencing military culture. American soldiers are beginning to participate in MMA competitions, and the Army is beginning to promote and hold tournaments. The American military is using MMA to draw in their demographic, 18-30 year old males, and they are emphasizing the warrior aspect of fighting as a motivator for their troops. It's a good article. Check it out.

I do think sports like MMA build character. I wonder if it's good for kids. If parents were teaching their kids boxing or karate, one would think it a good thing. These seem relatively civilized. MMA? Even though most MMA fighters are extremely respectful and humble, the jury is still out on that one. Maybe it's my own cultural bias.

In other news, Elite XC is taking place tomorrow night at 9 pm Eastern and Pacific Time on CBS. It'll be the first time that a major MMA event takes place on American prime time. Kimbo Slice is fighting. I'm ambivalent about this competition. While I think UFC needs some competition given the meager payouts to their fighters, it looks like Elite XC is taking the cheap route by showcasing a backyard brawler like Kimbo. It would be nice to see another fight league which is somewhat comparable in quality to the UFC. Pride was such a competition, but they had poor management, and the UFC eventually bought them. Strikeforce is also a good competitor, but I wonder if they have the promotional skills that the UFC has. We'll see.

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