Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Higher Side of Human Nature

Any sport in which the height of expression is characterized by the term “ground and pound” cannot be said to appeal to the higher side of human nature. So, why is it that so many people whom I like and respect (including some family members) love to watch ultimate fighting on TV?

It could be that they enjoy seeing two highly trained athletes pitted against each other in a contest that almost always ends with a convincing victory for one or the other. Or, perhaps, it’s cathartic to watch two human beings beating each senseless. Whatever their motivation, fans flock to MMA events in about 34 states where the professional events are sanctioned.

However, New York, one of the most important sports jurisdictions in the country, is NOT among them. This opposition dates to 1997 during the Pataki administration. At that time, UFC President Dana White applied for a license to promote MMA events in the Empire State, but Governor Pataki successfully blocked the application because he believed that MMA was “barbaric.”

Not one to take “no” for an answer, Dana White is back in New York this month to lobby the legislature to support his MMA application. This time, he’s got a powerful ally in current NY Governor Paterson who is desperate to close the state’s huge budget gap. The question in New York is whether budgetary concerns will outweigh the underlying moral dilemma that MMA presents. Namely, is it right to promote Roman gladiator-style pugilism.

The Marist Organization reports that New Yorkers do not support sanctioning MMA in their state. Read more here.

What do you think? Weigh in here at KarateMind, an official Seichou Karate blog for adults. OSU!