All Sports Have Equipment, And Mixed Martial Arts Is No Exception…

The world of MMA has changed greatly since it’s inception as a sport in the U.S. in the early 90s. Though it has something in common with boxing, wrestling and more traditional martial arts systems, it has developed a equipment all it’s own.

IMG_0082 In the beginning of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, there were no gloves (that look much like the gloves above, but leather). It was all bare-knuckle fighting. Though this added to it’s allure and back-alley feel, many competitors broke their hands in their first fight, and were unable to continue the fights that night. Initially, fighting continued for the victorious combatant until he was champion or until he lost or could not continue due to injury. To make the sport more palatable to prospective buyers to the then financially underwater UFC, gloves were designed for the task for grappling as well as protecting the fighter’s hands. At only 6 oz, the gloves just protect the knuckles from being injured during a strike, and not much else. They do not cushion the blow. They also have nothing covering the palm, to aid in the tactile sense during grappling.

The shortsIMG_0093 are actually a bit more nuanced than people think. The Bad Boy brand has been around for quite some time, and they were among some of the first apparel brands to begin marketing to MMA athletes. Including antiseptic coating to prevent smell setting into the fabric after many sweaty workouts, a cut that leaves space for kicking and reinforced seams and closures, the fight shorts of today are a different animal compared to the standard board short that many fighters train in.

IMG_0076 The good old handwrap! They keep your knuckles together and help support your wrist during punches. There’s not much more to say than that.

Add in a mouthguardIMG_0079 and a cup, and you’ve got yourself a nearly full kit for mixed martial arts! Many practitioners like to use a spandex shirt or pants for practicing Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, but many other just prefer fight or board shorts and a t-shirt. It really comes down to comfort and money.

 

Injuries! MMA! Infographic!

Medical researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine published a report on the medical dangers of mixed martial arts competition. Because it’s a young sport, there is still limited data concerning the long term effects on the brain. But, initial opinions suggest that because there are smaller opportunities to take a sustained beating while being “out on your feet,” the chance of acquiring dementia pugilistica (being punch-drunk or punchy). Ex-MMA fighter Gary Goodridge has been recently diagnosed with this condition. Goodridge’s career spanned from 1996-2010.
Injuries

Audio Slideshow Ruminations

My experience with the audio slideshow was nearly a rote action by this point. I had an easy time finding my subject, as it is a subculture that I am modestly involved in as an amateur practitioner as well as a casual fan.

I found Anthony McDonald through my MMA instructor here at the University of Oregon. I was invited to attend his final pre-fight sparring and conditioning session.

The room contained nearly 30 people, all of them not wearing the traditional gi that is used for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training (but is falling out of favor in most gyms). All of the were in excellent shape, some were nearly body builder level physiques.

For three hours, all of the fighters circled each other, throwing punches and kicks. Others grappled with opponents on the ground. It was clear that every man in the room was a veteran of martial arts and committed to his craft.

I later would return to interview the subject of my story (McDonald) and would come to learn about his difficult past involving the Baltimore chapter of the Crip street gang and his time in combat serving in the U.S. Army in the Afghanistan theater.

Mr. McDonald was nothing but a gentleman, and had a positive philosophical outlook on his experiences. Many like to say that they came through adversity as a better person, but in McDonald’s case it is not a casual aside said to make oneself feel better. In his case it was the undeniable truth.

I did have a difficulty in forgetting to add natural sound to my project.

The editing process lasted for around 6 hours, and was an excellent reintroduction to Final Cut X. As an aside, I still hate Final Cut X.

The project file had not saved to my work computer as I had thought it did. Facing the prospect of entirely remaking the project from scratch, I decided to leave it as it was; not as good as it could be, but purer in a sense. Or perhaps that could be an aspect of artistic vainglory?

From the Sand to the Cage…

IMG_9660

MMA fighter Anthony McDonald recently fought in the “King of the Cage World Amateur Championships in Las Vegas NV this weekend. He was victorious in his bout versus Matt Mccrary in the first round with a knockout via left hook. I was able to talk to him about his life briefly a week before the fight at Northwest Martial Arts Academy in Eugene OR.

You can hear it in his own words here.

Some Research…

By Ben Kendall

During the weekend, my research of the topic brought me to many websites concerning the current state of MMA. The sport has come a long way since the last time I actively followed it (14 years ago).

That is a remarkable amount of time. It also makes me feel quite old.

I had been obliquely involved in MMA when I was 18 years old. I intend to continue to tell the story of my first foray into fighting as this blog continues, as well as my current one. As I mentioned age, I believe that this would be the primary reason as to why I feel the need to write and participate in MMA again. After all I am on “the wrong side of thirty.” I feel that if I am going to do this in my life it has to be now.

The tools utilized for the research were, of course, the internet. There are a great deal of independent website publishers on this subject. It seems to have exploded in popularity in recent years. A good exploration would be to discover the why of this explosion.

I have a few contacts at local MMA gyms that would be able to help me out. Ryan Kelly at Northwest Martial Arts Academy in Eugene and Gerald Strebendt and Nathan Wallner Northwest Training Center in Springfield (these facilities are not related).

Here is a link I read that has dome good snippets of advice for beginners such as myself.

The parceling out of the work over the term is a work in progress as the shape of my projects are still works in progress.