‘Femwashing’ Brutality

Over the last couple of weeks, there have been quite a few posts about mixed martial arts/ultimate fighting that have come across the transom. Most of them have focused on female fighter Ronda Rousey, who reigns supreme (most of her opponents don’t even last one minute against her).

I get that Rousey has a compelling story: former judo Olympian, becomes bartender (most ex-Olympians don’t have a lot of direct money-making options), and then rises to win the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

What puzzles me is that, just a few years ago, ultimate fighting was seen as worse than boxing, and only marginally better than dog fighting. It’s a brutal ‘sport’, which like boxing, can cause a lot of damage (one fighter in its short history has already died). Admittedly, Rousey’s strategy seems to involve far less brain trauma and much more tendon and ligament destruction.

By the way, if you think I’m overreacting, re-read the previous sentence–I’ll wait.

I’m not naive about sportsball in general: people–disproportionately men who feel emasculated by life–use all sorts of violent imagery to discuss sports. And football is a violent game. But even there, the ultimate goal is not to damage your opponent (though that can help you win).

What bothers me about the whole Rousey phenomenon is that a pseudo-feminist veneer is being placed over what is essentially a blood sport. When it was just men, it was viewed as violent garbage, but add women, and magically, this is now about ’empowerment’ (another reason why decent people should be wary of “communicative performance leftism“). Never mind that the whole “I’m not a ‘do nothing bitch'”–that is, kept woman–strikes me as saying, “I’m not a grifting whore like the rest of them.” Not exactly a strong statement of feminist solidarity.

It’s just dog fighting with humans.

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10 Responses to ‘Femwashing’ Brutality

  1. albanaeon says:

    Try it as someone who practices traditional martial arts.

    Watching people harm others and themselves and then get told that MMA is the ultimate martial art is irritating. I’ve spent a lifetime learning how to not hurt others and myself and plan to do this for a long time. It will be hard to do that with MMA.

    • ChariD says:

      This. Exactly. While practicing Judo and Karate, in both of these martial arts, we were told never to use it to hurt someone unless we were defending ourselves. MMA is a messy bastardization of these ancient physical and spiritual art forms.

  2. Gingerbaker says:

    Oh, please. It’s a sport, with rules to protect against grievous bodily harm. The participants are there willingly. Just like boxing. Like wrestling. Like karate. It’s a matter of degree, not kind.

    And are you going to tell me that these is no sparring in martial arts? No tournaments? No bonus for knocking your opponent unconscious? No physical contact?

    What is a kata but a sequence of fighting maneuvers, practiced for speed and power, designed to inflict damage on multiple attackers? Including kicks to the head; eye gouging; joint dislocations; powerful punches to the head, neck and other body areas selected entirely for their damage potential.

    Judo, karate, etc are disciplines designed to perfect your physical and mental capabilities to injure or kill. Don’t you dare deny it. The philosophical element is there too, and it is great. But it is almost certainly evolutionarily necessary to CYA of your instructor and the discipline itself.

    So, get off of your high horses. At least UHC is honest about what it is. And they take much better care of the fighters than the corrupt world of boxing.

    • albanaeon says:

      What martial arts tournaments have you been to?

      All of the ones that I have gone to have knocked point OFF for things like knocking opponents unconscious. Shows a lack of control and respect, which are big things for many martial artists.

      And I don’t see anyone denying that martial arts hones our abilities towards violence, but there is a difference between someone that spends their time learning to throw a perfect punch and going out of their way to never have to use it and someone bringing it to a ring with the intent to cause harm.

  3. Gingerbaker says:

    ” I’ve spent a lifetime learning how to not hurt others and myself…”

    God, what a crock of steaming dingo kidneys! Tell me…. what advanced techniques do you practice on how to run away?

    You’ve spent a lifetime doing EXACTLY the opposite. That you DON’T go around hurting people is admirable, of course. And I would imagine the same might be said for MMA fighters outside of the ring.

    • jrkrideau says:

      I guess the same thing applies for competitive handgun shooter and archers. I knew it, those Olympic archers are just salivating for a chance to put an arrow in the next person who puts a foot on their front lawn.

      • Gingerbaker says:

        And I doubt very much if Olympic archers describe their years of training as time well spent learning how NOT to put an arrow into something. ;>D

        • albanaeon says:

          Sure it is.

          You learn to put the arrow in what you want to put it in and not what you don’t.

    • albanaeon says:

      Hurting others is dead easy. All that takes is a fist and some anger.

      Learning to not rely on anger means I learn how to not hurt someone. Which I learn by practicing martial arts. We aren’t allowed to spar or even demonstrate while angry and spend a lot of time learning to calm and center ourselves.

      Hurting oneself is often letting your ego overcome your judgement of your capabilities. I use martial arts to learn my limits and respect them.

      You can just as easily turn your car into a deadly weapon by learning the mechanics of driving. Does that mean its a load of steaming dingo kidneys that you then don’t by learning the rules of the road?

      And yes, I know a fair amount of techniques that the primary goal is to make an escape easy. Some of them even involve causing no harm to the antagonist.

      You seem to assume that MMA and traditional martial arts are close to each other, but they really aren’t.

      • Gingerbaker says:

        “Learning to not rely on anger means I learn how to not hurt someone. Which I learn by practicing martial arts.”

        Do you not see the gigantic, titanic, humongous irony of your statement? Good grief!

        I imagine that perfecting the mechanics of throwing of a punch, by punching half a million times over your life can only enhance your ability to not hurt someone with a punch, right? Toughening up the substructure of that hand by pounding that fist into sand, a body bag, or a Muk Yan Jong so that the bones themselves are denser and scar tissue protects the soft tissues – this is done to only protect others, right? This painful and repeated restructuring of the very tissues of your body to allow you to hit other people harder and faster – without hurting yourself in the process – – that is so you will not hurt lots of people even less, and not hurt them faster, harder and with less devastation.


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