Tag Archive for violence

The Violence Inherent in the System

I’m getting tired of elitist pricks like this guy shitting on mixed martial arts and its fans because somehow MMA is inferior to or is more primitive or brutal than boxing.

For starters, his article makes it clear that he has little or no understanding of what’s happening within the octagon. If he were a true sports columnist and wanted to objectively cover an emerging sport, he would visit a few gyms and talk to some of the fighters and get an idea of how the various martial arts are used in a fight. He’d get a better feel for the strategy involved and the physical requirements to be a successful fighter.

He might also start to understand some of the fighters involved in the sport. Yes, some of them are big, dumb thugs who don’t know how (or don’t have the ambition) to do anything else, but can any more be said of some of the boxers out there? Some of the fighters are every bit as interested in the sporting aspect of the game, and still others are interested in the martial art side of it, fancying themselves modern day warriors or gladiators.

Then there’s the blood. Yes, it’s messy, but it’s a necessary consequence of the game. The fighters need their fingers free for grappling, thus requiring smaller gloves with less padding. Compound that with the (albeit limited) use of elbows and you get cuts. If you stop a fight for every bit of blood, you’d bring every match to a screeching halt. However, if the cuts are too deep or dangerous, the doctors stop the fight. Is that not limit enough?

I don't care what he says, that's a hell of a knockout.

As for the fans and their bloodlust, are you really going to tell me boxing fans are any different? That the Average Joe plunking down his money for a boxing pay per view or arena seat isn’t hoping one fighter or the other isn’t going to get his brains beaten in? Are you really going to tell me there aren’t as many greedy promoters taking advantage of fighters in boxing as there are in MMA? That there aren’t as many broken and battered fighters ending their careers after one concussion too many?

I have no problem if they want to slam some of the fighters or some aspects of the showmanship. Some of the fighters are going to show poor sportsmanship; that’s just human nature. Tyson didn’t do his sport any more credit than some of the MMA guys have. The smack talk may get more coverage than it deserves, but that’s marketing. The UFC is going after the wrestling audience, and the smack talk is a huge part of the professional wrestling show.

Brock Lesnar and his post-fight comments are a great example of this. The guy’s a former WWE wrestler, and he sounded like it. Unfortunately this is what gets all the media attention, not all the times guys like Anderson Silva will bow to their opponents in a show of respect, or the times where fighters will raise their opponent’s hand after a match or even give them a congratulatory hug.

A columnist or sports reporter doesn’t like certain aspects of the game? Fine. But don’t pick and choose the parts that reinforce your obvious bias. Cover the events for what they are: a sport. If you can still play up baseball as a great American sport after all the athletes who have disgraced it through steroid abuse, there’s no reason not to look into why this new sport is growing in popularity and find out what’s behind the blood and spectacle that draws the rest of us to it.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Random Violence

“Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”

I don’t know the original source, but my old man says it all the time. He’ll say it when we’re trying to decide whether or not to bring something on a trip, or when we’d try to throw away some old piece of junk we found in the basement. It occurs to me, however, that it also applies to self defense.

It drives me nuts when people talk about some act of burglary or violence and say “Oh, that will never happen around here.” I live in a quiet, rural community, and I hear it all the time. I also hear them say “People don’t even lock their doors in town,” and they mean it.

Imagine their shock when a couple teenagers looking for a quick buck went from house to house, going into garages and cars to steal money, CDs, and whatever else caught their eye. Imagine their surprise when two young men, armed and on the run from Georgia, were chased down and arrested in a field on the south end of town. My parents lived in a small, nothing-happens-here town, and the guy renting an upstairs apartment next to them kicked in their front door one afternoon. They were out shopping, and if they didn’t have a dog, the guy could have helped himself to anything in the place.

Any one of those could have escalated to violence. What if someone had been up working late on their car, or sitting in an adjoining room, when those boys broke into their garage? What if those two Georgia boys made it through the field and tried to hide in someone’s house? What if my parents had arrived home while their neighbor was still in the house?

Today I read about Brittany Zimmerman, a 21-year-old woman who was murdered by a stranger, possibly a vagrant. She was beaten, strangled, and stabbed and the police didn’t show up for 48 minutes. The dispatcher didn’t hear anything, so the police were no doubt sent on higher priority calls. If the attacker was a stranger or vagrant as the police suspect, then they may never find the guy, much less figure out why he did it. Maybe he broke in and didn’t know she was home. Or maybe he just felt like stabbing someone.

Not likely? Allow me to share one of the most disturbing videos I’ve ever seen (language NSFW):

This guy just attacks this random car with a crowbar — a deadly weapon — simply to demonstrate how bad he is. How would you like to be the driver? Just sitting there, waiting to pull out of the parking lot, maybe wondering what to do about supper, when bam, some maniac is beating the shit out of your car, and for all you know he’s going to pull you out the door and bash your skull in. 911 isn’t going to do you a lick of good, nobody around you seems willing or able to help, and you can’t even drive away because you’re trapped between other cars.

What do you do? Try to run him over? Fight back? I’d probably try the former first, but that’s not the point. The point is this guy wasn’t provoked. He had no beef with the driver and he wasn’t trying to steal anything. It’s about as random an attack as it gets, and there’s not a damn thing that would have stopped him or defused the situation.

This is one of many reasons I carry a knife. This is one of many reasons I am studying karate. This is the reason I would carry a firearm if it were legal in my state.

“Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.