Bas Rutten

I admit it, I am a complete and total sucker for Ultimate fighting. The link takes you to a review of Bas Rutten's Street Fighting video by the genuises at 'Ruthless Reviews', but I'm going to digress for a moment and discuss my joy for ultimate fighting in general.

You see, as a teen friends of mine (Graham Harley, Lee Viggars) got involved in Judo, and they were having so much fun, I thought I'd give it a go to. Unfortunately, my build (long, lean, lacking raw power), is absolutely the worst possible build for Judo - I am essentially one big lever for my opponents to crank on.

Still, despite this genetic setback, I found I really enjoyed the sport, and more importantly, grew to understand that sports like boxing were complete crap. 9 out of 10 fights aren't settled on ones feet, they only really get finished after both fighters are on the ground.

Ultimate fighting recognizes this key fact. Started up by a bunch of Brazilian ju-jitsu guys (the Gracie family) Ulitmate fighting began as a means of advertising for Brazilian ju-jistu, and then over the last 10 years or so, evolved (in large part to avoid violating local state and health ordinances against prize fighting that includes genuinely dangerous acts like head butts, hair pulls, kicking an opponent on the ground, etc.) to the more streamlined 'sport' it is now.

Originally it was conceived as a test of different martial arts vs each other in a fair contest to see which is superior. Fairly quickly, it became apparent that karate guys, boxers and kick boxerswere in huge trouble as the lacked any ground skills at all, Judo and wrestling practicioners needed to develop some strikes and finishing holds as they were adept at getting control of the fight, but lacked any means of putting their opponent away. Ju Jitsu though (along with the Pankrate guys from Japan) offered the full meal deal for fighting. Since then though, we've seen a development in a different direction. Most of the fighters now come from wrestling backgrounds, and are given fighting instructions to help them with the 'ground and pound' strategy. Way cool.

Sure, it's being taken in a poor direction by reality TV, but the fact is ultimate fighting is the pinnacle of hand to hand combat. Boxing is still a fave, but instead of watching two guys beat each other punch drunk over an hour or more, I prefer to watch two guys attempt arm bars, ankle locks, choke holds, knee strikes, etc. over 15 mintues. Shorter fights, more spectacular finishes, more furious combat.

Yeah, it's a blood sport. That's just how I like it.

No comments: