This might sound familiar, but I have to ask again:  what’s with all the nonsense about MMA being a violent sport? Have any of these people ever watched a football game? Ice Hockey? Rugby? Talk about violent sports! And these are all approved and sanctioned!  

Back in 1995 Senator McCain and a lot of politicians were on the anti-MMA bandwagon, although sources close to Senator McCain have told me personally that he’s “coming around” and is willing to take a closer look at the sport.  Well thank goodness for that, because what MMA was in 1995 is not what it is today.

Of course, we still have Bob Reilly from New York to deal with, and we all know his stance on "ultimate fighting” and how he continously spouts off the "facts" about how violent MMA is as a sport.

But what do the facts REALLY tell us?

In a report by the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, the JOSS&M stated: “The incidence of injury in combat sports has not been adequately reported although it is important to identify the nature and frequency of injuries prior to the implementation of prevention programs.”  

Please note that in their study, JOSS&M compared “injury rates treated in Hospital Emergency Departments between different combat sports of boxing, wrestling, and martial arts. A secondary objective described anatomic region and diagnosis of these injuries. Data were obtained on all boxing, wrestling, and martial arts-related injuries that were in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database and resulted in Emergency Department visits between 2002 and 2005.”

Their findings?  “Martial arts had lower injury rates compared to boxing and wrestling for all diagnoses (p<0.001).  Boxing had lower injury rates compared to wrestling for strains/sprains and dislocations.  Boxing and wrestling had similar injury rates for concussions.”

Did the JOSS&M recommend we ban MMA, stop the fighting and keep combatants out of the ring? Nope.  In fact, the report suggested: “Injury prevention efforts should consider the distribution of injuries and concentrate on preventing strains/sprains in wrestling, concussions in boxing and wrestling, and fractures for all three activities.”  

So basically, like with any other sport, one should take proper care and use preventative measures when training or competing.  Okay – good to know. And here I thought MMA fighters should just throw caution to the wind and not even bother with any form of protection or preventative measures!

Just kidding, of course. At my local dojo, Arts of the Samurai, we make sure the students wear proper protection when training, and according to a survey of other local dojos and training centers, they do the same thing. It's called "common sense."

The JOSS&M report went further and said: “The findings of the present study do not provide evidence that combat sports have alarmingly high rates of injuries resulting in emergency department visits.

Hmmm - interesting...

So Mr. Reilly – let me ask you: Does New York allow karate tournaments? Muay Thai? Kickboxing? Boxing? Wrestling? Judo? BJJ? WWE? I can answer for him: Why YES, New York DOES allow those events!

Well then NY already allows MMA (i.e. mixed martial arts), because those are all the tools used by MMA fighters! And as long as the proper level of protection is used, and preventative measures are taken, combined with promoters, athletic commissions, judges and MMA referees who follow the rules, then running an MMA event really is no different than promoting a karate, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, BJJ or WWE event. Well, maybe it's different than WWE.  

And to address the claims that MMA perpetuates violence...(does Reilly mean if one watches it; participates in it; or what exactly?) The folks over at LegalizeTheEmpire make an excellent case saying: "Mixed martial arts fans are often accused of having aggressive personalities, drawn to the sport primarily by its violent nature. Bob Reilly credits MMA’s success to this violence. However, a California State University Dominguez Hills survey by Nancy Cheever suggests otherwise (here). The study, which surveyed over 3,500 fans worldwide, reveals that the vast majority of fans, 80%, are drawn to MMA primarily for the different styles that come together to compete. Subjects also reported being drawn to MMA by the level of skill and competition inherent in the sport. And, most importantly, only 22% of the surveyed group reported being drawn to the sport for the violence. I would be willing to bet that even fewer fans would report being drawn to the sport because they find it even remotely comparable to dog fighting, gambling, or prostitution (hat tip to Mr. Reilly)."

I do hope Senator McCain is listening and reads the report. You can find the whole study here. Maybe after reading these findings he’ll change his mind?

Hey – I’m allowed to dream!