Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Amateur Fight Review and Thoughts

    On Saturday April 12th, 2014 I watched an amateur fight event called Aggressive Combat Sports Florida PKB Fight Nights.  I'm not much of an MMA fan (I have nothing against it, in fact I have deep respect for it, it's just not my gig), but there were two reasons I wanted to go.  One, it was sponsored by the Atemicast network, and two, one of the people I train jujutsu with, Scott Levin was fighting in the event. What follows are a couple of observations I made through out the evening.

Types of Fights

    This event featured many different rule styles for their fights.  There were a plethora of  styles including Point Kickboxing, Sport Jujutsu, and Combat Jujutsu.  They each had their own restrictions on the targets available to them and the different ways to deal with takedowns and grappling.  Each has their own sporting vs. reality compromises and considerations.  And they were all entertaining to watch.

Honor and Respect

    There were several different schools which were putting up fighters in the different style matches.  After all of them (save one that I saw) the fighters were hugging (in that manly way) after the match, and congratulating each other.  A couple of times it looked insincere.  And then there were the Muay Thai schools.  I was floored by their respect for each other.  After each bout, the competitors went before their opponent's coach and bowed to them.  One guy did a full prostrating bow to their opponent's coach.  I guess after all the showmanship I see in the UFC, I wasn't really expecting the humility and respect, so kudos to them.


    Many of the early fights in the evening were kids.  And I don't mean "I'm old and calling anyone younger than me a kid," I mean some of them were under 10 years old.  This gave me an uneasy feeling.  There is nothing wrong with fighting in a sport context.  It is a comparison of training and skill versus training and skill.  With the kids, there was no skill demonstrated.  It was all aggressive windmill strikes, and they relied completely on their protective armor for defense.  I didn't see any martial sport or martial skill what so ever.  The training might very well have value, but I didn't see any value in the competition part of it.  There could be something I'm missing, and if you have a different opinion, please let me know in the comments.

Scotty Levin

    My friend Scott (who is 52!) fought in a Combat Jujutsu format.  There were no head strikes, and any ground fighting was stood up after 30 seconds.  He knows he's never going to make the UFC, or do anything professionally with this.  He just wanted to test himself.  This was his second amateur fight, and he did great!  He made weight of 195 when he normally walks around at 215 to 220.  He won the fight, and then heartily ate his victory pizza.  Congrats to him.  I hope I have to courage to do that when I'm his age.


    This event was held in a club.  By itself that wasn't so bad, but there was no real ring, which by itself isn't horrible.  There were mats on the ground, and coaches and trainers acted as the ropes to let the fighters know when they were going off the edge.  Again, by itself not horrible.
    There were two things wrong in terms of safety.  First, there was a stage and columns surrounding the dance floor were the mats were located.  It would have been very easy for a fighter to fall, of get thrown into one.  To make it worse, a couple of the columns had wooden shelves sticking out to put your drink on.  All I could see was a fighter's head crashing into one and knocking him out.  Which brings up the second safety point.  One fighter, intentionally or unintentionally, got slammed on his head/neck, and was knocked out cold.  It was at that point I realized there were no medical professionals/EMT's on sight.  I think that's a major flaw with this event.  It is unwise, unsafe, and gives a bad name to amateur fights when the fighter's safety isn't the prime concern.  I really hope the kid who got knocked out went to the ER to get checked up.


    First, the good points.  I did enjoy the event, it was nice to see the sportsmanship demonstrated by the fighters, coaches, and trainers, and I liked seeing my friend compete and win.  I'm still iffy on whether or not kids should participate if fights.  I don't know if there is any benefit in it.  I'm not saying that there is or isn't, it just doesn't feel right, and I have to figure out why.  The bad part was the lack of safety for the fighters.  That just outright scares me.  If combat sport wants to make itself seem legitimate, it should really be concerned with the safety of the fighters.

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