Monday, March 1, 2021
Notwithstanding prevailing mainstream misconceptions of MMA as a barbaric relic of an ugly past, dignified moments like these are more the rule than the exception. Martial arts are primarily about self-improvement, refining our strengths and weaknesses, and learning to cope with discomfort and danger. At a time when unbridled expressions of masculinity are broadly discouraged and even disparaged, there’s something cathartic about watching two individuals give everything they have in a pure form of physical competition and then treat one another with respect in its bloody aftermath. MMA represents a meeting of cultures and individuals that transcend identity, class, and geography while integrating art and philosophy with sport—a healthy pressure valve in the modern world.