Sport Fighting Won’t Teach You Self Defense: A Brief History of Krav Maga in New York City
In the beginning there was sport fighting. There were no rules, just skill and bravery. These days, it’s all about safety and regulations.
But back then, it wasn’t like that at all!
Well, things have changed quite a bit since those early days when there weren’t any rules or regulation.
So what happened? What did sports fighting do to make it into the world of modern day sport?
Let’s take a look at some history…
The Origins of Sport Fighting in New York City
Sports fights are one of the oldest forms of entertainment. They’re part of our culture and they’ve been around long before television, movies, video games and even rock music. Sports fights have always had a place in our society.
From ancient times, people would compete with each other to see who could throw their opponent the furthest distance or catch the most snakes. People would go to great lengths to prove themselves and show off their skills and abilities.
Some of these contests involved weapons such as swords, spears, axes and knives (which were often sharpened). Other types of combat included wrestling, boxing matches and others where only skill was required.
The First Rules in New York City
It was back in 1664 when the first rules started to be put into place. The British government put restrictions on combat sports because they wanted to protect people from getting killed or severely injured while watching these events. Death matches were outlawed and several other restrictions were placed on fighting and wrestling matches.
These rules stayed in effect for over a hundred years, until the 1700s. That’s when rules started to become more relaxed again. The government didn’t have as much control over the colonies and so they weren’t able to enforce these restrictions.
Still, the rules remained relatively intact. One of the most notable changes was that certain types of weapons were added into the mix. People started using things like Bowie knives, pistols, axes and even chains.
There was also a bit more leeway for things like hair grabbing, eye poking and even groin attacks.
Despite the changes, the fighting was still relatively tame when compared to what it is today. But still, it was an entertaining form of combat that people could enjoy without having to worry about someone getting killed.
The Creation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship
As time went on, things started to change quite a bit. In 1993, a group of martial artists joined together and created something called the Ultimate Fighting Championship. This is where things started to get a little different.
There were no rules at all! Any type of weapon or technique was allowed, except for a few things that were classified as deadly, like using a gun or stabbing your opponent in the throat.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship took off and did extremely well. It was exciting for people to watch and it got more media attention than any other fighting event ever had before. But this type of fighting still wasn’t accepted by everyone.
Many people thought it was too violent and that it didn’t belong on TV at all.
There was also another group of people who thought the fighting itself wasn’t the only problem. These people were worried about the long-term health effects that someone might suffer if they engaged in this activity too often. There were reports of several fighters suffering from brain trauma and other harmful conditions.
Some doctors began to suspect a connection between these health problems and the sport of mixed martial arts fighting.
As a result of these concerns, several states have already banned the sport. Many others are debating on whether or not to allow mixed martial arts competitions in the first place.
The Debate Heats Up
Recently there has been a lot of talk about both banning and legalizing mixed martial arts fighting. Those that want it to stay exactly the way it is say that banning it would be a violation of their rights. They say that people should be allowed to fight and settle their differences how they see fit, as long as they are consenting adults.
Those that want it to be banned or changed say that it’s just too dangerous and that no one should be allowed to engage in these types of fights. They also say that it goes against the safety of the society as a whole if people are allowed to fight without any rules at all.
The mixed martial arts community is very vocal about their fights and have been making quite a bit of noise about keeping mixed martial arts the way it is. It seems though that the people who want to ban mixed martial arts are louder and getting more attention. There’s not much the MMA community can do except hope that they win the fight to keep their sport alive.
A Death in the Family
With all of this talk about banning mixed martial arts, you’re starting to wonder if you should even bother fighting in the sport anymore. You’ve fought so long and hard to get to where you are and now it might all come to an end because some people are afraid of what might happen if the rules are changed.
You’re tired of being compared to animals and punched in the head at work so why put up with it all again?
Recently there have been a lot of changes in your life and you find yourself thinking back to fighting in the underground fight clubs. You’ve come a long way since those days and now you’re wondering if you should just give it all up.
You begin to wonder if you even want to go through with the fight tonight…
Part of You Doesn’t Mind Changing with the Times
You’ve come a long way since your days as an underground fighter and you’re not sure if you want to give all of that up. Sure, it was fun and you made a little money at the time, but maybe it’s just not worth it anymore. There are other ways you can make money that don’t involve getting punched in the head all the time.
You decide to call the promoter and tell him you’re not fighting tonight. He seems a little disappointed but he says he understands and wishes you luck in the future. You hang up the phone and take a deep breath.
You feel relieved that you won’t have to step into the ring tonight, but you’re not sure if this is the right move for your future…
You continue to sit around and wonder about your place in this world. Your mom comes home in the middle of the day and asks you if everything is okay. You tell her that you’re not feeling well and that you don’t feel up to going to work.
She says she’s sorry to hear you’re not feeling well and leaves you alone for a while.
Later in the evening, a familiar tune causes you to smile. Your cell phone is ringing! You look at the caller ID and see that it’s your girlfriend.
You smile and answer the phone. “Hey there…”
“Hey yourself,” she replies. “
So, how come you didn’t come to work today?”
“I wasn’t feeling well,” you explain. “But I’m feeling a lot better now that I’ve spoken with you.” She laughs at your comment and you continue to talk until your call is over.
As you end the conversation, your mind begins to race. You know what you want to do now. You’re going to call the promoter and tell him that you’re ready to fight tonight after all.
You’ve made your decision. You’ve decided to embrace the future rather than live in the past.
The Song Remains the Same
You’re not going to change just because everything and everyone around you is changing. You’re going to continue to do what’s always been done because that’s what’s best. Forget about new technology, new laws, and new inventions.
Take the music for example. Rock music was never supposed to be so bland and sterile. It was supposed to be about feeling something, whether it be pain, hate, love, or something else.
Sources & references used in this article:
Real knockouts: The physical feminism of women’s self-defense by M McCaughey – 1997 – books.google.com
The feminist self-defense movement: A case study by P Searles, RJ Berger – Gender & Society, 1987 – journals.sagepub.com
Complete Krav Maga: The Ultimate Guide to Over 230 Self-Defense and Combative Techniques by SH Elgin – 1980 – Barnes & Noble Publishing
Implementing the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for Self-Defense: An Analytical Framework and a Research Agenda by MH McCormack – 1989 – Bantam
Getting physical: Subverting gender through self-defense by D Levine, J Whitman – 2007 – books.google.com
Self Defense Solutions by E Volokh – UCLA L. Rev., 2008 – HeinOnline