Fighting and violence is one of the biggest problems in society today. MMA, to many people, is only promoting this as a value, instead of an issue. Another battle that this bloody sport is fighting is for its own legitimacy. There are plenty of other sports that have some fighting, but no one questions the legitimacy of sports such as ice-hockey, in which there is a fight at least once a game, or football (Frisht n. pag.). MMA is also a relatively new and has also taken a large step from where it started, having been illegal in all 50 states shortly after its institutionalization (Ramirez n. pag.). And even at that, UFC is the only nationally legal organization for MMA. Not only is it fighting for its authenticity as a sport, but it is fighting for recognition as a martial art and fighting style, as well. Some specialists and fighters argue that it is a martial art all its own. Others argue that it’s nothing more than a rip-off of the greatest martial arts that have come before it. Finally, other, more secular people rationally conclude that it cannot be considered a traditional martial art at all and is barely acceptable as a sport. But this also puts these people in the perfect position to be attacked by a very simply answered question: Why can’t MMA be considered a traditional martial art?
To begin, one of the biggest differences between MMA and traditional martial arts is the purpose for which they were developed. MMA, for example, was developed as nothing more than a style for cage-match entertainment. Traditional martial arts, however, were developed for a variety of different reasons, mainly self-defense. For instance, Jiu-Jitsu and Ninjitsu both derive from ancient Japan as a means for the people to defend themselves against the Samurai (Browning n. pag.). Similarly, Tang Soo Do was developed in Okinawa and Southern Korea under ancient Japanese influence (Yi n. pag.). Not only is the purpose of MMA something that sets it apart, it is a difference that...
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