Tuesday, November 6, 2012

All Things MMA Week: Day 1

All Things MMA Week: Day 1 

Posing together after a Saturday Practice
 This week I wanted to take time out and focus on something that I love- MMA, Mixed Martial Arts.  For those who don't know mixed martial arts is a sport, violent - yet beautiful, that combines various forms of fighting. The combination could include anything from b oxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu etc. It has come a long way from its beginning in 1993. I would say that 1993 was where the sport came together in some form of official organization, but it has been happening long before then.

How did I get started in MMA?

Yes, I used to train as an MMA fighter, had the hopes of getting into the cage and fighting for real. This may have happened because before I got any skills, I went to an amateur fight with my fight team and saw so many people I thought that I could do better than. I caught the MMA-fever as I watched round after round of fights that were utterly unremarkable.  Finally, seeing a decent fight that lasted more than 45 seconds and involved more than someone walking into their opponents punch showed me what real MMA fighting could be.
View from outside the cage. J. Stith, our fighter is on top. I temporarily forgot I was supposed to be taking pictures and started screaming. (He won!)

But going to the beginning, Maddox and I met while working together with troubled youth. He told me that he did personal training. I said I wanted to get i  better shape.

Maddox in the grey and D. Smith in the red, at practice. 
 He told me he worked with fighters and I said so. He told me that I should check it out because they were looking for female fighters. I told him I'd think about it. I went to practice to check it out and he wasn't there. I felt awkward and out of place. Grown men punched each other, and rolled around on a sweaty mat. I watched the practice and thought "There's no way in hell I'm doing that!" But  I didn't leave. I stayed. I still felt awkward and out of place.  I watched and found a hidden rhythm in the fighters' movements. I kept watching, and got lost in the sound of punching, grunts and the heavy smell of sweat. I was so captivated I didn't see Maddox come in. This was the beginning, but there was so much that I learned from this group of guys I'd have to write a novel to share it all.

Whether it's doing groundwork....
fixing the headlights on a teammate's car....

or sparring standing up....

these guys had each other's back. Becoming a part of this team, meant that they had my back as well.  MMA is not just about a bunch of guys (or girls) punching and kicking and twisting into some violent ecstasy.  If you find the right people to train with and the right coach to guide you. 

I leave you with the promo video for Gina Carano Vs. Cris Cyborg, the first time female fighters headlined a fight card featuring the guys. 

This was back in 2009, three years ago. Now, there are quite a few female MMA fighters, and I hope that this continues to grow.

I was pumped and wanted to share the actual fight, but didn't think anyone would watch the entire 9 minutes of the fight. But, for those who are interested  here is the fight video. The fight is over at the 5:05 mark. enjoy!!

Always Shine, 
Starr K

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