Mixed martial arts has become a very popular pastime in this country. The physical, mental, and emotional benefits are numerous. Mixing various forms of martial arts has produced programs that can be very individualized and extremely powerful. There has also been a lot of controversy about mixed martial arts, as it has diverged quite drastically from the original martial arts formats. Here, in this country, that controversy is not being fought as loudly as it is in Asia.
In the country that is credited with the foundations of martial arts training, there is a noisy debate regarding the worth of mixed martial arts. However, the younger generations certainly aren’t backing away from this newer form of training. In fact, they are signing up in record numbers for classes.
The television exposure alone has definitely brought increased attention to this sport, which explains why so many young people, here and overseas, are signing up for MMA instead of karate or jujitsu. In Asia, the love for MMA has grown even more rapidly. One source explained this phenomenon, by comparing sports media between America and Asia. In America, there are numerous, large, televised athletic events – football, baseball, basketball, etc. Pan-Asia does not have sports media sensations. At least, they didn’t before this growth of MMA. And, now, there is the opportunity to broadcast mixed martial arts, and possibly other martial arts forms throughout 11 countries.
China is on the radar, despite being a difficult market for media gurus to infiltrate, in part because of the strong tie to tradition. The first MMA event from China was aired not that long ago. The youth is getting beyond the holds of ancient tradition.
The same companies that are showcasing these events on an international level are hoping to do the same for other martial art forms in Asia – Karate, Kung Fu, etc. There is hope that with that added exposure, the interest in these will also grow and, perhaps, even renew that dedication to the foundation provided by these ancient arts.