Thursday, December 2, 2010

Image and Likeness

I’m holding a mixed martial arts tournament with my friends in law school this week. It will be a one-day tournament of eight fighters. Fighters will be bracketed randomly to fight another to advance to the next round until two fighters are left to fight for the championship. At stake is bragging rights of being the alpha male in the group.

Essentially, everything goes in a mixed martial arts fight except eye-gouching, biting, head butt, and kicks to the head while the opponent is down. Fighters wear tiny four-ounce gloves designed to protect the knuckles and not the fighters. It is truly a very dangerous sport. In the States, a senator has once labeled MMA as human cockfighting.

However, many people are drawn to it because in truth, it is much more than the physicality that the casual fan sees. True MMA fans know that the sport is just more than who punches or kicks the hardest. More than anything else, MMA is a game of strategy because you can lose in so many ways. You can be submitted. You can be knocked out. You can be TKO’d. And because it’s a mixed martial arts fight, it is also a battle of disciplines.

MMA fighters know the risks of getting into that cage. They know that they have to work on their weaknesses and learn different disciplines as well. An ideal MMA fighter would know how to strike on his feet, how to takedown an opponent, how to submit and opponent. As the fight can happen on the feet and on the ground, a fighter must know how to defend himself both on the feet and on the ground.

On the average, a fighter trains at least 4 hours a day. Rest is essential so the body can recover from the beating it takes. Being a true MMA fighter takes time and discipline. Law students have the discipline, I presume but time is something scarce for them. Getting punched in the head a number of times before even taking the bar examinations is also something worth considering. Bottom line, It is simply too much of a risk for them. Boxers, after all, have been documented to suffer Alzheimer’s disease due to repeated head trauma received in their careers. What more of an MMA fighter who not only gets punched in the head but also gets kicked, kneed, and elbowed in the head? But for the love of the sport, my friends and I find the time to train and compete…in the Playstation.

The Create-A-Fighter mode allows one to create a fighter in his image and likeness. You can assign particular moves to that fighter which he will use in a fight against other fighters. Points are assigned to particular skills i.e. ground skills, striking skills, submission, etc. Points are limited so you can’t be good in every aspect of the game. This is where the chess part comes in. You distribute your points to match your opponent’s fighter. Then you fight and bloody each other up until someone taps out or gets knocked out. Thanks to game consoles of today, we get to try out different things without losing much time and energy. At any time, we can go back to our real lives and float on.

by Alex Lopez (3rd Entry)

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