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MMA Edshoecation

18 Jan


Have you ever watched a Mixed Martial Arts fight live up close and personal? I wore my Jeffrey Campbell Tripoli cutout boots to the Bellator MMA Championship Tournament at the Bren Events Center at UC Irvine, CA, which was also televised on Spike TV. My boyfriend and I went to support by bf’s trainer, Savant Young from the Fight Academy in Pasadena, who fought and beat Mike “The Joker” Guymon in spectacular fashion with a 2nd round knock out. This was the first time my boots went to a live MMA event. I wore them thinking they were perfect for the occasion since most of the fighters look tough and cut, and these boots look pretty tough and cut (out at the heel). Looks; however, can be deceiving, as the Tripoli’s weren’t as tough as they appeared. At first, they were a little squeamish while watching the punches fly and the countless submission attempts in the 4th row from the floor, so I had to explain that there is more to this sport than meets the eye. Although MMA and various Martial Arts in general have been around for a long time, MMA has only been in the main stream relatively recently. To those who aren’t knowledgable or who don’t appreciate the arts behind the fights, it can appear to be a violent blood sport. After being a little educated; however, my boots started to understand that there’s actually a method behind all this MMA madness. The training that is involved in this sport is so intense and the discipline, skill level, and conditioning that these fighters have to have in order to perform well in the three (or five, is it’s a championship fight) five-minute rounds (or less if there’s a stoppage by ref: KO, TKO, submission, tap-out, DQ, or by doctor’s recommendation) is no small feat. The countless hours of training, figuring out an opponent’s weaknesses, and the weight maintenance or cutting, are all in preparation to win the fight, with hopes of entertaining the fans. The entertainment to me is that the mental toughness and strategy involved and how being a ‘smart’ fighter is just as important as being strong or skilled, like a physical chess game in which a fighter must anticipate or be prepared for his opponent’s next move. It may not seem expected, but the best champions are as humble in defeat as they are victory and are always striving to be better at their craft. I also almost always see, at the end of the fight, a show of respect when two fighters (win, lose, or draw) touch gloves or hug each other after going after each other in a war of physical domination, demonstrating that the violence isn’t personal. By the end of the night, after several great and entertaining fights, my boots were yelling, “Improve your positioning, pass his guard! Get his back, put the hooks in, and sink in the rear naked choke!” That’s what I call MMA Edshoecation.