Friday, April 30, 2010

One Year Of SKILL MMA

This site has finally reached its one-year anniversary. It surprises me. It's a hell of a lot of work me, and requires a lot of time, especially since English isn't my primary language. I wasn't sure I'd make it this long.

After one year of SKILL MMA, I want to give some credit to those who helped me make it one year.

First is none other than Jordan Breen. I met him just a bit before he started writing for Sherdog. I never thought he'd become famous. I talk a lot with him, and really enjoy improving one another's knowledge about this sport. I must admit, I always want to tell him my viewpoints, because I love this man's passion for the sport. He does a nice job translating my writing. I don't think it's easy: it includes sports, culture, and having to know my thoughts and meanings. He's a professional, so he adds so nice editing to my writing. I couldn't imagine the site's quality without him.

I also want to thank Tony Loiseleur of Sherdog and Daniel Herbertson of Fanhouse. They are both great professionals with great minds. Tony is the heart and soul of Sherdog in Japan, and he's helped advertise my site, too. Daniel is an awesome photographer. Both are helpful when I'm around MMA venues, and I must say they an important part of this site, too.

I want to thank everyone who links to thie site. Bloody Elbow is first major MMA website to link to SKILL MMA. I've always appreciated the quality of the site. Head Kick Legend focuses on the Japanese MMA and kickboxing. They followed me at twitter, and I asked about bout mutual linking. I thank them for the opportunity. MMA For Real is a North Carolina MMA website. I realized they mention my twitter, so I asked them about a mutual link exchange. Tokyo and North Carolina get linked via MMA. How great is that?

I don't think I' the most knowledgeable MMA writer, but I think I can still contribute unique pieces. Generally, English language MMA writers haven't impressed me. That doesn't mean they aren't good writers per se, or not knowledgeable. However, there is a large focus on pro- or anti- opinion and editorial writing in the MMA media. Writing opinions about organization's business or what martial arts are "best" aren't interesting writing.

With this site, I've used my words to examine traditional martial arts in MMA, pro-wrestling's effect on MMA, the history of Machida karate and so on. I choose topics like this because I want there to be a diversity in MMA discussion, a uniqueness that fits the most chaotic and culturally hybrid sport in the world. MMA is a combat sport where often power appears to trump skill. However, power exists only in the framework of skill, and the differentiation in these skills is what makes MMA so exciting. That is why this is is called "SKILL MMA".

Expanding that idea, I do feel maybe contemporary MMA is not enough to show all MMA's charms. The Best of Pride is doing good ratings on Spike. Why? Well, you could say that casual fans don't realize that quality fights ever happened outside the UFC, but I don't think that's it. Pride allowed knees to the head on the ground, soccer kicks, and stomps. These rules allowed more freedom, and made different fight structures and strategy. These fights had their own charm, just as fights under the Unified Rules.

Many say that MMA's rise in Japan owes a lot to Kazushi Sakuraba, but I would also add that it's not just about Sakuraba himself. Sakuraba showed MMA could be innovative, while being easy to understand for a casual audience. I love to see those sorts of moves I think just short video clips from that early era created many now-lifelong MMA fans, before "The Ultimate Fighter" ever started.

Pride's rules were unordinary, and might offer ammunition for an opponent of the sport. But MMA, or fightsport in general, are not made with social justice in mind. That is part of the reason why the sport has become cool for young people. The MMA community is filled with individuals behaving anti-socially, and many become more popular for that reason. Consciously or unconsciously, that behavior gets supported. I'm never surprised that the MMA media makes a big deal out of Nick Diaz or War Machine, even if it's immature.

This is all why I try to introduce unordinary subjects about MMA. I don't always give my opinion, but often want to give information, viewpoints and stories from others. Putting those stories together is my work, I leave it up to others to create their own views and opinions.

I'm not sure how often I'll write in this second year, but if you want to help this site continue, please sponsor, donate, or link to the site.

Lastly, I need to thank the biggest part of this site: you. I thank everyone for reading this site, and motivating me to continue.

Big thanks to Jordan Breen for English and editing.

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