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What's the News with Mixed Martial Arts in Ontario?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

At the beginning of the 20th century, fighters developed a combat style that is now called Mixed Martial Arts. The rules of the fight allow a variety of fighting techniques to be used in one match. Therefore, martial artists with varying skillsets can fight each other in the ring. This sport is full-contact and its roots can be traced all the way back to ancient Rome.

Lately, health professionals had something to say about this on the Canadian Medical Association's general annual meeting. The majority of the doctors voiced their belief that this sport should best be outlawed. They simply argue that MMA is a dangerous sport with a large probability of injuries – much larger than it is in boxing for example.

The British Medical Association (BMA) also presented their worries regarding MMA in Januray 2009 and are actively campaigning to ban MMA in Britain. They, too, argue that the sport is often very violent and brutal. For more info see BMA's entire official statement here.

Dr. Ian Gillespie thinks that "MMA fighting, like boxing, is distinct from many other sports in that the basic intent of the fighter is to cause harm in order to incapacitate his or her opponent." Then he adds that the "various techniques […] aren't limited to punching, and there may be the presence of fewer safety rules."

MMA (25507)

MMA by cotton_man

In an article from the opposite camp, WatchKalibRun.com presents their take on the British Medical Association's arguments. They note that there are limited or no statistics available from the British and point to a US study, hinting that numbers of injuries and knock-out rates in Mixed Martial Arts are very similar to those of other such sports.

The Hamilton Spectator talked to two to find out what they have to say about the issue. Less protection which makes fighting more is a preeminent point. Also, the referees are less strict plus there are looser regulations in general. Unlike in box, the strikes are not aimed at the head and torso in MMA, which can bring about more kinds of injuries, although it could decrease the prominence of head injuries specifically. Both professionals are calling for a unification of regulatory procedures in the whole of Canada instead of having different regulations in every province.

Isn't it strange that the Canadian doctors rise up now? It is because only recently (in the middle of August 2010), Ontario province government finally decided to make MMA legal in this province. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warrior One (W1) already prepared business plans aiming to develop the sport in some of the largest cities and even some smaller ones. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty finally stepped out of his comfort zone to sign the law after long negotiations and much thought, but wants close scrutiny of all events and adherence to all the rules, according to Toronto Sun.

Nonetheless, doctors are not happy that there is a lack of trained professionals at the matches. They say that even if there were, it would be unbearable for them to powerlessly watch the ongoing injuries with a clear conscience. Traditional martial artists are displeased that MMA denies the original values of the old martial arts which lie in respect, self-control, courtesy and discipline.

According to CTV, Dr. Shelby Karpman rises his finger saying that due to the sport's popularity, outlawing it is likely result in the fighting taking place 'underground'. However, health supervision would not be enforceable and for those reasons the fighters would receive less professional care. This equals even greater risk.

Therefore, it seems that if MMA itself cannot be banned, it should at least be officially regulated and adherence to rules should be controlled. This means that there should be reasonable medical care; licensing, insurance and preventive measures should be enforced during every match.

Extreme sports such as MMA are a separate chapter of life insurance; not every insurer will even want to sell you coverage. Those who will are absolutely going to make you pay a much higher premium. The final price is going to be based on the nature of your sport. A combat fighter must familiarize him or herself with any exclusions and caveats in the policy agreement and should not sign up for any but licensed events. Illegal fighting may destroy your chances of ever making a claim on your policy.

But life insurance alone is not sufficient. This is because a fighter will likely severely harm his or her opponent and will therefore be liable for all damages. And so, it is a good idea that each fighter has liability insurance of his or her own. For liability insurance, it also holds true that the fight should be part of a supervised and licensed venue and is subject to any exclusions.



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