Dana White has a famous adage where he says that fighting is truly universal, crossing borders and language barriers. That’s why there’s MMA fighters from every part of the world, each adding their own particular flavor and style to the milieu. Even outside Brazil, the US and Japan, the hubs of the sport, you can still find schools and people training hard. We’ve had international visitors here in our school in New York from Poland, Japan and Ireland among others. Every day, the sports gets bigger, with more and more people everywhere participating in it.
Our MMA school in NYC is one of many all around the world. From Poland to Singapore, from BJJ academies in Rio, to our own MMA gym here in New York, people everywhere are participating in, discussing and playing the combat sports we practice. Most of those folks practicing aren’t trying to be professional fighters or athletes, they’re normal people with day jobs and families. They’re men and women who are passionate enough about combat sports to put their spare time in training and in thinking about training.
As I talked about in an earlier blog article, the internet allows us to connect with these martial artists. We can talk about the intricacies of a certain technique or about the result of a fight with people from across the world. It’s why the internet is such a valuable resource. We can share tape and debate styles, merits of technique and rules with many, many voices. Admittedly, some of those voices aren’t the best contributors, but like anything else, it’s a matter of discerning what’s valuable and what’s not.
Because the martial arts we practice can be participated in without needing rigid adherence to a particular form, you can go almost anywhere in the world and be able to roll or jump into a kickboxing class without being completely lost. Sure, the etiquette and philosophy at other gyms might be slightly different, but rolling is universal; the biomechanics of throwing a punch or throwing a kick are universal.
Furthermore, there’s something about combat sports that brings out a friendliness in people. If you haven’t had the chance, the next time you’re on vacation, you should stop by a gym wherever you are. I’m willing to bet that the school will let you come in, pay a mat fee and train. Every time I’ve traveled I’ve been able to find a gym that I can drop in on and take a class or roll. You can find BJJ and MMA everywhere you go. Some of the friendliest people I’ve met have been BJJ players or MMA practitioners. The alive nature of BJJ and MMA allow us to speak through physicality that transcends language, and in the shared struggle of getting better and sparring, we are better able to build connections with one another.
We have some of that international flavour here too, because we’re a New York MMA school. We have people from all walks of life, from all sorts of places from the Australia to the Philippines here at Ronin Athletics. That’s actually one of the things that we pride ourselves on here, having a really diverse group of students who are friends with one another and who help one another to improve.
Here at Ronin Athletics, we’re affiliated with Brasa, a large BJJ organization that has dozens of schools all across the world. As part of that affiliation, we’ll be hosting Felipe Costa, an extremely highly decorated BJJ blackbelt, this June. He’s traveled the world, building the Brasa association, and spreading BJJ across the world. It’s an honor for us to have such a highly regarded and talented teacher come through, and you should all take the opportunity to train with him.