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Old 06-30-2006, 04:11 AM   #11
Bryan Veis
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My daughter boxes for the Virginia Military Institute boxing team. She loves it, as do the women she boxes against. Maybe the fact that I've been around the martial arts for decades makes me less sensitive than others, but I find it really exciting to go to a boxing show to watch her fight. Collegiate boxing is making a comeback, particularly on the east coast (US). In my opinion, amateur boxing is much more fun to watch than professional boxing any day, and the women, though they are few, are mostly pretty good. You get a lot for your money, too -- some shows run three rings simultaneously and put on as many as a dozen bouts in each ring. It's a full night of entertainment.

Garrett, you're entitled to spend your money on whatever you please, but I think my daughter would tell you that you're being a little overprotective in your views of women and contact sports. Actually, she might put it more crudely; the view that there are some things that women just shouldn't do really sticks in her craw, and VMI cadets can be . . . blunt in expressing their opinions. That being said, I would concede that many people probably agree with your tastes and that there is not a great deal of demand for professional women's boxing, UFC, etc. But the reality is that combat sports are really fringe sports in the United States anyway, at least on a professional level, compared to football, basketball, baseball, and hockey (and maybe even soccer) -- there will never be the kind of money or fan base for any of the combat sports that there is for professional team sports. In individual competitions, the appeal of golf, tennis, and NASCAR hugely outweighs things like boxing and the UFC. Women's combat sports are on the fringe of the fringe -- unfortunate, but true.

Charlie, I spent a lot of time watching women's hockey during the last winter Olympics. Personally, I found it a lot more exciting than, say, watching bobsledding and luge. I don't know what the ratings were for those games, but there was "watercooler buzz" in my office afterwards, so at least a few people watched. We might not be ready for a women's NHL, but that could change -- it wasn't too long ago (what I like to call "the good old days") that there were only 6 teams in the NHL and people from places like Carolina thought icing the puck had something to do with decorating a cake.

I think that there is a little more to the lack of attendance at WNBA games than simple lack of appeal -- the season competes with baseball. Off the top of my head, I don't know how many markets have both major league baseball franchises and WNBA teams, but I think it is most. Fans who support their local NBA franchise during the winter may well be supporting their MLB franchise during the summer. It's really a difficult problem changing consumption patterns when you have an unfamiliar product. Look at the demise of professional women's soccer in the US -- despite having the best women's team in the world, they were unsuccessful in maintaining a professional league for women; on the men's side, MLS still struggles (at least until recently -- I haven't looked at the numbers for a while), and it is, I think, the third attempt at a professional US soccer league. The reason is that soccer is still somewhat exotic here. So, I would argue, is professional women's basketball. Placing it in direct competition with a huge established sport like baseball virtually guarantees that it will not get the kind of attendance that the NBA has.
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:03 AM   #12
Fiona Muxlow
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Ellen made a few good points.
"The pool of talent for each weight class is pretty small still."
The numbers are slowly growing when i was in Japan earlier this year i got to train at a gym the where 3 of the "Smack Girl" fighter where there as well as a few other girls. But in Australia the numbers are very limited. Often weight classes/belts are combined I remember a comps where the lighted girl i fought was 55 kg and the largest girl was 114kg, i was about 65kg at the time. I actaully gave up competing BJJ for 3 years partly due to not having higher level girls to compete against. And partly due to focusing on my standup.

At the BJJ comp I went to last month, my first in 3 years i couldn't even get a match with another female,(i flew 2 hours to get there) and ended up competing in the male division just to get a roll.And its not the first time i've done that.Yes its an up ill battle and many girls often drop out because they have no role modles to aspire to or don't see other females competing.

"I'd guestimate the M/F ratio at my school to be around 50/1." The school i train at has a little better ratio BJJ is probably 10/2 and the knockdown karate is probaly 20/5. But our girls fight hard, no quater is given for being a girl, just for your size. A few times i have herd new guys come into the club and not want to roll or spare with the girls,because they "don't want to be beaten by a girl" these guys either don't come back or decide that if they are getting their butt kick by a 5 foot something female there must be something in it and stick with it and end up becoming top guys......sound familier.

Another reason that guys/caoches often have a problem with girls fighting is they have had no experice with it. The"new" boxing coach at our gym ( he's actaully an older guy how has trained both pro-fighter and commonwealth games boxers, and is a great coach) is training his first female fighter, initally he was worried about her sparing,but my self and one of ther other karate girls have become her sparring partners, We have educated him on the finer points of the chest guard and now he is happy with her sparring.The reason he was worryed was nothing to do with her, it was his own lack of experice in the subject.

Women who perserve in MMA now will pave the way for the girls who are to follow.And while it my never be as popular as male MMA it will always be there hopefully not way out on the fringe.

And hey, if any one is looking for a 150lb female MMA fighter Im willing :-)

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Old 06-30-2006, 05:50 PM   #13
Anthony Cecil
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And Amanda is an excellent example of a fighter who competes in both Grappling and MMA. I enjoyed seeing your last SG fight against Yabu****a!

For those who don't know:

While it is true that "most people" don't like to see women's combat sports, "most people" also don't get CrossFit, either. Much of our discomfort in seeing what we think is violence in sport is because of our culture's tradition of violence against women. However, one of the solutions to this misogyny is in empowering women to be highly-skilled fighters.

Saying that:

'Watching violence committed against women (even by women who "ask" for it in the ring/cage) leaves me with a sick stomach.'

...reminds me of the 18th century when women weren't supposed to exercise. Read "The Frailty Myth" by Colette Dowling. Human females are as capable physically as males of the species (I am surprised to hear things like this on CrossFit, of all places!) Now, I totally respect that some people don't enjoy watching combat sports in general, but to distinguish between men and women is archaic in my view.

On a positive note, amongst educated and knowledgable MMA fans there is a much higher interest in women's events compared with the average Spike viewer...
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:05 PM   #14
Matthew Nielsen
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I have a little 105lb female I am training for a Muay Thai fight. She is pretty skilled and is tougher than 90% of the guys in the gym. But, I am still very protective of her and will have to feel 100% confidant that it is a fair match up before I will let her fight.

(Message edited by Matthew Nielsen on June 30, 2006)
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:31 AM   #15
Parker Gates
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Some Smack Girl highlights:

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