Tuesday, February 20, 2007

MMA, another acronym for "TEAM"

By DarthMolen

The concept of "team" in boxing, wrestling, and MMA is not a new concept, contrary to popular belief. The IFL, a new Mixed Martial Arts organization, is not introducting a revolutionary concept that is breaking all the paradigms. The team concept has been there all along and the general public just doesn't know about it.

Collegiate wrestling very much uses a team concept to fight their tournaments, called "Dual Meets". Two schools or teams come together to compete and the individual matches add up to a team score. The team with the highest score at the end of the day win the Dual Meet. This is an overt example of team work. Although the individual fights are mano-a-mano, the overall outcome is team scored.

Boxing and MMA, other than the IFL, are examples of covert team events. These athletes don't work in a vacuum. They have "teams", gyms, and dojo's that they work out in. America's Top Team, Team Quest, Miletich Fighting System, are all teams that the MMA promoters uses to draw their fighters from for the events. These teams work towards a common goal, winning. These fighters have training partners, sparring partners, nutritionists, coaches, doctors, chiropracters, spouses, significant others, psychologists, etc. that tune these fighters to win fights. They work in concert and you can bet that although the individual joe schmoe isn't keeping track of the score, the different teams sure are because the more wins their fighters garner, the more people flock to those teams and want to pay for their services.

The IFL, on the other hand, is the first MMA promoter to publicly acknowledge and institutionalize the concept of "Teams". They have worked all these gyms and systems into their business model and their game plan and brought them to the forefront for the fans to find out and participate in. It allows for public identification of the systems that have been in the background pulling the strings all along. That doesn't make them revolutionary, just evolutionary.

Either way you look at it, MMA is a team sport. The world-at-large just hasn't acknowledged it yet.


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