The right to fight

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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Group hopes to legalize UFC-style fighting

Kevin Young hopes to stage professional mixed martial arts fights in Newfoundland and Labrador. Such bouts are currently against the law. Photo by Geraldine Brophy/The Western Star

St. John's - Peter Petipas describes himself as a very, very avid lover of mixed martial arts fighting.
That's the kind of combat made popular by Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, as millions know it.
A third-year Memorial University student, Petipas says he spends a lot of cash attending pay per view events to watch these battles.
He also does his fair share of fight training.
"It's fun," he says when quizzed about the appeal.
For several months now, Petipas has been putting in a perhaps not-so-enjoyable effort on behalf of the sport that has him all fanatical.
He has been reworking legislation and attending meetings as he spearheads an initiative to get professional shootfighting - as mixed martial arts is also known - sanctioned as a combative sport in the province.
It's currently illegal, and to change that, he and a committee hope to get the province's Boxing Authority Act amended.
The boxing authority has actually dissolved, and Petipas' group - which includes an experienced sports doctor - wants to take it over it, perhaps under the guise of the provincial wrestling association.
"(Changing the law) will basically let us have any type of pro fight that we want, with the exception of kick-boxing, because they already have their own sanctioning body," he explains.
"We have our proposal done; we have all the amendments to the constitution and Boxing Authority Act, and all that fun stuff. We just have to get it approved by cabinet."
Petipas says that on Wednesday, he has a meeting with an official from Tourism, Culture and Recreation, the department that would examine the proposal and, if suitable, put it in front of the premier and his ministers.
"I just really want to see it come to Newfoundland," the Whitbourne resident says about why a guy in his early 20s is involved in an effort as weighty as trying to change legislation.
If and when the Petipas proposal gets rubber-stamped by cabinet, a mixed martial arts event could happen within months.
Corner Brook promoter Kevin Young hopes to stage King of the Cage - a popular shootfighting set-up that battles in five countries - as soon as possible.
He'd most likely do so in the St. John's area.
"I'm sure it will do good," he says, noting there are a lot of fight fans in the province.
Young actually helped get Petipas involved in the mixed martial arts mission through - what else? - a Facebook site.
It would be a conflict for a promoter to be part of a sanctioning body, so he started the Facebook group, "King of the Cage in Newfoundland?"
Through the now 1,700-plus member site, he asked for someone to take the bull by the horns and try to get the legislation altered.
Petipas joined the group and the muscular MUN student - who is also a varsity wrestler - grabbed the bull.
"He's kind of excited about this coming as well," Young says, showing a masterful knowledge of understatement.
Besides giving fans a chance to see live shootfighting, sanctioning the sport would give aspiring pro pugilists from this province an opportunity to enter the fray, which usually takes place in a multi-sided cage.
Currently, combatants from these parts have to fight elsewhere to test their mixed martial arts mettle.
Giving them a chance to fight here is Petipas' main motivation.
Both he and Young say there are lots of fighters from these parts who want to shootfight for Newfoundland, in Newfoundland. (See sidebar.)
Eight to 10 locals, Petipas says, would take part in inaugural event and be a big part of the draw.
"Who are you going to see?" he asks, before answering. "Some guy that's coming over from Amsterdam you've probably never heard of, or a buddy of yours who you've been drinking with the past five or six years?"
Both Petipas and Young acknowledge that some people are opposed to the sport, but say those against it should actually watch a match before panning it.
"They are looking at the sport kind of as a blood sport, which is the way a lot of people look at it," says Young, noting he has defended shootfighting many times.
"But if you actually watch a sport, especially the ending or even throughout the fight, you get to see a lot of classy gentlemen who are in there showing their athletic abilities, but at the same time, appreciating their opponents. You don't see hatred. You don't see people at the end of the fight hating each other because they lost. You see people hugging. You see them shaking hands. You see them bowing to each other. This is a sport of honour more than blood."
Petipas allows that fights can get bloody, but says that's part of the strategy.
A referee, he explains, will stop a match if someone is bleeding excessively, and some fighters try to win using that method.
Still, Young and Petipas maintain it is a safe sport, where referees and judges ensure the safety of combatants.
Petipas stresses that mixed martial arts is a lot safer than boxing.
"It's more pinpoint accurate," he says. "None of this is like getting hit with a sledgehammer."
A spokeswoman for the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation declined comment on Petipas'' effort.
It would be premature, she said, to speak on the matter before officials receive and go through the proposal.
Ontario, Petipas notes, is the only other province where pro shootfighting events are illegal.
sbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Boxing Authority, Department of Tourism

Geographic location: St. John's, Newfoundland, Whitbourne Corner Brook Amsterdam Ontario

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  • Chris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    I support Petipas in seeking the legalization of shootfighting. As part of a rapidly growing fan base in this province, I can confidently say the sport would be well recieved and attended in Newfoundland. While I possess few of the skills needed to participate in mixed martial arts I will be an avid and dedicated spectator of regular meetings in the St. John's area. People are quick to cite the violence of a sport like shoot fighting, but often turn a blind eye to violence found in other sports like the good ol' hockey game and baseball's bench-clearing brawls. In fact, an athlete is much more likely to be injured in football than shootfighting. Most sports we enjoy have elements of violence, but with the presence of aware and prepared athletes and officials, sports such as mixed martial arts can occur in a safe environment.So Newfoundland public and administrators, please consider legalizing mixed martial arts in this province for the sake of the commited athletes and die-hard fans like myself.

    Note to the editor:
    You may put this in the Letter to the Editor section of the paper.

    • David Teman
      December 24, 2010 - 10:41

      Hi all, I believe that MMA, when practiced by respectful individual is a superbly interesting sport. I have been in the world of martial arts and combat sports for a long time and am happy with the rise of true mix martial arts. I simply hope that more of the traditional MA values will be carried over to that world. We practice Kyokushin Budokai - all around fighting - but keep our karate gis..it's like a mix of kick-boxing, chin-na, judo and BJJ..respectful, useful and fun! http://parc.academie-sportive.com

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    This activity (not a sport) is sick and the people who watch it or participate in it, are even more sick!!!

  • Smiley
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Lets see, Don, if I can answer your questions;
    --How does it add to the enhancement of a civil society? By allowing people to see how far their boddies can take them, by allowing people to find out their capabilities. Thanks to legalized martial arts you find less street fights and those who have something to prove find it better to do it professionally, it makes fighting controlled and safer.
    --How does it teach our children to be more compassionate and empathetic? Have you ever watched a fight? These athletes show great sportsmanship and compassion for thier competitors.
    --What does it tell you about yourself when you say you enjoy seeing people, kicking, punching, and aiming to hurt another human being? I don't enjoy seeing people hurt eachother, and most fans don't either. We enjoy watching to great athletes show thier physical abilities. Just this past weekend we got to see childhood friends fight in the UFC, Franklin and Hammill, both are like brothers to one another.
    --Is it reasonable to argue that we should have another sport that aims to hurt people, because we already have some? No, but is it reasonable to say that we can have one and now allow the other because uneducated people do not understand the sport?
    --If you enjoy watching violence what need are you satisfying, and is that emotionally healthy? I hate violence, but I enjoy watching professional athletes showcasing thier physical abilities and you can't find any more physically fit and hard worked athletes then in professional fighting.
    I understand you have your oppinion, but to me you seem to be uneducated as to what the sport is and what it reperesents. You see it one sided as a biast hater only seeing the negetivity. Tell me then, what do you see, athletically in our society, that you think fits all of your questions? I'll bet you I can find negetives in any answer you give me.
    Don, I would rather you educate yourself, without bias, and then come back with a true and honest answer.

    Thank you
    Smiley :)

  • Aubrey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I know very little about professional shootfighting, but is there even one documented case of a person who is punch drunk from injuries received from shootfighting ? Consider all the punchy former pro boxers who can hardly put a sentence together because their brains have been scrambled from so many head shots.Some people are against shootfighting because of the blood. I watched an NFL game on T.V. several years ago and one of the players was hit so hard that he died on the field. And not a sign of any blood.I wouldn't doubt that there are as many punchy ex football players as there are punchy ex boxers. In the good old hockey game, where concussions are the norm, you have players who continue to play with serious head injuries. Jeremy Roenick continues to play even though he's had 9 concussions. I can't recall ever seeing Roenick bleeding as a result of a hit.

  • Diego
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Mixed Martial Arts is actually much safer than boxing. I believe, if my research and memory serves me correctly, there has been one sanctioned MMA death in like 20 years.. compared to the dozens and dozens of deaths in Boxing, hockey and football. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big football fan, and even a bigger hockey fn, but when professional judges, referees, and fighters assemble for a pro, sanctioned MMA event, all the precautions are taken by all parties involved and the risk factor is very low. The fact that there are aspiring MMA fighters in NL that want to prove how good they are is not going to go away just because the province won't allow for MMA fights. They will simply have to go elsewhere.. There are already many very successful Canadian MMA fighters who are and have been part of the best MMA organization in the world, the UFC, including Jason The Athlete MacDonald and David Leoisaux to name a couple. MMA is a rapidly growing sport and its fan base has grown exponentially over the past few years. I think it would be great for the sport and for the province to open up to something like this. And because there aren't many Canadian Provinces currently allowing it, with the exception of Montreal, this could be a huge opportunity for NL to get some big time players here to display their talents and to promote the sport.

  • Anonymous
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    MMA is a sport and has all the elements of professional safety regulations as other sports. As an avid mixed-martial artist there is nothing better than having sanctioned MMA fights in Newfoundland. All of us young people have to leave the province (is this becoming the norm), to hone our skills and to compete in the sport we love.

    It ios generally accepted that MMA is much safer than boxing and many other combative sports.

    Peter Petipas on the other hand is full of crap. He is no MMA fighter and does not train MMA whatsoever. He is a mediocre wrestler at best. If he wants to help promote MMA fighting in the province fine, but dont lie to the media when so many people know you. It takes more than a few Tae-Kwon-Do lessons and 2 classes at the prestigous Republic Brazilian Jui-Jitsu club to be an MMA fighter.

    I support this endeavour but Petipas should stop spewing his lies to the people.

  • Smiley
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Hey Don, glad to see you take advantage in our right to speak freely. What about the honor of explaining yourself? Why is it sick? And why are those that watch it even more sick? Why is it not a sport? Is Boxing a sport? Please, back up your oppinion, educate me as to why I should not be a fan of this proven SPORT!

  • I.M.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Forget the political arena, maybe this could be where our man Danny and Stephen Harper could sort things out.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    In response to don from NL :

    Don, do you feel Boxing, Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Wrestling (all Olympic events) are also not sports? If so, then you're entitled to your opinion. And, you actually don't even need to read any further because no matter what I may say in response, you will still think any hand-to-hand combat is not a sport and it is sick. And, I can even appreciate and respect your viewpoint. Even though I personally disagree with you. However, if you feel MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is not a sport, but the sports mentioned above are, then consider thinking about this sport in a different light...

    Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and/or Shootfighting is definitely a sport. The athletes in this style of fighting are hard working, dedicated, working on a combination of strength, skill, coordination and focus. Definitely athletes. Many of them have some type of Martial Arts background, such as Judo or Tae Kwon Do. These schools across NL, Canada, North America and the world teach respect and honour to their students all the while teaching some sort of fighting art form. Many of these fighters have respect and honour integrated deeply within their moral values and character. Every once in a while, you will have an instructor or student who loses that philosophy (i.e. the Cuban kickboxer at the Olympics who kicked a referee). For the most part though, these students are very respectful.

    In regards to being a bonified sport or the sickness level of a sport, there is no difference between Boxing, Judo Tae Kwon Do, Wrestling or other hand-to-hand combat sports because it pits your skillset against another person following the same set of rules. There are rules in those sports as well as in MMA. The obvious rules such as each match having a referee that ensures the laws of the sport are followed, medical staff present, gloves and mouth protection pieces are worn, and all the other safety precautions you would see at a similar event. But the other set of rules is the fighting methods used... And this is what makes this newly emerging sport so great.

    The biggest difference between those sports and MMA is the multiple set of rules needed to win a fight now. A fighter needs a certain level of an all-around skillset in order to be able to challenge and win. You have to have a striking game and a ground game - one without the other lessens your chance of winning considerably. A guy may be a world champion at Boxing, but if he ends up on the ground and doesn't know how to fight from the ground, he will most likely lose the match.

    Essentially, MMA is the next evolution of hand-to-hand combat sports because there are more options available to the fighter. You take the best each art form has to offer, from Boxing to Karate and every other fighting form in between to win.

    May I suggest you actually research the sport a little, even watch a couple of events. You will undoutedly realize these people are indeed amazing athletes, skilled, and extremely dedicated to the sport. You may even grow to appreciate the sport and become a fan!

    Of course, if you don't agree with me, you're certainly entitled to do so. I just hope you can also respect my view point and understand my support to changing the law in Newfoundland so shootfighting events can happen in the province.

    Yours truly,
    John Coaker

  • frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    In reply to Don,s remarks..such a judgement of being sick to support such a sport is somewhat redicilous.

    I think Don must,ve played a lot of hopper when he was younger, a dangerous game for kids!! he perhaps became sore when some of his peers poked him in the ribs with a sword made out of a broomstick when he played The Three Meskateers .

    Sports teaches respect and self discipline, and more and more of our youth are participants. Like all other sports there is a risk factor. I had all my teeth knocked out while playing hockey, it didn,t stop me from playing again I got kicked in the shins while running to third base in baseball..This was all a part of the sports, and it doesn,t make me sour , I just go out there and enjoy it more..Much better than playing hopper and button button , who got the button, Don..


    Hang in there good old supporters of the martial arts...

    frank

  • frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Good luck Kevin..I don,t see why we can,t have mixed Martial Atrs in Newfoundland , Montreal has it.

    I,m sure a lot of our bored youth will benefit from it..Again, a lot of great martial art athletics came out of Newfoundland over the years..

    You have my support all the way!!

    Frank

  • Peter
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I couldn't have said it better myself John. I am all for people proving how good they are in a very safe, secure, and controlled environment. I want to make sure that the athletes are protected well, and that people aren't being idiots about fighting. I don't want any Kimbo Slice stuff happening in NL.

    That said, it IS safer than a lot of sports, even wrestling. It is against the rules for anyone under the age of 18 in Canada to cut weight with a garbage bag due to people dying from botched weight loss attempts.

    Also, if you watch a lot of referees, they will stop the fight the SECOND they think the athletes can not properly defend themselves. My key point is Arlovski vs. Buentello for the UFC Heavyweight Title. One shot to Buentello's head, and Big John stopped the fight. Everyone starts booing, but when they did the replay, the shot was so fast and accurate, Buentello was out cold. The refs keep the sport safe, and I see nothing wrong with.

    I want this sport to come to NL, because I feel the athletes that practice it are being robbed of their right to represent their town, and our great province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I want them to be able to say they fight out of St. John's, Corner Brook, Mount Pearl, not Montreal or Edmonton.

    I'm trying my hardest, and will make sure that this happens sooner rather than later.

    Sincerely,
    - Peter Petipas

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I ask those who are looking for more and more violence as entertainment:
    --How does it add to the enhancement of a civil society?
    --How does it teach our children to be more compassionate and empathetic?
    --What does it tell you about yourself when you say you enjoy seeing people, kicking, punching, and aiming to hurt another human being?
    --Is it reasonable to argue that we should have another sport that aims to hurt people, because we already have some?
    --If you enjoy watching violence what need are you satisfying, and is that emotionally healthy?

  • Brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    In response to Don and others who share his view, while I don't particularly care for that kind of entertainment, I also don't like opera, Oprah, country Music or Rap, but unlike Don, I don't think those who do like it are sick.

    We supposedly live in a democratic country, so who gives anyone the right to deny fans of that sport the chance to see it in this province? How bloody two faced we are to ever allow those kind dictatorial decisions be made legal here!

  • Chris
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    I support Petipas in seeking the legalization of shootfighting. As part of a rapidly growing fan base in this province, I can confidently say the sport would be well recieved and attended in Newfoundland. While I possess few of the skills needed to participate in mixed martial arts I will be an avid and dedicated spectator of regular meetings in the St. John's area. People are quick to cite the violence of a sport like shoot fighting, but often turn a blind eye to violence found in other sports like the good ol' hockey game and baseball's bench-clearing brawls. In fact, an athlete is much more likely to be injured in football than shootfighting. Most sports we enjoy have elements of violence, but with the presence of aware and prepared athletes and officials, sports such as mixed martial arts can occur in a safe environment.So Newfoundland public and administrators, please consider legalizing mixed martial arts in this province for the sake of the commited athletes and die-hard fans like myself.

    Note to the editor:
    You may put this in the Letter to the Editor section of the paper.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    This activity (not a sport) is sick and the people who watch it or participate in it, are even more sick!!!

  • Smiley
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Lets see, Don, if I can answer your questions;
    --How does it add to the enhancement of a civil society? By allowing people to see how far their boddies can take them, by allowing people to find out their capabilities. Thanks to legalized martial arts you find less street fights and those who have something to prove find it better to do it professionally, it makes fighting controlled and safer.
    --How does it teach our children to be more compassionate and empathetic? Have you ever watched a fight? These athletes show great sportsmanship and compassion for thier competitors.
    --What does it tell you about yourself when you say you enjoy seeing people, kicking, punching, and aiming to hurt another human being? I don't enjoy seeing people hurt eachother, and most fans don't either. We enjoy watching to great athletes show thier physical abilities. Just this past weekend we got to see childhood friends fight in the UFC, Franklin and Hammill, both are like brothers to one another.
    --Is it reasonable to argue that we should have another sport that aims to hurt people, because we already have some? No, but is it reasonable to say that we can have one and now allow the other because uneducated people do not understand the sport?
    --If you enjoy watching violence what need are you satisfying, and is that emotionally healthy? I hate violence, but I enjoy watching professional athletes showcasing thier physical abilities and you can't find any more physically fit and hard worked athletes then in professional fighting.
    I understand you have your oppinion, but to me you seem to be uneducated as to what the sport is and what it reperesents. You see it one sided as a biast hater only seeing the negetivity. Tell me then, what do you see, athletically in our society, that you think fits all of your questions? I'll bet you I can find negetives in any answer you give me.
    Don, I would rather you educate yourself, without bias, and then come back with a true and honest answer.

    Thank you
    Smiley :)

  • Aubrey
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    I know very little about professional shootfighting, but is there even one documented case of a person who is punch drunk from injuries received from shootfighting ? Consider all the punchy former pro boxers who can hardly put a sentence together because their brains have been scrambled from so many head shots.Some people are against shootfighting because of the blood. I watched an NFL game on T.V. several years ago and one of the players was hit so hard that he died on the field. And not a sign of any blood.I wouldn't doubt that there are as many punchy ex football players as there are punchy ex boxers. In the good old hockey game, where concussions are the norm, you have players who continue to play with serious head injuries. Jeremy Roenick continues to play even though he's had 9 concussions. I can't recall ever seeing Roenick bleeding as a result of a hit.

  • Diego
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Mixed Martial Arts is actually much safer than boxing. I believe, if my research and memory serves me correctly, there has been one sanctioned MMA death in like 20 years.. compared to the dozens and dozens of deaths in Boxing, hockey and football. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big football fan, and even a bigger hockey fn, but when professional judges, referees, and fighters assemble for a pro, sanctioned MMA event, all the precautions are taken by all parties involved and the risk factor is very low. The fact that there are aspiring MMA fighters in NL that want to prove how good they are is not going to go away just because the province won't allow for MMA fights. They will simply have to go elsewhere.. There are already many very successful Canadian MMA fighters who are and have been part of the best MMA organization in the world, the UFC, including Jason The Athlete MacDonald and David Leoisaux to name a couple. MMA is a rapidly growing sport and its fan base has grown exponentially over the past few years. I think it would be great for the sport and for the province to open up to something like this. And because there aren't many Canadian Provinces currently allowing it, with the exception of Montreal, this could be a huge opportunity for NL to get some big time players here to display their talents and to promote the sport.

  • Anonymous
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    MMA is a sport and has all the elements of professional safety regulations as other sports. As an avid mixed-martial artist there is nothing better than having sanctioned MMA fights in Newfoundland. All of us young people have to leave the province (is this becoming the norm), to hone our skills and to compete in the sport we love.

    It ios generally accepted that MMA is much safer than boxing and many other combative sports.

    Peter Petipas on the other hand is full of crap. He is no MMA fighter and does not train MMA whatsoever. He is a mediocre wrestler at best. If he wants to help promote MMA fighting in the province fine, but dont lie to the media when so many people know you. It takes more than a few Tae-Kwon-Do lessons and 2 classes at the prestigous Republic Brazilian Jui-Jitsu club to be an MMA fighter.

    I support this endeavour but Petipas should stop spewing his lies to the people.

  • Smiley
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Hey Don, glad to see you take advantage in our right to speak freely. What about the honor of explaining yourself? Why is it sick? And why are those that watch it even more sick? Why is it not a sport? Is Boxing a sport? Please, back up your oppinion, educate me as to why I should not be a fan of this proven SPORT!

  • I.M.
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Forget the political arena, maybe this could be where our man Danny and Stephen Harper could sort things out.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    In response to don from NL :

    Don, do you feel Boxing, Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Wrestling (all Olympic events) are also not sports? If so, then you're entitled to your opinion. And, you actually don't even need to read any further because no matter what I may say in response, you will still think any hand-to-hand combat is not a sport and it is sick. And, I can even appreciate and respect your viewpoint. Even though I personally disagree with you. However, if you feel MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is not a sport, but the sports mentioned above are, then consider thinking about this sport in a different light...

    Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and/or Shootfighting is definitely a sport. The athletes in this style of fighting are hard working, dedicated, working on a combination of strength, skill, coordination and focus. Definitely athletes. Many of them have some type of Martial Arts background, such as Judo or Tae Kwon Do. These schools across NL, Canada, North America and the world teach respect and honour to their students all the while teaching some sort of fighting art form. Many of these fighters have respect and honour integrated deeply within their moral values and character. Every once in a while, you will have an instructor or student who loses that philosophy (i.e. the Cuban kickboxer at the Olympics who kicked a referee). For the most part though, these students are very respectful.

    In regards to being a bonified sport or the sickness level of a sport, there is no difference between Boxing, Judo Tae Kwon Do, Wrestling or other hand-to-hand combat sports because it pits your skillset against another person following the same set of rules. There are rules in those sports as well as in MMA. The obvious rules such as each match having a referee that ensures the laws of the sport are followed, medical staff present, gloves and mouth protection pieces are worn, and all the other safety precautions you would see at a similar event. But the other set of rules is the fighting methods used... And this is what makes this newly emerging sport so great.

    The biggest difference between those sports and MMA is the multiple set of rules needed to win a fight now. A fighter needs a certain level of an all-around skillset in order to be able to challenge and win. You have to have a striking game and a ground game - one without the other lessens your chance of winning considerably. A guy may be a world champion at Boxing, but if he ends up on the ground and doesn't know how to fight from the ground, he will most likely lose the match.

    Essentially, MMA is the next evolution of hand-to-hand combat sports because there are more options available to the fighter. You take the best each art form has to offer, from Boxing to Karate and every other fighting form in between to win.

    May I suggest you actually research the sport a little, even watch a couple of events. You will undoutedly realize these people are indeed amazing athletes, skilled, and extremely dedicated to the sport. You may even grow to appreciate the sport and become a fan!

    Of course, if you don't agree with me, you're certainly entitled to do so. I just hope you can also respect my view point and understand my support to changing the law in Newfoundland so shootfighting events can happen in the province.

    Yours truly,
    John Coaker

  • frank
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    In reply to Don,s remarks..such a judgement of being sick to support such a sport is somewhat redicilous.

    I think Don must,ve played a lot of hopper when he was younger, a dangerous game for kids!! he perhaps became sore when some of his peers poked him in the ribs with a sword made out of a broomstick when he played The Three Meskateers .

    Sports teaches respect and self discipline, and more and more of our youth are participants. Like all other sports there is a risk factor. I had all my teeth knocked out while playing hockey, it didn,t stop me from playing again I got kicked in the shins while running to third base in baseball..This was all a part of the sports, and it doesn,t make me sour , I just go out there and enjoy it more..Much better than playing hopper and button button , who got the button, Don..


    Hang in there good old supporters of the martial arts...

    frank

  • frank
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Good luck Kevin..I don,t see why we can,t have mixed Martial Atrs in Newfoundland , Montreal has it.

    I,m sure a lot of our bored youth will benefit from it..Again, a lot of great martial art athletics came out of Newfoundland over the years..

    You have my support all the way!!

    Frank

  • Peter
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I couldn't have said it better myself John. I am all for people proving how good they are in a very safe, secure, and controlled environment. I want to make sure that the athletes are protected well, and that people aren't being idiots about fighting. I don't want any Kimbo Slice stuff happening in NL.

    That said, it IS safer than a lot of sports, even wrestling. It is against the rules for anyone under the age of 18 in Canada to cut weight with a garbage bag due to people dying from botched weight loss attempts.

    Also, if you watch a lot of referees, they will stop the fight the SECOND they think the athletes can not properly defend themselves. My key point is Arlovski vs. Buentello for the UFC Heavyweight Title. One shot to Buentello's head, and Big John stopped the fight. Everyone starts booing, but when they did the replay, the shot was so fast and accurate, Buentello was out cold. The refs keep the sport safe, and I see nothing wrong with.

    I want this sport to come to NL, because I feel the athletes that practice it are being robbed of their right to represent their town, and our great province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I want them to be able to say they fight out of St. John's, Corner Brook, Mount Pearl, not Montreal or Edmonton.

    I'm trying my hardest, and will make sure that this happens sooner rather than later.

    Sincerely,
    - Peter Petipas

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I ask those who are looking for more and more violence as entertainment:
    --How does it add to the enhancement of a civil society?
    --How does it teach our children to be more compassionate and empathetic?
    --What does it tell you about yourself when you say you enjoy seeing people, kicking, punching, and aiming to hurt another human being?
    --Is it reasonable to argue that we should have another sport that aims to hurt people, because we already have some?
    --If you enjoy watching violence what need are you satisfying, and is that emotionally healthy?

  • Brian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    In response to Don and others who share his view, while I don't particularly care for that kind of entertainment, I also don't like opera, Oprah, country Music or Rap, but unlike Don, I don't think those who do like it are sick.

    We supposedly live in a democratic country, so who gives anyone the right to deny fans of that sport the chance to see it in this province? How bloody two faced we are to ever allow those kind dictatorial decisions be made legal here!