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November 29, 2007

Year of the Ultimate Fighter

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is big this year. It landed the covers of Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine last summer, and the UFC program is very popular on cable Spike TV and is shown in more than 30 countries worldwide.

The UFC is a fighting tournament of mixed martial arts with a limited number of rules, or “no holds barred” bouts between the fighters. The spectacle of what some call “human cock-fighting” can be controversial because of its violence, but because of its popularity one can’t deny that many (me included) find a thrill n the brutality of the sport.

Whether you like this extreme sport or not, I thought this is a good object lesson of what Paul wrote in 1 Tim 6:12, that fighting a good fight of faith is an absolute must for us Christians. Our mission is to advance the kingdom of God against the world and our self-seeking heart. We are called to fight a brutal battle with our main opponent, Lucifer, and our ultimate fighting weapons are prayer, the holy Word, faithfulness and love. What a good lesson to ponder on today. Not all fights are bad after all.

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I appreciate that Jason would share his interest in this phenomenon in our culture and attempt to connect it to a larger truth like "fighting the good fight."
However...and I say this lightly, even casually, as if I were speaking to my own son...there is something very artificial, very contrived and very untrue when we feed our appetites with the brutal, the grotesque, the pornographic or the base even, or especially, when it is "popular."
Yes, we should be ready to defend family, faith and freedom and this should include physical training in many forms. But I believe we compromise our overall mission whenever we indulge or embrace ANY part of the culture that subsists on appeals to the base, the purient, the brutal, etc.



Jason Taylor

Possibly-I'm not going to give a judgement on such sports. I think they are often vulgar but like war movies so there you are.
However one does not have to approve to draw lessons. Jesus was hardly approving of Unjust Judges.

Jason Bruce

Thanks for the insights. I know my example is extreme and all of you made good points. My wife is one of many who's disgusted with the sport and told me that it glorifies violence unlike the other contact sports. She did ask me if I can stop watching it on TV.

jason taylor

As for your wife-that's women for you.
Seriously, many things are hard to judge and have no definite word in scripture for it.
As for "glorifying violence", that phrase is vague and needs clarification. It might be phrased "glorifying prowess". If it was violence as such that was glorified we would be watching torturers not atheletes.
Nontheless Paul did say that him who is not offended should give way to the one who is if interests conflict.
But that is your business.


I'm very much involved in karate. I take a karate style that is a mix of (I know I'm butchering the spelling) go-jo-ru, shoto kan, and kilko shyn-ki. I get asked a lot if I do full contact or anything "like you see on tv, like UFC." or even if I do cage fighting. My response is always that I take karate so I won't end up in a situation like that.

If you're interested in spiritual applications of martial arts check out my school's organization at http://abkakarate.com/.

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