Monday, March 21, 2011

UFC Competitor Fights Crime

We see so many examples of bad press that MMA fighters get, so it’s time to give some well-deserved kudos, too.


Jon Jones, trainers halt robber in New Jersey hours before UFC 128 title fight

Hours before the biggest fight in his young mixed martial arts career, Jon "Bones" Jones and his trainers Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn subdued a robber in northern New Jersey.

The three were en route to a waterfall to meditate when they noticed a man breaking into a car and stealing items from the vehicle. They yelled at the man and he took off running, and all three ran after him. Jones caught up to him first, and according to Jackson in comments made to Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole, Jones "foot swept" the man to get him to the ground.

A great story of either a bad guy being in the wrong place at the right time, or of some heroics from an unlikely source: the much-maligned MMA fighter! Watch this interview:

Jon Jones, trainers halt robber in New Jersey hours before UFC 128 title fight

Some observations here, in no particular order:

  1. These guys didn’t beat the hell out of the suspect, but used appropriate force to detain him – not your stereotype of MMA.
  2. They had the conditioning to chase down the bad guy, probably far more than the larcenist had.
  3. It could have gone down differently if the guy was armed (always a risk), and we should all consider it when deciding to intervene in a crime in progress. There is always the risk of injury, death, or damages via lawsuit, so be careful. Personally, if there’s a rape or assault and battery in progress, I’m going to probably jump in there and take my chances, but a property crime is less likely to get me in there. You make your own call. That said, we should always be glad that someone’s willing to stick his neck out for others.
  4. What??? “The three were en route to a waterfall to meditate…” Uh, are you sure these were mixed martial arts guys? Breaks the stereotype in half, at least, doesn’t it?
  5. I have participated in debates about MMA, and one of the knocks on it has consistently been that MMA fighters are undisciplined thugs (OK, no one ever went that far, but it’s an exaggeration only by a little), and have no respect for the arts which make up their “mix.” My argument is that, yes, there is a fair amount of dorkish/caddish/loutish behavior in MMA, but I have seen the same in “traditional” martial arts tournaments, and that will definitely take place anytime you are talking about competition at a high level, especially when hundreds of thousand of dollars are at stake. How could we expect MMA to be different? It’s a sport.
  6. We have also discussed (in the martial arts blogging community) the efficacy of MMA in self defense situations, as opposed to traditional arts, and this should be included in those discussions. In the story, all of the skills that a good police officer should use were employed, takedown, nullification of striking, then restraint. Those skills, along with the incredible conditioning that all combat athletes have, plus the striking skills will make any MMA fighter a force to be reckoned with in a self-defense situation. Add to that mix that MMA fighters are used to falling, getting hit, and reversing position from any grappling range, and you have a formidable self-defense package.

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