As a martial arts instructor, I have found the growing popularity of the UFC and MMA on a whole to be really helpful in marketing and heck, just talking about my martial arts. People know what Kick boxing is, or what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu means. When I say Judo, I don’t receive nearly the amount of blank stares I used to get.
I read an article in Black belt magazine where Bill “Superfoot” Wallace said that MMA was a fad that would burn out soon. Of all the old martial arts greats, I tend to agree with Superfoot the most. However on this issue, it sounds like traditional martial artist denial. During the 1980s when the ninja craze hit, everyone was jumping on the ninja band wagon. Ninja turtle rip off logos were seen in dojos, everyone was teaching swords, nunchaku, and sai, even if their martial art didn’t include them. But MMA is different. It didn’t try to simply market itself to kids and nerds. It tried to get the respectability of boxing, with the mystic of martial arts. It wasn’t enough to get Tiger Claw and Century to sponsor things it worked to get sponsors outside of the martial arts world. It even recruited fighters from outside the martial arts world! It created an environment that made adults want to watch and kids dream of participating. More after the jump