"Come in Moon Base Alpha" or My Response to Dave Begel's MMA Rant
My name is Scott Joffe and I am Duke's partner in Duke Roufus MMA Academy and Gladiators Fighting LLC (producers of live MMA events).
I have to say at first I was upset when I read what Dave Begel had to say on OnMilwaukee.com about his first experience watching MMA on television (Really?? First?? Living in a cave on the Moon Mr. Begel??). I had no intention of responding, however I will admit I cringed a bit while trying not to laugh too hard. That was some very bad writing to say the least.
Like MMA or not, NOTHING Mr. Begel wrote made any sense. The more I read it, the less sense it makes. Let me try reading it backward or in a mirror, that might be the secret, not sure...??
If he was trying to be serious, he wasn't. If he was trying to be funny, he wasn't. If he was trying to provide factual information to back up his opinion, he didn't. I read all of the responses and postings to his rants, thankful to see that over 95% of them were POSITIVE. I was proud of what MMA fans had to say, proud they voiced their opinions so passionately, and proud the reality is they got the facts right, and it was at this time that I realized why I am so passionate about the sport and people involved in MMA.
- Note to all OMC executives, writers and staffers:
1) More of your readers than you probably ever imagined enjoy watching, training and competing in Mixed Martial Arts.
The students I come in contact with everyday in our school (that you so casually lumped into a pile with "thugs") include (you asked for this Mr. Begel, so here goes sir...) decorated police officers, sheriffs, firemen, members of all branches of the Military, including the United States Coast Guard and National Guard (all who would lay their LIFE on the line for you at a moments notice Mr. Begel), teachers, students, laborers, librarians, doctors, lawyers, members of the media (people who do what you do, but FACT CHECK everything first), extremely prominent sports celebrities, business owners, developers, pharmacists, etc...
The list goes on and on Mr. Begel, but I will stop now as I think others (not you) get the point. You are, however, free to refer to these people simply as "thugs." I hope you never need their help or encounter them as you have no confidence in them, or our future, as you wrote. What will you do?? Kind of reminds me of the movie "Crash" in a way;
2) MMA enthusiasts are much, much more intelligent, well adjusted and gainfully employed than Mr. Begel could have ever imagined.
Knowing many MMA participants with college degrees (and double degrees, masters degrees, executive positions, etc...) and others just trying to make their way through life and stay on the right side of the tracks, I felt especially insulted for these people who are working so hard in achieving some lofty long term goals in life and MMA is their "Fortress of Solitude." They are far from thugs participating in an "abomination" as you call our sport.
As well, MMA offers all people a chance to get in shape without competing, or a chance to train hard for a pro career at the top (many of whom live and train in Wisconsin) and make real money.
Everyone knows Martial Arts changes lives in a positive manner. All of the MMA school owners that I personally know, which is many, only want one thing for their students. They want them and their lives to be affected in a positive way by their experience training, and competing if they choose to go that route.
Now that Martial Arts is finally "real" and you can watch excellent Boxing skill combined with the 700 year old national sport of Thailand, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do, Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling, Grappling and even Pankration (the original "MMA" in the original Olympics,... where have you been Mr. Begel??) amongst many other styles, you want to outlaw fighting Mr. Begel?? It's way older than you and it's now on HD everywhere you look, I guess even as you channel surf in your Moon cave, as you just discovered "Watson."
Seriously, as a "journalist" (What are you really?? Muckraker?? Bored?? Both??) who looks to be taken seriously, what do you read Mr. Begel? Where do you get your news and information? Really. Seriously. The Bedrock Times?
You seem to enjoy other sports so for one moment I will assume the Moon gets ESPN or other major sports networks. Did you ever wonder for one second what "MMA" means when it scrolls along on the bottom ticker and then some news about MMA follows? Ok, maybe you've been at this for so long you gave up being inquisitive on selective issues (from the looks of your writing about MMA you did).
Again however, you are free to write and believe whatever you want. Only I know the truth first hand, and you don't;
3) And finally, when an MMA fan or participant is challenged by a completely uninformed, out-of-touch OMC "writer" they respond in kind, by writing back. Most real, straight up "thugs" can't write and are probably not on the Internet (and definitely not on the Moon so what are you so worried about Mr. Begel in the first place??).
I didn't see any challenges to a meeting with Mr. Begel in a cage, ring, alley or lion's den. MMA proponents answered him within the same uncaged boundaries of his cyberspace attack on MMA and it's participants . . . online.
The "thugs" (as Mr. Begel calls them) responded with a cyber beatdown of their own, using accurate information provided by recognized and respected universities and studies, that consistently showed regulated MMA to be much safer than Boxing (which makes sense, considering the additional chances a Boxer may get to continue in a bout), Football (which I love), Hockey (which I wish I could play) and Soccer (which I never played, but should).
They also schooled Mr. Begel on a few other issues he was clueless on, as well. I thought it was nice of the MMA community to try and educate (help) Mr. Begel, as is their nature.
People who know me, know I stand up 200% for your right as an American to say/post whatever you want about anything you want, and yes, others do not have to read it if they do not want to or ever visit OMC again for that matter, as other readers have suggested to MMA fans (Note to OMC: not a good solution if you want to retain readers and get new ones...!!).
However, putting the title "Is MMA fighting the end of the world as we know it?" on your front page was very sensationalistic (National Enquirer/Star yes) for starters. Then we find this thing (MMA) that was so "new" to Mr. Begel isn't new at all, as we have been correctly informed.
As well, bash MMA now all you want, it's already been done Mr. Begel here on Earth years ago. Fans and participants are flocking in droves to the sport and there is no turning back. A regulated state is a safe state and it's sweeping the nation.
The sport is not going away in any of our lifetimes. Participants will always gravitate to the states where it's regulated, safe and allowed and the sport will only continue to grow and grow.
The end of the world, if it comes from the hand(s) of a human, does not come from MMA sir. No, it will be much more violent than MMA could ever hope to be. MMA is the least of your worries with countries like North Korea and Iran rattling around. But the Moon has no North Korea or Iran (right??) so you're safe, I assume. Let me ask the "thugs." I'll get back to you on that one... maybe.
All the best,
Scott JoffePartnerDuke Roufus Academy LLCGladiators Fighting LLC