Never Tap Out.
Those are the words that I read on the back of someone’s shirt as I left the gym this evening. Then a thought occurred to me. What if I wanted to tap out? Maybe I was in the ring and I felt like being the gentleman. Say for example I was a minimally aggressive non-conforming MMA fighter. Perhaps (while my brains were being purged from my skull) I decided my body could do with a bit of time out. Now if the initial phrase meant nothing to you, it may because you aren’t aware of all the knuckles and fists of MMA. Let me break it down for you…
MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Unlike the name suggests, it has nothing to do with dressing in a white bathrobe and chopping up your opponent in a Bruce Lee-resque fashion. The best way to describe MMA is to think of boxing. If you’re a boxer and you decide you can’t stand the sight of gloves, and your opponent doesn’t bleed enough…chances are that MMA is the sport for you. Let me put it another way…think of men that always wanted to be professional WWE wrestlers but decided that the costumes were to flashy, and the speeches too verbose.
Now what about the “tap out” thingy you mentioned?
What separates MMA from boxing is the specific style used. If you’re boxing you can knock out your opponent by landing enough blows from your fists. If you’re an MMA fighter you’re not limited to fists. In MMA you use a technique called “grappling.” This means you will get the other guy to the ground as fast as possible. Once he’s there, you’ll get him to into either a choke-hold or some other nasty position and win by submission. There’s a rule about this though. If you feel like your body can’t withstand the punishment anymore you reach out and tap the ground twice with a hand. That’s called a “tap out” or “tapping out”.
On the whole I’m terribly uninterested in sport as a guy. Any sport that involves any kind of ball, touchline, racquets, wickets, or beer drinking men gathering around a fire to grill meat and drink more beer, leaves me with a queasy feeling. There are only two types of sport I can watch where I will staple my eyes to the television screen for the duration of the conversation I have with you.
They are MMA, obviously, and motor racing. Anything where you can ride a petrol tank and hurtle down a race track at blistering speeds, gets my blood going. Perhaps it’s the intensity of knowing that these people (MMA fighters and the helmeted gents) are moments away from dying. I’ll let irony speak for itself as I continue to stay engrossed, and slowly quaff away my pint of beer.