It’s on the minds of many in the MMA world.
Some love it, some hate it, but… it sure looks interesting.
Have you seen this trailer for the upcoming MMA-themed documentary, Fight Church? If not, give it a look:
The documentary seeks to profile the confluence of Christianity and Mixed Martial Arts. Some big names are featured, including reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson. Some very unusual approaches to Christianity are featured, including ministries which train fighters, and bouts between pastors.
The buzz about the trailer, and the film which is said to be coming later this year, has been mixed.
Looking around other sites, I’ve seen bitter rebuttals of the idea of religion even being mentioned in the context of MMA.
In particular, I’m seeing the claim that MMA has no place among those who would preach to “turn the other cheek” or preach of “peace” as, they say, Christians as called to do.
Me? I’m not so sure.
Granted, the idea of pastors fighting one another and making a ministry out of MMA training is a little foreign to me.
But, it seems to work for some. Last year, Caged Insider told the story of the Ostovich family, which has made both MMA and Christianity a family tradition. It seems to be working well for them on both fronts. (In fact, shortly after that story ran, Rachael Ostovich was signed to Invicta.)
Sometimes it seems people making these arguments forget that MMA is a sport. It’s an aggressive one, which has its share of risks. It’s not for everyone, sure. But, it’s still a sport. MMA has been incorporated into lots of things you may not have considered, like therapy for veterans with PTSD, as in the case of Todd Vance’s POW program in California.
If it helps people, then I don’t see why anyone has a problem.
Christianity is vast, with many different belief systems involved. I can say with some authority that “turn the other cheek” to a lot of us means that we shouldn’t be motivated by revenge, and to strive to love our enemies.
Competing in a sport wouldn’t seem to conflict with that. Neither does learning to defend yourself and your family; both worthy goals that MMA training may help.
Maybe you bristled at first sight of this trailer. I don’t 100% blame you. But things may be a bit more complicated than you may think. Here’s hoping we keep an open mind.