I was at a bar a couple of months ago getting ready for some UFC action. I had a drink, fries, and a front row seat. My evening was looking to be a good one! After the first couple of fights (and couple of drinks) I was really enjoying myself; as was everyone else. However, the next fight changed everything. Most of the patrons started booing and talking about how lame the fight was. Perhaps I was watching a different fight because I thought it was going really well. So, I turned to the guy next to me and asked why he was booing too. He said, “they’re just dancing around the cage or hugging eachother…. I wanna see some blood!”
At that point I realized I had crossed a bridge that other “newer” fans of the MMA sport had not. Apparently, one can develop a taste for the finer things in MMA. Such as the “boring” fight that was taking place. What was happening in the cage was a beautiful example of an inpass. I was then reminded of a story a friend had told me about one of the greatest Samurai battles. He explained to me how both Samurai stood, unmoving, for days. Each one could sense the others moves before he could strike. Thus creating an inpass. Both fighters were so skilled in their craft and so equally matched that they simply stood and evaluated their opponent.
The UFC fight was a perfect example of a similar situation. They were equally matched in their striking, ground game, and defense. To the average viewer it seemed as though the two contenders were just holding hands and hugging for 15 minutes. But for me these two “samurai” were putting on a great display of talent. Talent that was so incredible and evenly matched that they appeared to be terrible at their craft. I decided to explain this concept to the man next to me. He listened, stared for a second, and then sat back in his seat. He said to me “sh!t,” chugged some beer, and then started cheering the fighters.