“Stupid, Stupid and Old”: A New Martial Arts Series in America Criticized by Doctors and Politicians. Organizers protect themselves in a special way.
One more blow and she hits the ground. Stunned, he scrambles to his feet, but immediately falls down and makes an uncontrollable skid. She stumbles across the stage for a few more moments, and with the support of her supervisor, she gives up. “A terrible experience,” Courtney Olson would later say. He slapped his face and knocked. A perfectly legal one.
What we already know from YouTube videos from some Russian backroom is suddenly a sporting phenomenon in prime time in America: slapping contests. The series of matches is called “Power Slab” which is broadcast live on pay TV and people pay for it. It is organized by the martial arts series Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). This form of mixed martial arts was once based on boxing or kickboxing and became a huge commercial success.. Despite the immense brutality – or precisely because of it.
Slapping is bad: Unlike in UFC or boxing, fighters are exposed to a blow to the head without protection. They can’t defend themselves, they can’t fend it off, they can’t duck or otherwise block it, but they have to accept it immovably when it strikes. Helmets or caps with pads are not permitted. The only protection for the brain is the skull.
The rules are Spartan: One takes turns placing his palm on the other’s cheek. Fighters have 30 seconds to attack and another 30 seconds to recover. Fights are decided by knockout or by jury decision after three to five shots. There are four weight classes.
Courtney Olson took less than a minute to knock out Sheena Bathory. “I left immediately. Lights out,” the 41-year-old bodybuilder and fashion entrepreneur told the New York Times. Her first match was also her last. We want to leave you with a video of it.
The debut of “Power Slab” a few weeks ago has sparked a debate among the American public about the sense and stupidity of this new game. “What happened to us?” asks the “Times” and characterizes the phenomenon relentlessly: “This is a depiction of pure punishment, created only for television ratings, video views and money, money and more money. What’s next? People running from a tank for fun?”
The first death has already occurred
Leading doctors are also concerned. ‘What a silly game, stupid and archaic. This game is not compatible with our intelligence as humans. There is a high chance that you will die or suffer catastrophic brain damage from these blows,” well-known neurologist Bennett Omalu calls for a ban. In 2021, Pol Artur Walczak actually died in a match in his home country. A bear of a man – still not strong enough.
Omalu, an American doctor, has made a name for himself in the sports world after examining the brains of former professional football players and revealing that multiple blows to the head caused long-term damage. His work led the professional football league the NFL to agree to $765 million in compensation for thousands of former players. Omalu’s work was recognized in the 2015 film Concussion starring Will Smith.
“Don’t watch if you don’t like it. Nobody’s forcing you to.”
UFC president Dana White
Organizers of “Power Slab” are responding to growing criticism with remarkable clumsiness. Already unsqueezable UFC president Dana White says: “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Nobody’s forcing you to do it. Do you hate it? Look at ‘The Voice’! People had to get used to other martial arts.” It’s true that UFC fighter Conor McGregor is one of the most popular martial artists today. UFC is available as a video game from the world renowned manufacturer EA Sports.
But political opposition is building against the chamber. Two members of the US Congress are currently preparing efforts to stimulate public debate. The aim is to prevent such occurrences. For now, the “Power Slab” continues: Saturday evening, the heavyweight finals went up.
David returned Thamedia is the Vice President of Sports and has been writing about sports since 2000. His areas of expertise are football, gymnastics and American sports.More info