‘Iron Lady’ turns attention to MMA …Mixed martial arts encroaches Namibian shores
Carlos Kambaekwa Windhoek-Despite her relative pocket size population, Namibia is fast becoming the preferred hub for potential investors in many areas of human development. South African company Fightstar Promotions has teamed up with local female boxing promoter Anita Tjombe, of Iron Lady Promotions, to set up and introduce a new sporting discipline, known as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) The two partners have undertaken to work closely with giant local groceries retail Woermann Brock to implement and grow MMA in Namibia. “MMA is growing hugely around the globe and we have developed more athletes in South Africa but it’s always important for us to look at the grassroots level. “We need to establish an international body in Namibia and given the popularity and strength of boxing in Namibia, we are quite confident to pull it off,” said Fightstar’s Grant Oliff during the well-attended launch in Khomasdal, yesterday. His equally enthusiastic business partner Shawn Tylor added that they are eyeing to have Mixed Martial Arts incorporated in the quadrennial multi-sports Olympic Games by 2028. “Our immediate objective is to train local coaches and construct proper structures because we must have proper guidelines in place that would propel athletes to the pro ranks,’ MMA is a full-contact combat sport allowing both striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from other combat sports and martial arts. The first documented use of the term ‘mixed martial arts’ was in a review of UFC 1 by television critic Howard Rosenberg in 1993. The term gained popularity when newfullcontact.com, then one of the largest websites covering the sport, hosted and republished the article. During the early 20th century, various mixed-style contests took place throughout Japan, Taiwan and in nations of the Four Asian Tigers. In 1980, CV Productions, Inc. created the first regulated MMA league in the United States of America, named Tough Guy Contest, later rechristened “Battle of the Super Fighters”. The company sanctioned 10 tournaments in Pennsylvania. However, in 1983 the Pennsylvania State Senate passed a bill prohibiting the sport. Originally promoted as a competition to find the most effective martial arts for real unarmed combat, competitors from different fighting styles were pitted against one another in contests with relatively few rules. In the intervening years, individual fighters incorporated multiple martial arts into their style. MMA promoters were pressured to adopt additional rules to increase competitors’ safety, comply with sports regulations and to broaden mainstream acceptance of this particular sporting discipline. After the changes were effected, the sport has witnessed increased popularity with a pay-per-view business that rivals boxing and professional wrestling.
2018-02-27 11:03:13 6 months ago