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Fascist fight clubs: how white nationalists use MMA as a recruiting tool

Nov 2, 2017
1,413
#1
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/sep/11/far-right-fight-clubs-mma-white-nationalists

The Guardian has an article detailing how MMA fight clubs are proliferating in alt right and facist circles. What I found disturbing was this:

So why are white supremacist groups forming fight clubs and MMA promotions? The answer lies in the violent nature of the sport and their ability to thrive within it. Over the years, fighters with links to the far-right have been involved in some of the world’s most recognizable promotions, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Strikeforce. UFC fighter Donald Cerrone and former fighter Joe Brammer were sponsored by Hoelzer Reich, a far-right brand known for propagating extremist symbols. The brand was banned by the UFC in 2009. Four years later, welterweight Benjamin Brinsa was accused by German media of maintaining ties to extremist groups in his native country, while his gym was accused of sheltering neo-Nazi fighters. He was later released by the UFC before making his official debut but did not struggle to find professional fights in Russia.
I don’t really follow UFC or MMA that closely, but is the sport really infested with right wing extremists?
 
Jun 10, 2018
886
#3
MMA is pretty much a distillation of hypermasculine-obsessed bro culture. Not shocked at all by this. Look who Dana White endorsed for president.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,341
#6
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/sep/11/far-right-fight-clubs-mma-white-nationalists

The Guardian has an article detailing how MMA fight clubs are proliferating in alt right and facist circles. What I found disturbing was this:



I don’t really follow UFC or MMA that closely, but is the sport really infested with right wing extremists?
Honestly, I dunno. I watch every UFC PPV and subscribe to fight pass and I've never heard of this. The only thing I do know is that Trainer and frequent Joe Rogan guest, Eddie Bravo, is an alt-right conspiracy nut and Rogan often has alt-right people on his podcast.

I wouldn't be shocked as I had never even heard that bit about Cerrone before.

edit: Ugh I forgot about Colby Covington.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,199
#7
I don't follow the scene either, but I can imagine that MMA likely attracts a lot of hypermasculine bro types, which probably has a lot of overlap with arrogant attitudes like misogyny and white supremacy.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,898
#8
Just look at Russia. They're all being moulded into loyal fighters promoting nationalism and white supremacy. You fight hard, learn to kill, obey. Throw in some religious cover on top.
 

Swauny Jones

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,388
#10
This is pretty common knowledge when you look at all the indie promotions out there too. It's really power in numbers and you walk into half the gyms and it's pretty noticeable right away. In Canada here it's pretty crazy how bad it is. It's also a big issue in the wrestling scene as well.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,341
#14
This is pretty common knowledge when you look at all the indie promotions out there too. It's really power in numbers and you walk into half the gyms and it's pretty noticeable right away. In Canada here it's pretty crazy how bad it is. It's also a big issue in the wrestling scene as well.
I was going to go learn BJJ just for fun since I'm old AF but this has me thinking twice.
 
Oct 25, 2017
145
#18
Its one of the more diverse sports around- but MMA attracting white supremacist shit bags at the lower levels isn't surprising.

Its strange because the core of MMA derives from Brazil and Japan.
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,638
#19
I share you this interesting essay on how the left ceded the territory of the body to the fascist:

"This is another territory ceded by the Left. The bodies (and the accompanying concerns of the body) of poor and working-class men–unless their maleness can also be shown to intersect with at least one other oppression identity– are all but completely dismissed in American leftist discourse. It should not surprise us, then, that the aesthetic of overt, unapologetic masculinity which Donovan, Waggener, and the Wolves of Vinland celebrate would appeal to those ignored men."

https://godsandradicals.org/2017/06/17/barbarians-in-the-age-of-mechanical-reproduction/
 

Swauny Jones

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,388
#20
I was going to go learn BJJ just for fun since I'm old AF but this has me thinking twice.
Don't let it discourage you. There are still plenty of good places out there to learn and have fun. But for the longest time there have been a ton of gyms run by fascists. You'll know the moment you step into one. You'll notice more if you decide to enter into the competitive scene as well.
 
Nov 12, 2017
15
#21
I was going to go learn BJJ just for fun since I'm old AF but this has me thinking twice.
It's still worth learning if you like martial arts, but most of the martial arts brought over to the West have historically provided safe haven to alt-right types. Just screen your gym and go with your gut. See who walks in and out the doors most often.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,341
#24
Don't let it discourage you. There are still plenty of good places out there to learn and have fun. But for the longest time there have been a ton of gyms run by fascists. You'll know the moment you step into one. You'll notice more if you decide to enter into the competitive scene as well.
Yeah I imagine if I walked in and saw all white faces, that would be a pretty big clue to heal turn and walk out. I was gonna check this one out later in the week. The name alone will hopefully keep alt-right trash away.
Gustavo Dantas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy
 
Oct 27, 2017
252
#26
I was going to go learn BJJ just for fun since I'm old AF but this has me thinking twice.
Learning BJJ can be one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life. From personal experience (In Victoria, Australia mind you) most gyms are absolutely fine in both MMA and BJJ. There are a couple of gyms with toxic cultures, but I can only think of a select few with the problems stated in these articles.

Combat Sports are violent, but they often bring out the best in people. As someone who works in the industry, and has trained in many different places. I have had the pleasure of working with so many kids who have used the sport to better themselves as people.

Furthermore, there are many coaches and gyms who simply won't tolerate this kind of behaviour.

Granted, I can only speak for my own experience in Australia. It is probably very different elsewhere.
 

Swauny Jones

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,388
#27
Yeah I imagine if I walked in and saw all white faces, that would be a pretty big clue to heal turn and walk out. I was gonna check this one out later in the week. The name alone will hopefully keep alt-right trash away.
Gustavo Dantas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy
It's not so much about all white faces being in there. it's more about demeanor and temperament. You pick up on things and certain biases. That's why it's always great to see how receptive they are to you joining and to take advantage of the 3 to 7 day trial some gyms offer for newbies.
 
Oct 31, 2017
1,785
#28
I share you this interesting essay on how the left ceded the territory of the body to the fascist:

"This is another territory ceded by the Left. The bodies (and the accompanying concerns of the body) of poor and working-class men–unless their maleness can also be shown to intersect with at least one other oppression identity– are all but completely dismissed in American leftist discourse. It should not surprise us, then, that the aesthetic of overt, unapologetic masculinity which Donovan, Waggener, and the Wolves of Vinland celebrate would appeal to those ignored men."

https://godsandradicals.org/2017/06/17/barbarians-in-the-age-of-mechanical-reproduction/
I want to read this, but from the little I've seen, it makes sense. One of the key parts of progress is the move from biological limitations, to move beyond human beings as simply more-evolved animals, so naturally, the 'traditional human form' and the impact of the human body and physical health and how those things are used in society will diminish overtime. Because they are less necessary in order to propagate, due to the environments humans have been building for themselves.

Rather than purely being at the whims of the natural environment shaping our evolutionary course, human beings are really starting to take control over the forces that would influence evolution (I.E. contraceptives, abortion, artificial insemination, plastic surgery, body modification, etc. etc.)
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,199
#29
hot take: MMA is dangerous trash and should be banned
I disagree with that. At its core, MMA is a field that tries to find a practical application of martial arts. A lot of martial arts focus on one thing or another in a way that leaves them with weaknesses, and MMA is a good way to merge different martial arts together to investigate how things can be improved.

IMO the problem is that while most martial arts come with a philosophy or discipline that is intended to temper or regulate one's use of the ability to fight people, MMA doesn't really subscribe to that stuff. So MMA is a melting pot that takes all the martial arts skills, but not necessarily the discipline about how to carry that power responsibly. So you get a lot of toxic "lol I kicked that guy's ass" or "might makes right" type attitudes that run unchecked in MMA, when they would normally get stamped out fast by any martial arts instructor in a more traditional environment.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
832
#30
It might have been a problem earlier in the UFC's history and still active in a lot of the smaller regional promotions, but a lot of the larger promotions won't have anything to do with it in recent years.

Srikeforce fighter released and had his license revoked after they found out he was a Nazi pedophile:
https://www.mmamania.com/2012/3/6/2...-suspended-MMA-licensed-revoked-nazi-criminal

UFC dropped a fighter when they found out he had ties to a German Neo-Nazi group:
https://www.mmafighting.com/2013/9/12/4722542/ufc-releases-fighter-with-alleged-neo-nazi-ties

WSOF drops a fighter with Nazi tattoos:
https://mmajunkie.com/2014/07/wsof-...sporting-neo-nazi-tattoos-criminal-background
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,341
#31
It's not so much about all white faces being in there. it's more about demeanor and temperament. You pick up on things and certain biases. That's why it's always great to see how receptive they are to you joining and to take advantage of the 3 to 7 day trial some gyms offer for newbies.
I live in Phoenix so I would be at least suspicious haha but yeah I'd still check it out to make sure.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,935
#33
Last MMA gym I attended taught Bjj, muy Thai, and some other general MMA classes on top of strength training. When I signed up they asked why I was interested, and what my goals were. I was told they have this conversation with all new students to get a read on more aggressive types and turn them away. The coaches there promoted an attitude of respect, sportsmanship, and compassion for the fellow human. Also the classes themselves were fairly diverse. Everyone I've ever spoken to has similar stories about their gyms, and coaches that teach mindfulness. I'm sure there's bad communities out there in MMA, but I'd be willing to bet there's many more that promote discipline respect and positivity.
 

Swauny Jones

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,388
#35
It might have been a problem earlier in the UFC's history and still active in a lot of the smaller regional promotions, but a lot of the larger promotions won't have anything to do with it in recent years.

Srikeforce fighter released and had his license revoked after they found out he was a Nazi pedophile:
https://www.mmamania.com/2012/3/6/2...-suspended-MMA-licensed-revoked-nazi-criminal

UFC dropped a fighter when they found out he had ties to a German Neo-Nazi group:
https://www.mmafighting.com/2013/9/12/4722542/ufc-releases-fighter-with-alleged-neo-nazi-ties

WSOF drops a fighter with Nazi tattoos:
https://mmajunkie.com/2014/07/wsof-...sporting-neo-nazi-tattoos-criminal-background
That's only because it affects their bottomline as a company. Otherwise they'd turn a blind eye to it if they could.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,199
#36
Last MMA gym I attended taught Bjj, muy Thai, and some other general MMA classes on top of strength training. When I signed up they asked why I was interested, and what my goals were. I was told they have this conversation with all new students to get a read on more aggressive types and turn them away. The coaches there promoted an attitude of respect, sportsmanship, and compassion for the fellow human. Also the classes themselves were fairly diverse. Everyone I've ever spoken to has similar stories about their gyms, and coaches that teach mindfulness. I'm sure there's bad communities out there in MMA, but I'd be willing to bet there's many more that promote discipline respect and positivity.
That's good. If you learn a martial art, learning the discipline and mindset to not abuse it is just as important as the martial art skills themselves. More, even.
 

Swauny Jones

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,388
#38
I disagree with that. At its core, MMA is a field that tries to find a practical application of martial arts. A lot of martial arts focus on one thing or another in a way that leaves them with weaknesses, and MMA is a good way to merge different martial arts together to investigate how things can be improved.

IMO the problem is that while most martial arts come with a philosophy or discipline that is intended to temper or regulate one's use of the ability to fight people, MMA doesn't really subscribe to that stuff. So MMA is a melting pot that takes all the martial arts skills, but not much of the discipline about how to carry that power responsibly. So you get a lot of toxic "lol I kicked that guy's ass" or "might makes right" type attitudes that run unchecked in MMA, when they would normally get stamped out fast by any martial arts instructor in a more traditional environment.
This stuff happens in a lot of other Martial arts places as well. You'll walk into various Karate, Kungfu, Kickboxing and other dojos that are run by guys whom outside of the gym are bikers with the fascist mindset. It's way more common than you'd like to think and dates back a while now.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,199
#40
This stuff happens in a lot of other Martial arts places as well. You'll walk into various Karate, Kungfu, Kickboxing and other dojos that are run by guys whom outside of the gym are bikers with the fascist mindset. It's way more common than you'd like to think and dates back a while now.
That's depressing. I suppose such people would get kicked out by more traditional instructors, but then there is nothing stopping them from forming their own organizations and schools themselves.
 
Oct 25, 2017
924
#46
It's definitely an issue with MMA fans, seemingly more than most sports with the possible exception of the NFL. As an easy example, the community at large has more of a problem with a black UFC champion saying he's treated worse by fans than white champions than they did with acoach who has nazi tattoos.

I'm sure you could imagine that huge amount* of contrition and self-reflection of those who defended his tattoos once he became afugitive wanted for beating his wife.

Zero. The amount was zero.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,744
#47
I don’t really follow UFC or MMA that closely, but is the sport really infested with right wing extremists?
Yes. It always has been. Combat sports really bring out the racial divide just in general. And there are a lot of high-profile white American athletes in MMA. So compared to boxing, where it's historically been dominated by non-whites, I think racists are able to push their narrative more effectively with MMA.