by: Jack Bratcher
On the eve of Bruce Lee’s birthday, the Committee to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York State (CLMMANYS) will be holding a March in Albany, New York on Wednesday, November 26 calling for the legalization of Mixed Martial Arts.
Lou Neglia, former Martial Arts World Champion, film star, and owner of the Ring of Combat MMA promotion is bringing 10,000 kids involved with martial arts to march on New York’s capital on Wednesday.
Why are “karate kids” coming to the march? It seems Governor David Patterson, due to a 14 billion dollar deficit, has made a budget cut proposal that apparently is going to shut down a number of youth programs in the state.
MMA events could generate enough revenue to save those youth programs.
A study commissioned by the Ultimate Fighting Championship and conducted by HR&AA advisors revealed a UFC event at Madison Square Garden would generate $11.5 million in economic activity and $400,000 in tax revenue for New York City and $555,000 in tax revenue for the cash-strapped state. An event in Buffalo would generate $5.3 million in economic activities.
Thirty-six states currently allow professional martial-arts matches, as well as Washington D.C. and two Native American reserves. Syracuse and Albany are among the other upstate cities that would be in contention to host the matches.
The group wants the Legislature to pass a bill that would allow the state Athletics Commission to regulate mixed martial-arts matches. Without the regulations, the events cannot be held in New York.
Many states are already reaping healthy rewards that large MMA promotions bring into their cities.
Not only are more and more communities finding benefit from the legalization and sanctioning of mixed martial-arts, but in the long run it also gives young people an opportunity to choose MMA as a legitimate career path with a focus on health and fitness.
Bruce Lee would be proud. Happy Birthday Bruce.