The Sweetest Science

February is perhaps, the most boring sports month on the calendar.

Sure pitchers and catchers report, however baseball season is still off in the distance, and March Madness isnít quite on the radar screen yet.

But the MMA definitely is, and it should command your attention. Iíve been fascinated with its concept, and after two-years of studying, I feel Iíve scratched the surface. As a sport itís very misunderstood by the great unwashed, but thereís a great back-story.

I caught up with Sean Reynolds here in Las Vegas. He works for the local ESPN affiliate, KWWN 1100am, and heís also an aspiring MMA fighter.

Reynolds articulated it best:

The experience of competing in Mixed Martial Arts is unique to each individual, and how they approach their craft.

Some compete for fame and some compete for the thrill of the competition, there is no one-size-fits-all explanation.

In my experiences, I have found I love the challenge that MMA presents. There are various disciplines, and mastering each of them has their own challenges.

Itís not just physical. There is a huge mental component to MMA which forces a whole different perspective. It takes an open mind to understand how and when to apply the concepts of each discipline as it relates to competition.

But the growth as a mixed martial artist also contributes to the growth as a person.

The fight itself offers an experience that is primarily a reward for all the hard work done training. You go through a whole camp where you are repeatedly broken down physically and mentally, and then you get to test what youíve learned against someone else in the Octagon.

The mindset is universal. I am better than my opponent, and I am out to prove it. Competing with anger and arrogance is necessarily bad, and it is also coupled with respect.

Reynolds loves everything about the competition. The speed at which everything moves, the crowd reactions, the physical exertion, even the pain associated with getting hit.

But the real thrill comes from pushing yourself during the fight, until you have nothing left in the tank. To that end, we essentially compete against ourselves, and that can become the greatest challenge of all.

Thanks Reynolds.

February might not be so boring after all.

(c) 2011 BernieFratto.com