Fight Church trailer

[Video Link] "Fight Church is a feature documentary about the confluence of Christianity and mixed martial arts, including ministries which train fighters. The film follows several pastors and popular fighters in their quest to reconcile their faith with a sport that many consider violent and barbaric."


    1. Maybe they can pit Satanists against Christians in the cage and let them fight it out.

        1. I can’t believe my own tasteless joke was posted seconds out from under me. I will now make a pitiful attempt to follow with something witty in the same vein, but will likely fail:

          “I’ll bring the torches!”

          But if I say that, it would imply that I was going to bring along some Christian friends… to their own death. And I mean, I don’t really want anyone to die… I hate the belief, not the believer, you know? 

          Now, I feel even more conflicted than the members of Fight Church!

  1.  in their quest to reconcile their faith with a sport that many consider is violent and barbaric.

    1. in their quest to reconcile their faith with a sport that people with an IQ above 80 consider violent and barbaric.

    2.  … in their quest to reconcile their violent and barbaric faith with what many consider a sport. 

    3.  My son, who is now 14, has been training in MMA since he was in kindergarten.  He has learned patience, respect, and a whole lot of self-defense.  He has learned to stop bullies not with violence, but with confidence.  He has learned to stand up for those who are weaker than him.

      And his IQ is over 80.  In fact, he is in advanced classes, and in his free time composes music that would surprise you.

      We now return to our previously-scheduled snark.

      1. I didn’t say anything about IQ.  Violent and barbaric?  Check.

        Also, I’m creeped out that you’ve pressured (since kindergarten as you said) your kid into pugilism.

    4. only people who don’t understand what is going on see it as violent and barbaric.  many amateur fights end in submission, leaving both fighters no worse because of it.  the truth is that boxing is the sport that ends in long term brain damage and death (boxers die every year), while MMA is safe (hence the tendency for most pros being in their late 30s to early 40s).

      1. In general I agree with you, but, “most pros being in their late 30’s to early 40’s” is so incorrect it isn’t even within the realm of merely wrong.

        There are professionals of that age, and indeed about half of the title holders are of that age, or close to it, but the majority of professionals are most definitely in their 20’s.

      2. Just becuase there’s an option of submission to win in MMA, unlike the ‘fight till one of you loses motor control’ of boxing, doesn’t make it safe.

        Maybe safer, but not safe. Especially when kicking, kneeing and moslty bare knuckles are allowed.

        It’s a new sport in the US, so there aren’t that many elderly MMA pros here to show the long term effects.

        1. Bare knuckles are actually safer in terms of brain damage. A boxing glove is heavier so accelerates the head more, and the damage is caused by the brain bouncing around inside the skull from this acceleration. Not to mention that if bare-knuckle fighters punched the way gloved boxers do (direct blows to the skull, for instance) they’d break their hands.

    5. It is violent, yet less people are seriously injured than most other contact sports and there have been 2 deaths in sanctioned MMA fights ever. The sport might not be for everyone, but to claim that it is barbaric is ludicrous.

    6. my math professor is into brazilian jiu-jitsu, which imho is close enough to mma. he’s very good at both (maybe the only person in the world to both have a bjj title and have been a fellow at princeton’s institute for advanced studies…), and he considers bjj to be largely a mental discipline. i’m just throwing this out there; i really have no personal interest in any martial arts, but “barbaric” is such a loaded word. let’s remember why the greeks hated the barbarians so much: they had invented all kinds of uncivilized ways to fight against the greeks, such as the recurve bow. :)

      1. Again, you might want to reply to the guy that mentioned IQ, it wasn’t me.  Is the sport violent and somewhat barbaric?  Yup. Just own up to it…yeesh.

        1. ah, we’re down to “somewhat barbaric” now, are we? i’ll take it, but i’d call the consumption of beer somewhat barbaric as well (and i do love me some beer).

  2. The first rule of Fight Church is; You talk about Fight Church.

    The second rule of Fight Church is; You ALWAYS talk about Fight Church.

  3. Most these poor suckers should be worshiping some alter that rewards manly violence.  Where’s Thor or Ares where you need ’em?

  4. There’s a big difference between organized MMA and a bar fight. MMA is a sport with rules, regulations, coaches, and referees. Violent? Yes – but little more so than Hockey, Football, and Boxing. There is no hatred involved or wanting to literally kill someone. It’s the ultimate one-on-one competition to see who is a better fighter. I don’t see why god, or anyone else really, would have a problem with it.

    1.  I’ve watched one MMA match all the way through.  No, it is not like Hockey, Football or even Boxing.

      That this activity is now a tax-exempt church is preposterous.

      1.  A church with MMA fighters would be tax exempt – but the activity itself wouldn’t be.  Every sport has christ-centric athletes. There is even the Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization.

      2. Waaaait… can we just slap “Christian” onto the front of anything and get a tax break? Keep talkin… Keep talkin…

      3. I have experienced this (insert low number here) and thus can judge that it is (insert qualitative statement here).  –this is how you disqualify your own opinion

    2.  In all politeness, sir, you are not simply wrong, you are as bad as a liar! Your three examples? You weaken them by admitting the violence off the batt, ignore the clear difference in goals of the first two (which you COULD simply reduce to ‘defeat’ the opponent, but I dismiss that, as its the METHOD of defeat thats objectionable) and you claim that desire to kill being lacking is the mitigating factor?
      Wow. What high praise.
      “I don’t see why god, or anyone else really, would have a problem with it.” Why? Because inevitably there are victims.
      Lets not debate that theists are delusional (but I contest that they are), and for the sake of it talk about why ‘God or anyone else’ might have a problem with it….
      Well… I’m going to bring up the DRUGS issue. Something that the Christian Right have as a voting block, been consistently aggressive in their moral dictatorship over.
      When a drug user is a criminal, but an ADMITTEDLY VIOLENT person is not, what gives? I am confident there are victims on both sides.
      Hockey and Football are ball games with TEAM mechanics.
      They are not exclusively male in appeal. Why would they be?
      Answer me this; is a MMA fighter (perhaps especially one with a ‘God Delusion’) a danger to those around him and societey, when compared squarely with a drug Abuser?
      Are steroids a valid topic here?

      In fairness I’m equivocating.
      Thing is, the most violence done to me has been done by Christians. I’m sure its ok by THEIR god.

      1. drugs are much less prevalent in MMA than in other sports, mostly because its way easier to test someone immediately before and after a fight.  and yes, steroids are illegal in regulated MMA.  just like in boxing.

      2. The bible warns about drinking until you’re drunk. Let’s be honest, while being drunk can be fun, it also leads to trouble some times. Decent advice. That is the angle to oppose drugs. Doe god really care? Who knows. I would like to think there wouldn’t be an issue with something like using weed for medicine, taking narcotics for pain, etc. Recreational use, not abuse

        re: “When a drug user is a criminal, but an ADMITTEDLY VIOLENT person is not, what gives? ”

        Because using drugs is illegal (thought it shouldn’t be), and having two men (or women) having a refereed, consensual fight is not. Just like the violence in video games is still violence, it really hurts no one (other than the fighters, who accept that as part of the risk of fighting.)

        re: “Answer me this; is a MMA fighter (perhaps especially one with a ‘God Delusion’) a danger to those around him and societey, when compared squarely with a drug Abuser? Are steroids a valid topic here?”

        Yes yes, drug laws are bad. I agree. People DO get violent on some drugs. There are some MMA fighters I am sure who can’t keep their aggression in check. But just like the guy high on PCP who attacks someone doesn’t speak for the other mellow drug users, the MMA fighter who can’t keep it in the ring doesn’t speak for the rest of the sport.

        Violence isn’t a bad thing. It is a very human thing. Lucky for us we have mostly reduced it to video games and consensual fights.

        1. Theres validity to what you say but I feel it would weaken my case to think that violence wasn’t a bad thing. Its hard to make a ‘case’ for violence, as it exhibits a distinct lack of empathy for its victims, however justified it might claim to be. For similar reasons it is unsurprising that most of the worlds standing armies have theism as a significant component (and even if that bothers me,I understand the logic… a fanatic will likely risk more than a fence-sitter, it just makes me think that believers are perhaps vulnerable victims in their own way).
          “Violence isn’t a bad thing” is not even a universal religious consensus, though some faiths do venerate it, a good test of a philosophy could be ‘what if we all had the same approach to achieving our goals?’;
          It would find violence readily justified against others, surely?
          Violence is as human as pacifism is; I would argue that one is more enlightened than the other however.

          When animals are put in rings to fight, we can see beyond considering it ‘consensual’ and humane countries classify it as cruelty.

          “Violence isn’t a bad thing” depends on if you’re the victim or not, really, doesn’t it?

      3. I want to deconstruct this but it is so bizarrely worded it is difficult.

        Two people who want to step into a cage and compete in a sport that is regulated is fine. This is not a street fight. With that said a lot of the Fight Church and similar churches fights are unsanctioned and are illegal and dangerous.

        Sanctioned MMA fights are less dangerous than most other contact sports. Studies have shown time and again that MMA causes less traumatic head injuries than football.

    3. As far as MMA goes, there´s not a lot that is more satisfying to me than to see one of those self-righteous bible thumping douche bags getting their ass kicked. So, in a way, it´s good they´re there.

    4. ^^^^^ what  Mister44 said. What I think a lot of people here are missing is that MMA isn’t just two shlubs going into a ring and trying to beat each other up. Its two athletes who train every single day, probably 8+ hours a day if they’re professionals, testing their technique. They absolutely love it, and no one gets hurt, at least any more often than soccer and certainly less often than boxing, and they both benefit from the competition.  And as with martial arts throughout history there’s a natural spiritualism that comes from the extreme exertion and dedication to health and learning.

      I’ve been heavily involved in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu universe for about 8 years and its full of the most genuinely spiritual people I’ve ever met. (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is 1/3 of traditional MMA, along with Thai boxing and wrestling). I know this probably seems really bizarre to people outside of martial arts, but there’s really nothing all that weird about an MMA church. And hell, the karate dojos we all used to go to before karate got debunked by MMA competition most definitely fashioned themselves as churches.

      1. I agree with everything you wrote until the utilization of MMA for organized religion that is obviously happening here. I enjoy watching MMA, I appreciate all the subtleties and tactics of MMA and there´s nothing wrong with being spiritual, but this i just another one of the many fucked up indoctrination schemes of the American christian fundamentalists.

        1. Agreed, if this is being used to convert people to Christianity, that’s exploitive with a side of mind fuck.

          But if its a bunch of Christians practicing MMA together, I don’t see it as any more of a contradiction than a church hockey league. And I’m not inclined to trust the makers of this documentary, given the way they focused on people getting kicked in the nuts, as if that completely illegal move was an integral part of MMA. That’s kind of like doing a documentary on baseball and showing people getting hit by pitches over and over again.

          1. They could be doing tupperware parties in this video and it would creep me out just the same, for me it has nothing to do with fighting and everything to do with religious nutcases.

            And yeah, the way MMA is presented in mass media (and, apparently, some independent media) is nothing short of ridiculous.

      2. no one gets hurt

        so you win by simply demonstrating your unmistakable superiority at kicking, punchingand pinning down the air?

        1.  It is rare to be permanently hurt. A broken hand or leg is about the worst one can expect. But there are many, MANY more dangerous sports out there. About 2 kids a year are killed playing BASEBALL, an example that there is an inherent risk to any sport.

  5. Throw a  preacher/grifter into any questionable situation that includes money (any sport = gambling, and other perks, politics, etc.) and said con artist will make a connection between that activity and how it can be done in the name of Jesus, thus erasing any self-doubt, feelings of guilt, or questioning of the people who manage these events and what the real goal or purpose of them are.

  6. Reminds me of a school assembly we had during my last year of high school. Some built guys with mullets (this was 1988) came to school and broke boards, inflated hot water bottles till they burst etc.  They attributed all of this to Christ (but, presumably, not anabolic steroids).  How they were able to say so in a public school, I’m not sure. DFW being the buckle of the bible belt, I guess.

    1. I believe you speak of the Power Team…my mom and little brothers watched them on TBN when I was in high school (while I snuck out and got drunk with the youth pastor’s son…) ah, I miss the 80s.

      1. OMG, thank you so much for that!  Covering The Sweet no less!

        He’d later graduate from glam to full on metal.

    2. Those are still going strong.  The school presentations are the gateway drug, where they talk about goals, and staying in school, and say no to drugs.  Oh, and if you aren’t doing anything tonight, we’ll be performing at First Baptist Church down the road.  Bring your family and friends.  

      Then comes the hard sell.

  7. “The enemy wants to destroy your family….”

    Christians love to have enemies;
    they misread Christ saying “love your enemy.”

  8. “I love fighting.” Quote from the ‘minister’.
    Young boy going into the ring to fight…”I’m going to go in there & rip that kid’s head off.”
    Later we see the same young boy almost crying, but being ‘pumped up’ by the ‘minister’, who says he is a  ‘Christian’…and who loves fighting.
    There, apparently, is nothing too outrageous that certain people won’t justify by simply saying they ‘follow’ or are ‘guided by’ Jesus.
    Pretty bloody easy.

    1. There, apparently, is nothing too outrageous that certain people won’t justify by simply saying they ‘follow’ or are ‘guided by’ Jesus.

      Unless it involves sex or pleasure.

      1. Totally not true. Plenty of people use “God is leading me/you…” to get sex.

      2. To quote Song of Songs, chapter 7: “You are slender like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters of fruit. I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree and take hold of its fruit.'”Biblically minded Christians are only opposed to sex OUT of wedlock. 

    2. in the trailer, i didn’t hear anyone attempt to justify MMA fighting by way of Christian faith. i did hear several people try to reconcile their love of MMA fighting and their Christian faith, and clearly having a few issues doing so.

  9. I think it’s nice these boys found a way to sublimate their homosexual desires that their church makes them feel guilty about.

  10. Reminds me of this preacher who says says God tells him to hit people. I think it’s the coke.

    Ground and pound!

  11. Jesus said, “If a man smites you on your left cheek turn the other one” which means don’t  get into a fight. Period.

  12. Do they have special hymns?

    Amazing Jab
    Gonna Lay My Opponents Out
    Lift Up Your Gloves
    My Nose Has Broken
    What A Coach We Have In Jesus

  13. Mixed martial arts are not “fighting,” although they are violent, there are rules. A fight is something that can be visited on anyone, at any time, by any person, using any means that person happens to be comfortable with using. There is no such thing as fair or honorable fighting, that’s called sports.

    1. Calling a system of hitting and kicking people an “art” while denying that it’s fighting is certainly an odd interpretation of normal English usage.

      1. I suppose the term “fighting” can be loosely applied to any situation in which two people are hitting each other, but then do you consider boxing to be fighting? I don’t. Brutal? Sure. Violent? Absolutely. But I still consider it to be a sport. These guys who practice MMA, they like to tell themselves that they’re fighting. And sure, the skills they use apply to fighting, but there’s so much more to confrontation and struggle than just kicks and punches. Two men get into a sanctioned ring, at a pre-approved time, under a written agreement to not bite each other, punch each other directly on the glans or the back of the head. They agree not to kick each others knees out backwards or stick fingers in their eye-sockets, and all with the understanding that one will stop should the other tap their hand repeatedly. That usually has way more to do with size and strength and training than it does with learning how to respond to an infinite number of situations the world can throw at you. MMA is interesting in the sense that James mentions in the post below. Heck, Royce Gracie taught a whole generation of surprised rednecks that lying on your back and avoiding punches can actually win you a fight. But these guys in the video, they are only struggling with their desire to punch other people in the head, and win a meaningless competition. Learning how to fight is noble, and if that’s all they were doing, I don’t think they’d have a problem reconciling it with their god. Go ask a  seven-year-old holding an AK-47 in Mogadishu if he thinks the guys in “The Octagon” are fighting in anything more than the sense than they’re punching each other.

    2. I know what you mean, but a big part of MMA’s appeal is that it’s a uniquely close simulation of  real fighting.

      Which is a good thing and gives MMA additional value – as an ongoing experiment in what actually works when two humans fight. Before the UFC we didn’t know which martial arts could live up to their claims and which were silly. Now we know, and that’s a good thing.

Comments are closed.