Extreme Sports

Are they too dangerous?


The wild world of so-called extreme sports ranges from motorcyclists executing double back flips to kayakers navigating deadly Class 5 rapids to mixed martial arts (MMA) — also known as “ultimate fighting” — where combatants use kicks, punches and stress holds. But many “extreme” athletes reject the label, arguing that the term marginalizes their sports as the sole province of adrenaline and violence junkies, when they actually require high degrees of skill. Now legislatures in New York and other states are considering bans on MMA. Proponents say the matches, legal at the pro level in 37 states, are safer than boxing and emphasize fighters' broad-based martial-arts training. But opponents argue that allowing such a wide variety of aggressive moves in a single fight is barbaric. ...

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