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June 5, 1996

Blunt Force Violence in America— Shades of Gray or Red: Ultimate/Extreme Fighting

JAMA. 1996;275(21):1684-1685. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530450074039

The action of one human striking another with the fists must date to about the time humans began to walk on two feet. Aggressive behavior is certainly a normal human trait. Defending oneself using any method available is at the top of Maslov's hierarchy, namely, survival. The use of a violent act to entertain others vicariously is also thousands of years old. Gladiatorial events, Christians being fed to lions, gunfights in the old American West, and other such events have been legendary. From time to time, however, society looks at its behavior in terms of both the effects on individual participants and the moral and ethical aspects of the events affecting society as a whole. Thus, Christians are no longer fed to lions, and gladiatorial combat, sword duels to the death, cockfights, dogfights, and gunfights have been outlawed and, to some extent, do not occur.

Over many decades, boxing has

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