Before coming to America, I had very limited knowledge of what UFC is. My only access to it was through playing the UFC Xbox game. However, it is different now. I live near by the UFC Gym and it takes less than 5 minutes for me to walk there. On the other hand, my boyfriend Garrett and his roommate Darian are members of the gym and they take regular lessons of boxing and jiujitsu. As a side note, Darian is a huge fan of the UFC.
I was not considering joining the gym due to the cost constraint, but ever since a good friend of mine Meghan starts to work there as a front desk every weekend, I get to go there for free whenever she is working. Therefore, two weeks before the teacher in my Writing & Rhetoric II class announced the ethnography research paper that we are going to work on in this semester, I tried boxing for the first time in my life with the accompaniment of Garrett. Although it was not easy for me to give out decent punches in the beginning, I definitely enjoyed it because it was challenging and different. Besides that, the good vibes that evoke in the gym makes me want to go back there and learn more about combat sports like UFC. Hence, right after my teacher told us about the ethnography paper assignment, I instantly made up my mind to choose this site.
However, a good ethnography paper is not simply based on personal participation experience; more importantly, it is to relate the culture and meaning behind this sport with the society, which provides the value of reading it to the readers. As a result, my paper will be focused on three specific questions: 1) How has UFC become the dominating combat sport in America? 2) How has UFC changed the society’s perception of viewing combat sports? 3) What makes UFC to play a big part in the American culture?
In order to answer the first question, I am planning on interviewing the people who show up in the gym regularly because I want to find out their intentions of joining the UFC gym instead of other gyms. After that, I would like to ask them about their purposes and expectations of learning MMA (mixed martial arts). What are they trying to gain out of it? Are they trying to become amatuer UFC fighters or is it a skill they would like to possess so that they can protect themselves anytime? Why are they interested in it regardless of the high possibility of getting injured?
Apart from that, I would like to interview the coaches and trainers in order to gather reliable resources because they have been in this field for a long time and some of them are seasoned fighters in different combat sports such as boxing, jiujitsu and muay thai etc. From their perspectives, I want to know how they think about the growing popularity of UFC. First of all, do they agree with the phenomenon that UFC has become the dominating combat sport in America recently? If yes, what makes it so popular? Are more people learning MMA or other combat sports due to the popularity of UFC? If no, what is the dominating combat