The Sun's Shadow

Stumbling to find a light switch in the dark

Like to watch people fight?

Why do we enjoy watching people fight? It happens all the time and it can happen anywhere two people most often males will get in to a fight, there is also something else that is sure to happen and that is people will stand around and watch it. This is true of boxing, MMA as much as any street fight or bar brawl. There are those involved in the fight and those who stand around just to watch it all happen, so what is it in us that find this appealing? I don’t have the answer I just know even I enjoy it.

Tonight as I have done many times before I will attend an amateur boxing exhibition in NY, these are often held in a large church basement or on a dock and they are licensed and sanctioned amateur boxing events. I find them to be a lot of fun anyone can check them out.

I often attend these events and a live event of any kind has an appeal to the camaraderie and community of being together with people to enjoy a common experience. This is true of almost any event attended by people from religious services to any sporting events. But we don’t go just for those reason although those reasons are an appealing part, we go to watch the “show” and in this case the show is two men or women of similar size and stature punching each other until one is either knocked out(unable to defend themselves) or submits. What is so appealing about this, I don’t know, I do know I enjoy watching it. It’s almost a surreal experience to know you like some like this and to not understand why you like something like this… is it psychological, it something seeded in our evolutionary past, is this how our primate ancestors use to court females?

I guess I could do research and actually look in to this, but then I wonder why should I over analyze this, isn’t enough to like something with out understanding why I like something? It’s not 100% universal not everyone likes to watch people fighting it could all just be preference. I guess this could be said of any sport for me at this point I like baseball too, with out a reason as to why I like the game on a fundamental psychological or evolutionary level, I can give all the game theory reasons and fairness reasons I like the baseball. I think the disconnect with fighting/boxing is I see the violence in the sport as something I would deplore in my personal life as opposed to baseball which I would happily play. I have been in fights I have punched and been punched in my face and none of it is a pleasurable experience, nor something I would choose to seek out, however watching it is.

I think now I maybe be even more confused than I was when I started, but I do know I will be at the fights tonight more than likely I will be enjoying myself and I will not be alone cue the Rocky the music.


May 30, 2008 - Posted by | Entertainment, Sports | ,

1 Comment »

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