He has 28 wins, just four losses and a draw. In 22 back-to-back triumphs, 12 were knockouts and 13 finishes. That person is Bas Rutten, one of the pioneers who of what came to be MMA. Given all of that, would you believe, dear reader, that Bas was subject to bullying during his youth?
A weakly, sickly child, Bas Rutten took the brunt of his classmate’s cruelty back in Holland. That was when the martial arts entered his life through the works of Bruce Lee, the star of the movie “Enter the Dragon”.
“I wanted to be Bruce Lee to kick the bullies’ butts,” he told reporter Deb Blyth, in a can’t-miss article in the GRACIEMAG MMA supplement CHOKE, in issue 171.
Thence Rutten went on to practice martial arts, and before long he was overcoming the more seasoned practitioners at the gym, became confident, and was no longer bothered by the schoolyard bullies.
“From ugly duckling I went on to become a dapper dude! Of the guys in my group, the big-headed ones became stronger and their heads became more proportional to their bodies. Now the fat ones slimmed down.”
What later transpired was that the fighter became an MMA great, a commentator for Pride FC and still to this day, as well of heading the program “Inside MMA” and working at the Cartoon Network with the mission of encouraging the practice of physical exercise, not to mention starring on a Nickelodean commercial against bullying.
“They new my story. The project touched my heart!”
So, bullying and other forms of discrimination are ongoing problems in society around the world, and the martial arts is a major ally in solving them.