BYU Idaho Fight Club? What the Crap?

August 25, 2008    By: Matt W. @ 8:57 am   Category: Life

I frankly find this disturbing.

President Clark, you have a problem.


  1. See this article. It was not condoned by the school.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 25, 2008 @ 9:29 am

  2. There have been ones around Provo off and on as well. After the movie BYU had one that made the press. And of course martial arts are pretty popular around BYU including an astounding number of Ju-Jitsu dojos given the population.

    Comment by Clark — August 25, 2008 @ 10:07 am

  3. Why are we so disturbed by this?

    Personally I find the fact they shut it down to be more disturbing. Here we have some guys exerting themselves physically, but without any serious injuries being sustained. Will we rule out wrestling next?

    When we only accept the kind of guys who never get their nails dirty and never take off their white shirts, we are suggesting we don’t really want “manly men”. (Disclaimer: I am actually a nerd, so this isn’t my personal interest)

    I understand how BYU-I doesn’t want that associated with them, but to shut it down and leave nothing “manly” to replace is asking for trouble.

    We don’t want men to start acting like women.

    Comment by Zen — August 25, 2008 @ 10:29 am

  4. BYU-I squashed it pretty fast, though it was never officially affiliated with the school. As I recall, a pretty strong message was sent out that such activities were not consistent with the honor code. That can kill anything around here pretty fast.

    Comment by Chris H. — August 25, 2008 @ 10:31 am

  5. Yay! something that I can be considered an expert on!

    Concerning the fight club – this has been a sticking point between the students and the administration for the last couple of years. The administration states that, like Chris H said, it’s not consistent with the honor code.

    The students want to know where the jurisidiction of the university lies, and if it’s a problem, how this can be rectified.

    This has been brought up many times to the Student Representative Council, who has their hands tied when dealing with the university.

    It has been squashed, its not going on (unless it’s being done behind people’s backs).

    *sigh* that’s the closest thing we get to controversy out here…:-(

    Comment by brandt — August 25, 2008 @ 10:46 am

  6. Clark’s right about BYU being one of the hotspots for these fight clubs in the first few years after the movie came out. The BYU clubs even got mentioned by the author of the book in an interview.

    There have been reports of real fight clubs popping up in various parts of the country. What are your feelings about that?

    I hear BYU has enormous fight clubs with like 200 guys. People have been sending me newspaper articles on it about colleges trying to get then shut down. In a way I have to think that it has to be meeting a need.

    Comment by David G. — August 25, 2008 @ 11:00 am

  7. Zen, maybe you didn’t see the mutliple vidoes of the girls fighting while hundreds of men watched. That’s not men getting their nails dirty, it’s mysogyny.

    For those saying it isn’t officially affiliated with the school, that’s fine, but it is affiliated with the school, or I wouldn’t be able to search on BYUI fight on Youtube and pull it up.

    It’s not an issue of whether the school sanctions violent sports, which is fine with me, and if they do and they have supervised competition, I say fantastic. What is an issue, is if they have what is basically an illegal fight club run by some stupid kids where young girls are being encouraged to beat the crap out of each other to impress their friends. Especially since said activities were occuring on school grounds. Liability issues alone make this a major issue.

    Again it’s not an issue of the “righteous vs. the rebels” It’s an issue of “Don’t be stupid.”

    Comment by Matt W. — August 25, 2008 @ 11:08 am

  8. The problem is that the fight clubs are stupid. They aren’t done in a safe area with insurance and so forth. That’s why I suspect the ju-jitsu dojos are so popular. You are really fighting in some of the training. That’s less so with many other arts. (Often you’re just learning forms for years until you get your black belt and what fighting there is tends to be very stylized with tons of rules)

    But there’s boxing around Provo. There’s martial arts. Why both with a purported ‘edgy’ fight club? The only reason is if you want to avoid safety precautions. In which case you’re just plain dumb.

    As for men vs. women. There’s a huge double standard when it comes to women fighting. What’s acceptable for women isn’t acceptable for men. And that’s just plain silly. (IMO) There are plenty of videos around of guys watching guys fight. Indeed it’s a regular feature of spots. Why is it misogyny when women are fighting but not when men are fighting?

    Comment by Clark — August 25, 2008 @ 11:13 am

  9. To add, there is up in SLC an ultimate fighting like competition every week. It used to be covered on TV. So it’s not like this sort of things isn’t widely available.

    Much ado about nothing.

    Comment by Clark — August 25, 2008 @ 11:14 am

  10. Fight clubs eh? They must be filling the void church ball used to occupy… (Those were the days! :-) )

    Comment by Geoff J — August 25, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  11. Fight Club was a great movie though, you have to admit. All time top 10 for sure.

    Geoff #10 – hilarious because it is so true.

    Comment by Jacob J — August 25, 2008 @ 11:51 am

  12. What?!

    I live only 30 minutes away and I missed all this?

    I can’t believe it.

    If I could have participated in a fight that would have been a great Youtube video.

    And of course, I would hug the guy afterward.

    Comment by Todd Wood — August 25, 2008 @ 11:59 am

  13. What’s worse: that they’re boxing without any trained emergency personnel on hand or that their form is so embarrassingly untrained?

    Comment by BrianJ — August 25, 2008 @ 12:34 pm

  14. BrianJ, the problem is the combination of the two. That’s when people are most likely to get hurt.

    Comment by Matt W. — August 25, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

  15. LOL. Both.

    I think that if the BYUI situation is akin to BYU it’s a bunch of folks who don’t want a bunch of press reports on fight clubs. It has little to do with anything else. As someone said it’s silly to ban this but allow wrestling. (Although wrestling got dropped at BYU back in the 90’s as I recall despite having a pretty impressive programs – primarily due to Title IX requirements. Ditto with male gymnastics where I believe BYU was quite good as well.)

    Comment by Clark — August 25, 2008 @ 2:15 pm

  16. BYUI needs to round up all them kids and sit ’em down in front of Million Dollar Baby. Some would be “scared straight” by the potential dangers of fighting, others would learn some basic boxing techniques (chin down!), and if you were lucky a few of them would find someone to date, get married, and be rid of this nothing-to-do-on-a-Saturday-night nonsense.

    Comment by BrianJ — August 25, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

  17. I’m with Clark, why is men fighting men just dangerous shenanigans, and girls fighting girls misogynistic? And why do girls have to be fighting to “impress their friends?” Maybe they just want to fight. I have moments where I’d like to see what it felt like to pop someone good.

    Comment by Katie M. — August 25, 2008 @ 3:16 pm

  18. I think it’s more the fact of a bunch of guys sitting around watching the girls fight than the mere fact it’s girls fighting.

    Yeah, there’s some misogynistic vibe there.

    Comment by Seth R. — August 25, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  19. Seth, isn’t it more likely that the audience/participants are primarily men and so when women fight unsurprisingly the audience remains men?

    Comment by Clark — August 25, 2008 @ 4:02 pm

  20. Clark:

    I have two girls and no boys, so yes, I have a double standard. But anyway, Mysogyny is a hatred of women, so when men fight men, well that would by mysoandry or something.

    To not obscure the point, you said it best yourself, there are plenty of legal venues for violent sports, a secret fight club held in what looks to be church property is dumb, and further, it’s at the very least illegal in the sense that it is trespassing, and it could be a lot worse.

    Comment by Matt W. — August 26, 2008 @ 5:07 am

  21. Fighting != Hatred.

    Comment by Clark — August 26, 2008 @ 10:02 am

  22. Clark:

    Go punch your wife and return adn report. we’ll see what’s what…

    Comment by Matt W. — August 26, 2008 @ 12:37 pm

  23. Okay, maybe it’s because I’m a woman or something, but I just don’t get why two (or more) people beating the crap out of each other is considered acceptable behavior at any time, in any venue.

    Oh, and Matt…thank you for pointing out the actual meaning of the word “mysogyny” and why it doesn’t apply to watching men fight. Duh.


    Comment by Elaine — August 26, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

  24. Huh. I would have thought that refusing to allow the women to participate would have been misogynistic. I guess they’re damned either way.

    Comment by Eric Russell — August 26, 2008 @ 2:52 pm

  25. Matt. Non sequitor alert.

    If my wife wanted to take a martial arts class with me I suspect I would be doing that. Since she has no desire to do so I would not punch her.

    I’m quite sure the women in question at the fight club were there of their own volition because they wanted to engage in martial art sparring and fighting.

    You’re indication is that learning and practicing martial arts is OK for men but bad for women. Why?

    The misogynistic comment is silly since, as I said, one can fight without hating the person you are fighting with. Indeed I’d suggest that’s the typical case in America since more people fight in dojos, wresting events, boxing and so forth than fight in bar fights or the like.

    Comment by Clark — August 26, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

  26. To add, I’d note that many RS activities have included basic martial art instruction. (Mainly for self defense) Of course typically they are just getting women excited about martial arts since it takes a fair bit of training to do anything. But given how common this appears in RS Enrichment meetings it just seems odd to take this view that women should never engage in martial arts.

    I’m just a bit flabbergast at this double standard.

    I can understand those not like martial arts or even thinking it’s stupid. (One would hope they think the same of High School, College and Olympic wrestling to be consistent) But why say it’s bad if someone else does it?

    Comment by Clark — August 26, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

  27. Clark:

    To be clear, my 5 year old starts martial arts soon. I don’t have an issue with that. I do have an issue with illegal fight clubs that put up as many videos f girl fights as boy fights.

    Comment by Matt W. — August 26, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

  28. Matt, but then what’s at issue is where they are having it and not the fighting itself. Further I don’t see what the big deal about putting up videos. If the activity is legitimate if done with proper permissions what’s wrong with showing video?

    Thus far the only problem anyone has brought up is that they didn’t have permissions to use the facilities for this. Had they done it in a dojo with proper insurance then there would be no problem?

    Comment by clark — August 26, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

  29. It’s not where they are having it, it’s how they are having it. They don’t have permission, they don’t have training, they are slinking out at night and beating each other up. We used to do this when I was in high school too, behind the old movie theater. It was illegal then too.

    Fight clubs != martial arts.

    Sorry Clark.

    Comment by Matt W. — August 27, 2008 @ 5:05 am

  30. Main Entry:
    martial art

    : any of several arts of combat and self defense (as karate and judo) that are widely practiced as sport
    — martial artist

    I dunno Matt. Getting together for amateur boxing seems to generally fit the definition of practicing martial arts to me (even if it isn’t particularly artistic). If adults want to engage in privately organized (and lightly supervised) fisticuffs to blow off steam what is so wrong with that? Must Big Brother control everything? And how do you know there is any trespassing going on?

    And your misogyny claims seem backwards to me. Not letting women participate (because they are “girls” and men don’t think girls should fight or something) would be a lot more sexist than allowing equality in the fights.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 27, 2008 @ 9:17 am

  31. Geoff J:

    And how do you know there is any trespassing going on?

    Who has a Gymn like this in their private property at 10pm?

    Comment by Matt W. — August 27, 2008 @ 9:34 am

  32. And btw, amateur boxing != getting together with a bunch of 18-20 year olds at 10 pm and punching each other.


    disturbing != legal

    legal != ethical

    Comment by Matt W. — August 27, 2008 @ 10:24 am

  33. Do you have any evidence of trespassing Matt? Do you have any evidence of anything illegal going on?

    Look, I am no fan of this stuff personally. But I am a fan of freedom to choose one’s own hobbies in the U.S. If no laws are broken then it seems to me that you are just imposing your own personal preferences on others here. Calling it unethical does not make it unethical.

    (PS — Most 18-20 year olds in the U.S. prefer getting together at 10 pm to get drunk and have sex. I’d say that this method of burning off steam is preferable to that for Mormons)

    Comment by Geoff J — August 27, 2008 @ 11:26 am

  34. I think we’re going in circles. It sure sounds like amateur martial arts to me. The distinction seems pretty blurry to me. Consider, when I was doing Aikido we’d practice out of class. So is that illegal? Immoral? (And, gosh, half the time the people I was fighting were women!)

    Comment by Clark — August 27, 2008 @ 12:36 pm

  35. Also, we’d go and use the heavy bag at Gold’s Gym on 9th and we’d spar among us roommates. (One roommate actually got knocked out) Is that illegal if the folks at Gold’s never complained? (I doubt they had their insurance set to cover it of course)

    Comment by Clark — August 27, 2008 @ 12:39 pm

  36. Isn’t there some regulation of boxing though? I don’t know what you have to do to cross the legal line—charge admission, pay the fighters, place bets—but states have boxing commissions for a reason. I thought the Provo fight club of several years ago was busted up because it didn’t have a license (or something to that effect).

    Comment by BrianJ — August 27, 2008 @ 10:41 pm

  37. I frequently hit my wife and my three sons. Sometimes they hit me back. In fact, last week I kicked my 13-year-old in the head and nearly knocked him out. Man, I love our local martial arts school!

    (of course, then there’s the 5-foot-nothing lady who caught me with a side kick to the ribs that nearly made me cry, but hey, fair’s fair)

    Comment by Paul Robichaux — August 28, 2008 @ 8:10 am

  38. BrianJ: That’s my understanding as well. The Police have the right, under the law to press charges of assault and/or Grievous Bodily Harm, even between two consenting adults, depending on the location and licensing.

    Comment by Matt W. — August 28, 2008 @ 8:52 am

  39. I hate byu for this reason. They need a place where mormon students can come and be normal people not a school set up to train a bunch of pharisees. I hate byu.

    Comment by Murdock — October 26, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

  40. Your comment makes no sense whatsoever Murdock.

    I recommend you punch dance your rage out, like this:

    Comment by Geoff J — October 26, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

  41. Ha, great video. Maybe Murdock is THE Murdock from the A-Team.

    Comment by Jacob J — October 26, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

  42. Hehe. Could be. Sounds more like BA Baracus to me though…

    Comment by Geoff J — October 26, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

  43. It’s kind of funny that this thread comes back from the dead after the Kulturblog thread on Bully Beatdown which is filmed in SLC because California wouldn’t allow them there but Utah would.

    BTW – I kind of dig this one from Flight of the Conchords as my angry dance.

    Comment by Clark — October 28, 2009 @ 9:54 pm