Right to Fight
For those who don’t understand the sport, mixed martial arts seems barbaric and unnecessarily violent. At the end of a fight the cage is usually covered in a mixture of blood and other body fluids and the participants seem to be in serious pain. But to those who practice it, it’s not just about trying to destroy an opponent; it’s about finding one’s manhood. It’s about controlling your opponent and winning him.
When it comes to that never ending search, some men turn to money and fame while others turn to sex. But there’s a group that sees MMA as the ultimate proof of their manhood.
Garrett Holeve is one of those. His Down syndrome did not stop him from wanting to be a MMA fighter. Luckily his parents supported his decision and stood behind him in spite of opposition. Garrett trained hard to be able to reach his goal.
As it is, society already places many limitations on people with disabilities and basically corners them, rendering close to useless. Garrett’s parents were not willing to accept any of that because they are well aware of all the things that people with DS can really accomplish.
However, the fact that Garrett himself had decided to fight meant nothing to the State of Florida. A few minutes before his first big fight against another disabled opponent, the organizers were served with a notice to cease and desist. Apparently, the disabilities of the two young men had made them lose a few of their basic legal rights.
Unwilling to give up his son’s dream, Garrett’s father promised the both of them that they were going to have their fight. He faced harsh criticism and judgment from many who could only see two young men with disabilities punching and kicking each other. But those involved in the sport and the case knew that it was much more than that. This fight had nothing to do with violence and the fighters didn’t really hate each other at all.
This short film begs the question: should people with disabilities get to choose the type of activities they want to become involved in even if said activities are dangerous or unconventional? Does the state have a say in these types of decisions? Where does one draw the line? Is this another type of discrimination? Watch this controversial film now.