Ethical Probe on Mixed Martial Arts Enthusiasts in the USA
Andy Martrich



Ethical Probe on Mixed Martial Arts Enthusiasts in the USA is an ethicist’s account of the development of mixed martial arts (MMA) as it relates to its prophets and proselytizers, i.e., enthusiasts, who serve as testament to the sport’s corrupt disposition. Profiles on six enthusiasts reveal bizarre—and in some cases nefarious—activities that extend from proto-MMA fads such as the ninja craze of the 1980s.

Andy Martrich is the author of Pitching with Demonic Sigil Grips (PRB Editions, 2016), Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (Gauss PDF Editions, 2015), and Iona (BlazeVOX Books, 2012), among others. He lives in France.

Advanced praise:

“Andy Martrich’s Ethical Probe on Mixed Martial Arts Enthusiasts in the USA dissects the American Dream™ in all of its corruption and excess, beginning with the claim that the entire sport is nothing more (and nothing less) than cultural appropriation spectacularized through a series of snake-oil martial arts studio ‘white ninja’ huckster-entrepreneurs bent on profiteering from self-mythology, gym memberships, mail-order black belts, and branded-equipment sales. Better yet, Martrich reproduces the same frenzied pace and P.T. Barnum ethos as his subject in what is at once a provocative and insightful semiotic critique of American popular culture and a literary tour-de-force riding the thin red line between fantasy and reality. Is Ethical Probe an invaluable critical study of the intersection of culture and economics in late capitalist America, or a performative gesture playing fast and loose with a borrowed theoretical vocabulary? Is Martrich a patient and perceptive critic carefully parsing the history of a beloved American pastime or is he, like the mixed martial artists he depicts, a critical charlatan, imposing his own system of belief on a subject he knows nothing about? In the end, does it even matter? As the book tells us, there’s no truth anymore, only “American truth feeling,” and Martrich delivers that feeling full-throttle. Ethical Probe goes to the mat in its interrogation of the terror of belief and enthusiasm in these United States—it’s essential reading for the Trump Era or any era between now and the fall of the evil empire. If you, like me, only read one book on martial arts this year, make it Ethical Probe. As Martrich tells us, money is what makes things a reality these days, so why not buy two? It makes the perfect gift for someone who doesn’t know anything about mixed martial arts and doesn’t really want to learn.” —Aaron Winslow

“When the media or my co-workers talk about martial arts, it is equivalent to a religious experience. Proponents of martial arts can do no wrong! Andy Martrich is owed great thanks for his serious review of the history, culture, and ethics of martial arts. The violence inherent in these ‘arts’ prepares us to accept a violent culture and a fascistic government. We are lucky to have such a wonderful writer address this pressing issue.” —Tina Darragh

“Andy Martrich is an untethered spectroscopist. Imagine an alchemical mix of Barthesian commentary, Fortean academicism, and Spinozan logic and you might just begin to detect the faintest trace of the emissions radiating from the incongruous plasma of his literary non-fictions. Expose yourself to the pleasures of his texts betwixt the posts of ‘fantasy and certitude.’” —Joseph Mosconi

Ethical Probe on Mixed Martial Arts Enthusiasts in the USA
March, 2018
Andy Martrich
$19.00; 5.5″ x 8.5″
100 pgs.
ISBN 978-1-93-399668-4