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Video: Why isn’t MMA legal in Ontario? Ken Hayashi is the answer

Ontario Athletic Commissioner Ken Hayashi is the Darth Vader of mixed martial arts. He refuses to take the necessary steps to allow the sport to be sanctioned in this province. He hides behind Section 83 of the Criminal Code of Canada like it’s his momma’s apron strings.

I’ve spoken with him a few times, asked him point blank what the deal was with his refusing to accept MMA as anything other than a barbaric bloodsport. He’s always hit back by saying his hands are tied by Section 83. Never mind that other provinces, like Quebec and British Columbia, don’t see this law as a hindrance to the sport.

He says that if you’re holding MMA events in Canada you’re breaking the law, no two ways about it. In his eyes, the governments of Quebec and BC are both breaking the law.

I don’t believe Hayashi has a law degree. He’s got a black belt in karate and a history of failed dojos and an axe to grind, it seems. But no law degree.

Talk about a barbaric view of things. Hayashi’s thinking is positively neanderthalic and out-of-step with the times. He’s a government drone who wants to ride out the last handful of years until retirement in peace and quiet. He doesn’t want to sanction MMA because it would mean he’d have to get off his ass and work for a living.

It would mean he might have to hire a few more people to help regulate the sport when the UFC came to town, when the WEC and Strikeforce came to town, when all the local promotions, like Warrior One, put on cards. It would mean more people needed to count the revenue these events bring in – from ticket sales, from sales of merchandise and meals and hotels, and from licensing fees that go back to help fund the Athletic Commission.

But Hayashi doesn’t want any of that. Doesn’t see the upside. Where’s the benefit of him working a little bit harder to give millions of people what they want? What’s in it for him besides headaches and longer hours? He’s taken a stance and the wobblier it gets the straighter he stands, arms crossed in defiance. You will not have mixed martial arts in Ontario.

Time to give this guy a gold watch, a pat on the back and a boot in the ass on his way out the door. Time to find somebody reasonable to deal with, somebody who, if they aren’t sympathetic to MMA at least they recognize it as a sport and understand the benefits of allowing it to exist and flourish in this province.


1 Marky Prior { 04.02.10 at 1:55 pm }

well said. i agree 100%
enough is enough! this needs to be legalized ASAP and ontario will be showered in benefits from revenues and everything else

2 Alice { 04.03.10 at 7:52 am }

Unfortunately it’s all about being uneducated and refusing to wake up and see how technical this sport actually is and how much work these athletes put into preparing themselves. As for it being “too violent”, they need to also wake up and take a good long look at our own “national sport of hockey”, never mind the boxing events that have been featured in Ontario. Again it’s all about educating yourself and there are those who prefer to walk around with blindfolds on. Whatever happened to freedom of choice? If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

3 Matt { 04.06.10 at 5:25 pm }

Nice to see you get some profile on The Star, Barrett.

4 John Doh { 08.14.10 at 12:55 pm }

a couple of things Alice first he is well versed in what goes on on the tech side of fighting. (we fought him for years on the Muay Thai issue) but his problem is it would definately kill the karate tourney’s he is so fond of going to in T.O 2cnd point is: Lacrosse is the national sport of canada not hockey and even boxing is a pain to get into with him he is just a stubborn ass that needs to retire never mind giving him a watch it would just go to the creditor’s he owes for his failed dojo’s most likely i would settle for a round kick to the ass to send em on his way permantly!!

5 Barrett Hooper { 08.21.10 at 2:58 pm }

Point one: Hayashi knows karate. He doesn’t know MMA. At all. Yes, he was trying to ill kickboxing because it affected his karate tourneys and his school. Point 2: Hockey and lacrosse are both considered the official national sports of Canada. Yep, we have 2 of them. Point three: learn to use some goddamn punctuation.

6 andrew dodds { 09.06.10 at 3:02 pm }

hockey is canadas national game. This is a misnomer and an inaccurate understanding of our nation’s policies. Lacrosee is Canada’s official summer sport and hockey is Canada’s official winter sport. check it out

7 tom { 12.10.10 at 8:52 pm }

who cares what canadas national sport is.

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