Yoga and Cage Fighting
June 3rd, 2009

With less than two weeks left in the current session, lots and lots of bills are being ground through the gears of the legislature. And some of those bills just happen to be a bit more quirky than others. Two of those fun sort of bills have just made their way out of committee.

The first bill sponsored by Sen. Eric Schneiderman and would “protect New York’s Yoga studios from regulations that threaten their livelihood.” The bill was passed out of the Senate Education Committee today.

According to a press release from Schneiderman’s office, the New York State Education Department has accused yoga studios of “violating the law by training new instructors without a license, despite the fact that such licenses have never been required before.”

Some studios have been threatened with $50,000 fines and have received letters ordering them to shut down until they undergo a state curriculum approval process. Schneiderman’s bill would amend state education law so that exemptions would be given for the instruction of students who enroll in classes “for the purposes of leisure, hobby, or personal enrichment.”

“This bill will bring peace and tranquility to New York’s yoga studios,” Schneiderman said in the statement.

Meanwhile, in stark contrast to all that bendy, huggy, peace and love stuff, the Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sports Development approved a bill that would allow and have the state regulate mixed martial arts, or “ultimate fighting.”

The bill has garnered attention of late because its sponsor in the Senate, Sen. Kevin Parker, was recently indicted on multiple charges of assault, harassment and criminal mischief after allegedly assaulting a New York Post photographer.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been lobbying hard to have New York regulate the sport so that they can hold events at venues across the state, including in Madison Square Garden. They argue the sport will attract tourism and be a financial boon to the cities that host the events. The sport has grown greatly in popularity in the last few years and is now sanctioned in 39 states, including New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, California and Pennsylvania.

Opponents, led by upstate Assemblyman Bob Reilly, say that the sport is barbaric, brutal and bloody. Reilly has led a charge against the sports legalization and has been at the focus of national attention because of his stance.

Reilly played the committee clips of fighters being injured and a tape of UFC president Dana White calling a reporter a “dumb bitch” for being critical of his management. Apparently that didn’t sway many legislators as the bill passed 13 to 5.

Reilly recently told Lisa Olsen of AOL Fanhouse that he has received death threats because of his opposition to the bill.

By on June 3, 2009, 2:00 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Yoga and Cage Fighting”

  1. ufc live feed Says:
    May 23rd, 2010 at 7:34 am

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  2. Felix Goepfarth Says:
    October 25th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

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