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MMA Meets Autism in “The Great Fight” – SportsUntapped.com
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Added November 27th, 2010 by Matt

MMA Meets Autism in “The Great Fight”
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MMA meets autism in a new film from best-selling author Kenneth DelVecchio entitled “The Great Fight”. It features a cast filled with renown actors. Charles Durning, Robert Loggia,  Joyce DeWitt and Jackie Martling are a few of the actors in the film. Here is the synopsis of the film, definitely different than the standard fare for martial arts movies.

“Repeatedly suspended police officer, Nick Tantino, has found himself relegated to D.A.R.E. duty at his town’s public high school. Already frustrated with the realisms of the criminal justice system, Nick wants nothing more than to leave police work and follow his dreams of becoming a professional MMA fighter. At 40 though, he’s not in his prime – and mentally saddled with a past not known to his colleagues, the troubled cop is in a perpetual state of confusion. The arrival of an autistic student at the high school, however, suddenly puts his long standing MMA goal in motion–just in a different manner.

Cassie Rodriguez had abruptly moved her family – consisting only of her 17-year-old brother Anthony and herself – from Florida to New Jersey. An ambitious young lawyer, she landed a position with a criminal defense firm in the Garden State, but the locale change was more an effort to help Anthony and his struggles with autism. Diagnosed with different strains of the disorder, including Asperger’s syndrome which apparently causes him to lack all social skills, Anthony also has periodic, unexplained violent outbursts. This caused him to be expelled from his most recent Florida school, and immediately resulted in trouble in his new northern setting.

Refusing to speak with other students, and only mumbling a few words to teachers in the special education program, Anthony found himself the subject of ridicule and jokes by immature students. Nick noted that the boy, true to autistic stereotype, never reacted – that is until two fellow students mocked him in Spanish. Here, is where Nick witnessed an aberration of autistic abilities, and the vehicle for a personal resurgence: Anthony held awesome innate reflexive and fighting abilities, demonstrated so perfectly as he physically floored the two instigators, who happened to be top students of a local martial arts school.

Rather than have Anthony expelled from yet another high school, Nick convinces the Board of Education to allow him to personally oversee Anthony’s senior year, serving as an on-site mentor. Passionate that he can cull Anthony’s incredible skills, he persuades Cassie that there is a massive benefit in the discipline embedded in mixed martial arts.

What ensues is a terrific fight story: one in the ring; one in the mind; one in law; one in love. Nick re-opens his own brand of fighting, a craft largely built on offense. But he also re-opens his past, a history that more includes defense.

Through an undying devotion to his unlikely protege, Nick works to unravel the mystery of Anthony’s anti-social, autistic behavior – via the unorthodox therapy of fighting. Cassie, growing in love with her brother’s mentor, works to stop the unraveling of Nick’s mysterious past – utilizing her expertise in criminal law. A competing martial arts school sensei, who also serves as the County Prosecutor, works, with a vengeance, to prevent both goals of love. All collide at a finale MMA tournament, where all is resolved…or maybe not…

THE GREAT FIGHT will be the Opening Night Feature Film at the 2011 HOBOKEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.”

Here is the trailer:

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One Response to “MMA Meets Autism in “The Great Fight””

  1. Glinda Soong says:

    I have been taking my Aspergers son forsocial skills training for more than a year now and nothing seems to be getting any better.. Within the classes , he’ll implement exactly what they’re instructing our son. Still anytime he ventures into the real world with some other children within his class, I never observe our kid carry out the things he’s recently been taught. I do think I’m squandering our money whenever it doesn’t improve the way he really interacts with children not in his social skills course. He may in addition have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

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