Tattoo (ta-too'): a permanent mark or design made on the skin by a process of pricking and ingraining an indelible pigment or by raising scars.
Warriors from many cultures have often adorned themselves with a variety of tattoos and body arts.
To prepare for battles, Native North Americans were known for painting their faces, bodies, weapons, and even their horses with organic dyes made from various available plants and their roots. Ancient Scottish soldiers faced their enemies with faces painted blue to cause more terror. In order to be accepted by their peers as worthy to fight, some African tribesmen still allow their skin to be permanently branded by their elders. Throughout history, the art of tattooing has been present.
Since the invention of radio and television, famed celebrities have influenced their legions of fans; in the 20th century, rock & roll music's continually strong influence on our society has resulted in many people getting their bodies tattooed for the first time. Others may eventually decide to get a tattoo after seeing their favorite actors on screen adorned with one. Some people have regretfully gotten their first body art done only after a night of heavy drinking!
Nowadays, many top MMA fighters may be helping to make tattooing an even more highly recognized art form by increased media exposure during their fights, interviews and public appearances. Some championship level MMA fighters are now sometimes paid to wear a temporary tattoo, applied to advertise sponsored logos, or they may actually get a permanent one placed on them to represent their sponsors, their own organizations or a personal expression, during a bout. More than just the partial influence of today's top MMA stars; these days' tattoos have become much more widely accepted by the general public.
One well established Hollywood based tattoo artist has said, "The level of artwork seen placed on the arms, biceps and bodies of some professional MMA stars in the cage is bordering on Tattoo Masterpiece." The amount of artwork seen on some of these fighters makes them resemble something seen on a NASCAR vehicle!" Another MMA Coach has admitted, "Veteran guys like Bas Rutten, with his signature tattooed palms, helped to get this whole thing started in MMA. Guys like Kimo, with his heavily tattooed back, took it to an extreme."
Perhaps today's MMA fighters feel that not having a tattoo is taboo? After all, it now seems increasingly rare to see a competitor without one in the octagon. It is more likely that the art has simply become much more readily available and sought out by fighters and MMA fans, along with much of the rest of today's youth culture.
This increased demand for tattoos has resulted in a record amount of new shops opening up in many areas of the USA. There now seems to be one on nearly every other street-corner in most big cities. The method of applying a tattoo has been highly refined since past decades, using safer inks and equipment, thus recovery time is usually shorter...the pain, still only a bit more tolerable. Because of this, the public may have less apprehension about getting their first tattoo; within the last decade, industry statistics say that there definitely has been a clear increase in new and repeat business.
Huge Tattoo expos, which occur mainly in big cities around the U.S., help to promote tattooing; thousands of enthusiasts attend these big events. Whole convention centers are used to house and accommodate the many fans of the art form that are packed inside whenever one takes place.
Literally, the art of Tattooing is permanently here to stay.