Mixed Martial Arts is shedding its brutal image and is on its way to becoming a mainstream sport. SixDegrees spoke to practitioners and enthusiasts about MMA’s rise, appeal and potential future.

IF YOU’VE never been to a Mixed Martial Arts fight, you may picture this scene in your head: in the centre of a hall, surrounded by up to 3,000 cheering people, is a cage. In it, two men (or women) hit and kick each other and block each other’s strikes using techniques of various types of martial arts. After a while of fighting on their feet, the two fighters eventually end up grappling on the floor until one of them gets the upper hand that ends the match — for example, by putting the other fighter in a chokehold after which he submits or, more rarely, passes out.

Other true fans got your back!

The fourth edition in our series of sports-related hobbies talks about itinerant fans.

If you read this article when it’s published during the football World Cup in Brazil, you should find it easy to relate to what Asko Parkkasaari, 28, told us about his visit to the previous such competition four years ago.

A man’s success was once measured either by the number in his bank account, or by the quality of people he surrounds himself with. However, thanks to a wide variety of apps now available, success can also be measured by the size of his bicep, his weight and body mass index, and let’s not forget his blood pressure and heart rate.

Aerial yoga is a new member of the growing yoga-inspired exercise family. What sets it apart from the more traditional types of yoga is doing exercise while you’re literally hanging up in the air, – not due to fierce meditation, but by a piece of material.

In short, doing aerial yoga involves stretching and muscle strengthening exercises while balancing on a fabric loop hanging from the ceiling. The first aerial yoga lessons were held in New York in 2006, and recently, the acrobatic yoga form arrived to Finland, too. The first place to offer aerial yoga lessons was Vertical Club in Helsinki.

The concept of friendship towns dates back to the 1940s and has offered various benefits to Finnish municipalities over the years. These days, cities collaborate across borders routinely, but town twinning still has relevance in international relations.

FOR ALMOST 70 years, Finnish cities and towns have been forming friendship agreements with foreign cities, allowing them to collaborate in numerous ways with their international partners. Today, Finnish municipalities have over a thousand twin town relationships around the world.