You do not “play” combat sports, you train for them.
Combat sports is as ancient as time itself. The animal kingdom is flush full of examples in the struggle for life.
Two opponents meet inside of a sealed off portion of this earth, are bound by rules and then set out to see who will emerge victorious.
Blood will be drawn. Sweat will pour from every square inch of the body. Mental toughness will be tested.
Our modern times are not the same struggles that most of human existence has been. The modern human does not have to fight for food, rarely has to fight for a mate, and housing is readily available.
So what do we gain from watching what some may call an abominable affront to human dignity? Everything.
Fighting tests the limits of human physical strength, mental tenacity and adaptation to skills that have rapidly developed over the past few decades.
Many see combat sports as a contest between two fighters, equally matched by weight & skill. There are others that believe it is barbaric, inhumane and should be banned, regardless of what rules or limits are implemented.
But if you ask nearly any person involved in combat sports, even if they do not compete, you will find that as a whole they are humble, confident and most often will deescalate a situation before it comes to physical violence.
Why is this so? Because combat sports teach discipline, respect and personal boundaries.
It offers an outlet for stress relief, is meditative in nature, and the learned skills are of practical nature.
Especially to those in our society that are most vulnerable to violence.
If you have never tried participating in combat sports, I would suggest you give it a go.