Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has made a drastic imprint and risen in popularity in a significant way relatively recently. MMA is a hybrid combat sport with techniques from boxing, wrestling, BJJ, karate, Muay Thai (also known as Thai boxing), and other combat sports. MMA used to be deemed as a critically brutal sport without rules. As of late, MMA has become more of a widely recognized sport, with events sanctioned in various countries and all over the U.S.
The Origins of MMA
MMA technically started back in ancient Greek times and training for some of the most brutal Olympic games. Fast forward to the 1990s, MMA began to make a name for itself in the U.S. after the well-known Gracie family (Jiu-Jitsu) trademarked BJJ in the U.S. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) became the lead promoter of MMA events, and UFC 1 started in 1993. The lack of rules and extremely brutal nature was MMA’s real kicker despite its popularity steadily increasing.
What’s Involved in MMA?
The main rules of MMA include:
- Participants competing in a ring or fenced area
- Padded fingerless gloves
- Strikes, throws, kicks, or grappling are allowed.
- Headbutting, gouging one’s eye, biting, hair pulling, and elbow, throat, and spine strikes are prohibited on all counts.
Non-championship fights are typically 3 x five-minute rounds with a one-minute break in between each round. In contrast, Championship fights are five rounds. Winning is decided by a knockout or forcing an opponent to submit.
What’s to Enjoy About MMA?
MMA is a unique and all-encompassing sport. Here are some reasons to love it:
- Instead of dedicating time to one sport, you get to dedicate time to multiple sports WITHIN one.
- MMA gives the opportunity to dabble and create a distinctive fighting style because you get to incorporate different components from a variety of combat sports.
- Participating in mixed martial arts requires discipline, time, coordination, and being multi-faceted.
What disciplines are included within MMA?
MMA is a sport of many sports. Mixed Martial Arts include boxing, wrestling, judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, karate, kickboxing, and other combat sports.
- Jiu Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), also known as the gentle sport, is all about being a grappling sport with few or no weapons. BJJ evolved in Brazil based on Japanese judo teachings and was founded on the idea of being able to make an opponent submit regardless of size or strength.
- Muay Thai
Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing, is the national sport of Thailand. It is a combat sport originally intended for military use in the 13th century. The “art of 8 limbs” is its nickname because Muay Thai uses punches, elbows, knees, and kicks – the use of all 8 limbs. It is a stand-up striking sport that also includes clinching and sweeps.
Boxing is one of the oldest known sports and had ruthless beginnings. Since then, it has grown in popularity due to its tactful nature. Boxing is a standing sport utilizing punches with the primary objective to hit and avoid being hit. You either win based on a knockout or a decision from the judges regarding more technique-focused scorecards.
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What are the benefits of learning MMA?
MMA is the fastest-growing combat sport globally. Also known as the most complete self-defence system, MMA is creating a multi-dimensional fan base. MMA training can help you reach long-term fitness goals, master self-defence, and gain major necessities for the type of lifestyle you want: confidence, discipline, and self-control
Some other major positives for training in MMA include:
- Personal safety
MMA training requires a disciplined mind and a disciplined body. MMA training is notorious for giving people an intense physical workout that is purposeful, elevates mood, reduces stress, and is continuously fun and motivational. Why train one sport when you can train several under an umbrella sport in MMA?
Modern MMA training lets participants learn how to make intelligent decisions under pressure, learn more about themselves, and gear their training toward what matters to them. A big part of MMA training includes classes and having a team. This is a way to create a larger social circle to enhance connection, mood, and support.