Mixed martial arts or MMA is a kind of combat sport involving full contact which allows different varieties of fighting methods and techniques, coming from mixtures of the conventional martial arts to the non-traditional ones, all used in the competition. Rules allow the usage of grappling and striking when either battling it out on the ground or standing. Competitions involving mixed martial arts allow different artists having different martial arts background to fight their way to the championships.
It was in 1993 when the modernized competition in the American society emerged thus, the founding of the UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship. This competition was based initially on recognizing some of the most efficient martial arts for a real and unarmed combat playground. The competitors of different arts vie against each other having minimal safety rules.
Through the decades, promoters of the MMA have adopted additional rules which are aimed at magnifying and increasing the safety of the competitors and to be able to promote a larger audience to see it as a form of accepted sport. Jeff Blatnick, former Olympic gold medalist and Greco-Roman wrestler, was the one who coined the term mixed martial arts.
In 1997, the sport was developed worldwide with some of the main development centers in the United States, Japan and Brazil. During its development era, exchanges of knowledge from different countries happened for MMA to finally take place. Some of the techniques currently used came from countries like England, Holland, Russia, Brazil, Thailand, France, America along with bits and pieces from other countries.
Walk Back to History
Historical Greece made the earliest remark in the history of MMA through its Pankration competitions. In Pankration, some of the Greek’s style in boxing and wrestling were utilized. Although, compared to UFC, proving the style that will work best is given very little emphasis. The Greeks were more concerned on the representation of each athlete’s native style.
The UFC gave out its first bout, which was known as War of the Worlds, having a kenpo, savateur, boxer, shootfighter, two kick boxers, and a jiu-jitsu fighter turning up against each other. Royce Gracie, a jiu-jitsu fighter from Brazil swept out all other contestants. When UFC III came into being, referees were already allowed to stop the fights.
Competitions on different fighting styles like jujutsu versus boxing became one of the most popular entertainment in countries like Japan, Europe and the Pacific. In Japan, contests like these were called as “merikan” which means American fighting. Merikan contestants competed under several rules which include best of three knockdowns, submission, and points decision. Some of these rules were adapted by the UFC and is still accepted by regulators of the game.
In December 2006, mixed martial arts reached its peak due to the rematch made between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell. This match surpassed UFC’s gross and the entire promotion history.
The game wasn’t the only one that evolved but also its fighters and the rules as well. Due to an increased number in competitors, information sharing, modern kinesiology, and camps supporting organized training, further understanding of different strategies in combat improved increasing.
The sport itself was a masterpiece thanks to the early years and those who have proposed it, continual evolution and worldwide appreciation of mixed martial arts were achieved.