Mixed Martial Arts or MMA for short is a kind of combat and full contact sport that permits grappling and striking techniques, both on the ground and standing, taken from other types of combat sports. A fight is usually done on top of MMA mats to reduce injury to the players when they hit the ground. The origin of modern MMA could be followed back to the Olympics of old, where one of the oldest recorded systems of organized unarmed, full range combat was used in a sport called Pankration. During the early parts of the 1900’s, different mixed style duels where done all over Europe, the Pacific Rim and Japan. A combat sport was developed in Brazil during the twenties called Vale Tudo, and this was brought by the Gracie family to the United States in 1993, with the establishment of the UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC is the biggest promotion venture for Mixed Martial Arts all over the world.
A Safer Sport
The initial Vale Tudo style bouts of early UFC fights were made safer with the introduction of new rules, which led to the codified MMA form that is popular today. Initially promoted as a sport with the intent of getting the most efficient martial arts for real life unarmed combat scenarios, athletes were matched against each other with minimum rules. Competitors later incorporated several martial arts into their own styles, while the promoters implemented more rules that were aimed at boosting fighter safety and promote general acceptance of mixed martial arts. The term mixed martial arts was actually made by Rick Blume, who is the CEO and president of Battlecade. With the changes, the sport became more popular and became a PPV or Pay Per View venture that compete with professional wrestling and boxing.
Styles And Subcultures
Japanese and American mixed martial arts scenes have their origins in a couple of grappling styles and interconnected subcultures, which are shoot wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The first were the Brazilian Vale Tudo events and these were followed by shoot wrestling in Japan.
- Vale Tudo
This form of martial arts was started in 1920’s. It was popularized by the Gracie Challenge that was began by Helio and Carlos Gracie, and continued by descendants of the family.
- Shoot Wresting
Early Japanese wrestling matches that have martial arts theme is known as Ishu Kakutogi Sen, and was popularized by Antonio Inoki during the seventies.
These are just the basic introduction on the development of mixed martial arts that is a very popular sport today.