An introduction to MMA


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An introduction to MMA

  1. 1. ==== ====A special Report for struggling MMA Fighters. For your FREE Renegade video click here: ====The popularity of mixed martial arts contests like the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) hassoared exponentially over the last decade. However, some may still wonder just exactly whatmixed martial arts is. Well, to a certain extent its just what its name implies. It is the combining ofdifferent martial arts and the incorporation of those techniques into ones repertoire of fightingskills.If mixed martial arts (MMA) is so popular, then why hasnt it been done before. Actually, it hasbeen done before. The ancient Greek Olympics had a sport known as pankration which involvedgrappling and striking and had no rules. Pankration means "all powerful." Pankration was the no-holds-barred (NHB) fighting of its day. Vale tudo contests were popular in Brazil during thetwentieth century. Vale tudo also had a limited number of rules. Vale tudo means "anything goes"in Portuguese. Vale tudo contests are probably the nearest descendant to the UFC.As you can see, MMA is not exactly new. But, its been perfected and polished to a high degreeover the last few decades. When the UFC first began, it was merely a contest to see which martialarts discipline was superior. The Gracie family of Brazil believed that their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu wasthe best. And, to some extent they proved that it was. Royce Gracie won UFC 1, 2, and 4 oftenfighting against bigger opponents. I still enjoy watching videos of Royce. Royce Gracie putBrazilian Jiu Jitsu "on the map." However, the UFC evolved from its humble origins. Weightclasses and other rules came into being. Competitors realized that they could combine wrestling,grappling, and striking skills. Thus, the sport of MMA was born.For More UFC History, Check Out the Books:Blood in the Cage: Mixed Martial Arts, Pat Miletich, and the Furious Rise of the UFCA Fighters Heart: One Mans Journey Through the World of FightingBoxing and Other Martial ArtsWhen I was growing up, boxers were well known in America. I was familiar with the namesMuhammad Ali, Leon Spinks, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Ray "BoomBoom" Mancini, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Hector "Macho" Camacho, Oscar de la Hoya,Mike Tyson, James "Buster" Douglas, and Evander Holyfield. But, the popularity of boxing hasdiminished over the years perhaps in part because of the increased interest in MMA. The onlyboxers that I am very familiar with now are Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward, Bernard Hopkins, andManny Pacquiao. Boxing movies like Rocky may have contributed to its popularity. Even now, onecan still see boxing movies such as The Fighter.The Karate Kid introduced some of us to the discipline of karate. And, the movieKickboxer
  2. 2. introduced me to Muay Thai. Steven Seagal did some interesting martial arts in his movies. Manyof us have seen kung fu movies as well. I grew up in the Midwest, so I was always interested inwrestling. I took a Taekwondo class during college. I saw kickboxing competitions on televisionoccasionally. There seemed to be a time when practitioners of a certain martial art werentinterested in learning another martial art and many people thought that the martial art of theirchoice was the best. MMA seems to have shown that a combination of fighting styles works thebest to attain fighting dominance. Even the military and police forces utilize MMA techniques.Primitive Mixed Martial ArtsThe legendary Bruce Lee recognized that traditional martial arts had their limits and werentalways practical in real world situations. Bruce Lee studied and critiqued many traditional forms.Lees approach to martial arts and his emphasis on practicality makes him a forerunner of mixedmartial arts. "Judo" Gene LeBell defeated boxer Milo Savage in 1963 with a lapel choke in one ofthe first MMA type contests. In addition, Muhammad Ali fought Antonio Inoki to a draw in 1976 inwhat would be considered a primitive MMA contest.Ground and Pound, Sprawl and Brawl, SubmissionsAs I discussed earlier, mixed martial arts, the UFC, and other MMA competitions came into beingand showed that combining martial arts could create a dominant fighter. Soon strategiesdeveloped. Some competitors were better at wrestling so they liked to employ the "ground andpound" strategy. Some were better at kicking and punching so they employed the "sprawl andbrawl" strategy. And, others were experts at submissions (lock and choke) sticking with thatstrategy.Fighting BackgroundsMixed martial artists come from many different back grounds:Royce Gracie - Brazilian Jiu JitsuPat Miletich - wrestling, karate, kickboxingMatt Hughes - wrestlingTito Ortiz - wrestlingRandy Couture - wrestlingChuck Liddell - wrestling, Kempo, Koei-Kan Karate-do, and kickboxingKeith Jardine - karateLyoto Machida - karateB. J. Penn - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  3. 3. Kazushi Sakuraba - catch wrestlingFedor Elemianenko - samboKaro Parisyan - judoThese fighters, of course, combined other skills with their primary fighting style to be completefighters.Mixed martial artists combine many skills from many disciplines including but not limited tofreestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, catch wrestling, judo, sambo, Brazilian Jiu jitsu, MuayThai, boxing, kickboxing, and karate.Basil the GreekI read a book while in elementary school called The Great Brain. In one story in this book, theGreat Brain (Tom) helps teach a Greek immigrant boy how to fight in America so he wont getbullied and picked on. Tom notices that Basil isnt very good at boxing but is great at wrestling,especially headlocks. Tom develops a fighting strategy for Basil around this.Heres a tiny excerpt from the book:Tom and Basil were waiting inside the barn. "This is going to be a rough and tumble fight,"Tomannounced. "Anything goes, lumberjack style.""Suits me," Sammy said, grinning.Well, Basil was able to catch Sammy in a headlock and straddle him on the ground (a la "groundand pound"). Basil was able to neutralize Sammys punches and win the fight. Thats how MMAworks. A fighter can use his skills to neutralize the skills of another fighter. Combining skills worksbetter than using one fighting skill exclusively.There you have it. I hope you enjoyed this introduction to mixed martial arts. And, I hope youcontinue to watch and perhaps participate in this sport as it evolves and gains in popularity.Tharin Schwinefus is a former high school conference wrestling champion and state qualifier. Hemaintains a passion and interest in all things related to the sport of wrestling. He is alsopassionate about the grappling arts and submission grappling. If you would like to read moreinformation regarding grappling and wrestling then please visit Source:
  4. 4. ==== ====A special Report for struggling MMA Fighters. For your FREE Renegade video click here: ====