Mixed Martial Arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a sport that can be traced back to the ancient Olympics. It is a full contact sport which allows striking blows from both a fighters hands & feet. As well as grappling or wrestling techniques either from a standing position from the ground. It incorporates a variety combat sport fighting techniques. Pankration was a sport which can be traced to the Olympics. It incorporated unarmed full range combat just as the sport of MMA does today. There were several contests set up throughout the 1900’s in varied places such as Brazil offering up the sport of vale tudo in 1920. This sport was transported to America in 1993 by the Gracie family who had long since been closely related to it. This was during the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Originally the bouts were very dangerous with little to no regulation but additional rules were quickly implemented in order to increase the safety of the fighters & in order to bring the sport into the mainstream it was required. It began a way to find the best martial art for a real world unarmed combat situation but many of the fighters soon began to incorporate additional moves into their arsenal from other martial arts disciplines. The term Mixed Martial Arts was coined by Howard Rosenberg during UFC1 in 1993. The sport has continued to evolve & grow. It now rivals the popularity of other major sports such as Boxing or Wrestling.
In the United States the first competition between a wrestler & a boxer was in 1887 between standing world heavyweight boxing champion John Sullivan took on his trainer William Muldoon a champion in Greco Roman wrestling himself. It took 2 minutes for Muldoon to slam Sullivan to the ground. There have been several very public fights between fighters with different styles. They have varied outcomes sometimes one tradition wins & in other cases the opposite happens. It did not take long for individuals to start combining the arts to create the best fighting practice for themselves. There are even some traditions which stem from multiple arts as well such as Bartitsu which was the first to combine Asian & European fighting styles. The practice of using multiple aspects of several of the martial arts in combination was made popular by Bruce Lee with the introduction of Jeet Kune Do. Bruce Lee believed that the best fighter would not use one tradition or another but a mixed style which allowed for a fluid fight in which one could adjust to their opponents fighting style to overcome it. This practice is exhibited even in current Mixed Martial Arts competitions around the world. The MMA has become a global phenomenon & it shows no sign of stopping.