Mixed Martial Arts. MMA Fight Magazine
Mixed Martial Arts. Grabbing a spot in the spotlight
For the longest time, boxing ruled the arena for hand-to-hand full contact sport in terms of popularity and following. However, in the recent past, a combat sport that used to be in the sidelines has now gained as many followers as boxing. It is called MMA which actually stands for Mixed Martial Arts. This sport hit its highest point in December 2006 when a rematch between MMA heavy weight champion Chuck Liddell and former champion Tito Ortiz hit the highest ticket sales that matched some of the highest grossing paper view boxing fights of all time.
MMA which is a hand-to-hand combat sport permits striking and grappling combat styles. Its name Mixed Martial Arts alone is already a give away that it is a combination of various forms of martial arts that includes boxing, wrestling, kickboxing, karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Judo, Muay Thai, Taekwondo and others. While most see it as a no holds barred fight, Mixed Martial Arts is a regulated full contact sport of athletes who were trained in different martial arts techniques. Like any other sport a well trained athlete who has applied the techniques and principles he has learned most appropriately wins.
It may have grabbed some of the spotlight away from boxing just now but its origins can be traced back to Ancient Greece. The oldest recorded predecessor of modern Mixed Martial Arts is the Pankration, an ancient Olympic combat sport during the Greco-Roman era that also applied both striking and grappling styles of hand to hand combat. Historical records show that this olden version of Mixed Martial Arts originated from Ancient Greece and later on handed down to the Romans. It is also documented that numerous mixed style fights took place in Europe, Japan and Pan Pacific as early as the 1900s.
The Vale Tudo, which started in Brazil in the 1920s and was introduced in the US in 1993 by Gracie family, had a vital role in the establishment of the UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship, now the biggest Mixed Martial Arts promotions company internationally. It was originally put up to find the most effective style of martial arts for real hand-to-hand combat which was played with minimal rules. Through the years it evolved as competitors integrated more than one martial arts style and promoters implemented more rules for more protection to fighters and promote wider acceptance of the sport. Rick Blume President and at the same time Chief Executive Officer of Battlecade in the year 1995, is responsible for coming up with the term Mixed Martial Arts the president and CEO of Battlecade in 1995.
It survived through Ancient Greece, to Rome and then lived on in Europe and Asia, until it found its way to the US and then conquered the rest of the world. Through the years, Mixed Martial Arts thrived and developed in the sidelines while the whole world was watching Muhammad Ali and his gang. But that was decades ago, today it is among the most followed and anticipated combat sport all over the world from the athletes to the fights and even the clothing. All of these indicators point out that Mixed Martial Arts is now on the spotlight and is there to stay.