MMA is an umbrella term for modern combat sports that incorporate techniques from multiple disciplines such as boxing, wrestling, judo, karate, and muay Thai (Thai boxing). Its rules are designed to allow athletes of different martial arts styles to compete against each other in a no-holds-barred fight. MMA matches are typically held in an enclosed space called an Octagon, where the competitors use both striking and grappling techniques to win.
Despite being initially decried as a brutal blood sport, MMA has grown to be one of the world’s fastest-growing spectator sports in the early 21st century. Its evolution into a legitimate fighting sport has been the result of incremental rule changes and improvements in training. These advances have managed to create a safe and realistic fighting environment while still maintaining the electric thrill of full-contact mixed martial arts.
The earliest precursor to MMA can be traced back to the ancient Greek tradition of Pankration, which used striking and grappling techniques. However, this was not as regulated as modern MMA and allowed for eye gouging and biting among other things.
In the modern era, MMA has evolved into an exciting and demanding spectator sport that requires a broad range of skills. The athletes are required to train in several fighting styles to gain a well-rounded skillset, and the goal is to defeat the opponent by any means necessary. This includes using stand-up striking and takedown techniques, as well as submission holds on the ground.
While some fighters specialise in a particular discipline, the most successful competitors are those that cross-train in order to develop an all round fighting style. This enables them to exploit their opponents weaknesses while utilizing the strengths of their own fighting style. Some of the most popular MMA disciplines include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, wrestling and thai boxing.
A successful MMA match is won by submitting the opponent through various submission holds such as chokes and arm bars. A fighter can also win by disarming the opponent or gaining superior positioning, such as in the mount position. Another way to submit an opponent is to remove their support, or base, by sweeping them. This is achieved by pulling the opponent to one side, thereby removing their balance and making them vulnerable to attacks.
In addition to these fighting styles, MMA competitors are also required to practice ground-based fighting drills such as the clinch, which involves gripping and holding an opponent, or the mount, which is a dominant position that is achieved by gaining control of both the arm and the head. The fighter can then apply various wrestling and submission holds to their opponent until the referee calls a stop to the fight, or until the opponent is unable to continue fighting due to injury or exhaustion. MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)