Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), not too long ago was thought of as more of a joke, with mismatches and a sort of side-show act. The sport includes different styles of fighting of them are: kickboxing, karate, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai and wrestling. With that being said, the sport has stepped up in recent years to become a legitimate one that is respected and very popular. Mirror reports, that as of 2005, MMA is rapidly growing and becoming the fastest growing sport in the world.
The sport has three rounds unless it is a championship fight or a non-title UFC main event, then the fight is one that goes for five rounds. Each round is sanctioned off into a five-minute time limit. As with any sport, real or fake, there are rules, and mixed martial arts fighting is no exception to the rule.
According to Mirror, all state athletic commissions in the U.S. adopted the Unified Rules to help regulate the sport. Some of the rules for the fighters include but are not limited to, hand wrapping and the size of the fighting area.
As with any other sport, mixed martial arts fighting also have set guidelines for fouls inside the Unified Rules, among them are a few like, no headbutting, and being a good sportsman, by not causing an injury to an opponent. If the call of foul is concluded to be a blatant disregard of the rules, then disqualification is in their future. If a foul is called it usually is a point deduction which as any fighters or fan know can be a crucial setback in mixed martial arts.
MMA a Brief Ancient History
According to Ockickboxing, most cultures have types of Mixed Martial Arts. Even though Mixed Martial Arts is thought of as having its origins in Asian decent, it was throughout the Western countries as well. The reasoning behind the thought of it coming from oriental decent is that they were more vigilant in teaching techniques to their youth, whereas westerners were not.
Not only did Asians and westerners practice Mixed Martial Arts, but the Egyptian, and Greeks along with many other cultures did as well. Given the vast array of countries and cultures who practiced a form of Mixed Martial Arts makes the sport one of most ancient sports.
- Hieroglyphics of the ancient Egyptians indicate fighting and practicing Mixed Martial Arts dates back as far as 3,000 years.
- The fighting techniques include the use of empty hands which is believed to have been taught to them by the soldiers of Mesopotamia and Sumer.
- The Greeks introduced a sport called, Pankration, which is a sport combining boxing and wrestling in their Olympic games, in 648 B.C. This indicates the Roman Gladiators appear to be the first to participate in the sport.
- The word Pankration came from the greek words, pan and Kratos, which mean, all and powers, respectively.
- Athletic contests were held in Siam, Thailand and were part of their festivals and celebrations. They were also a source of entertainment for the kings.
- China is thought to have practiced Mixed Martial Arts as far back as 200 B.C. The sport, Muay, which is a martial art had been used in warfare and became a spectator sport.
- Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. The participants attend many international boxing conventions.
- As late as 1889, Filipinos still dueled with swords if they had a disagreement. Although, in the 1930s, to make the fighting more humane the combatants started using rattan sticks. They would use these to strike at close range, they also punched, used their elbows, knees, and feet.
- Even though it was much like modern Mixed Martial Arts the fight often did not end until a fighter was killed.
- Japanese Shooto is also known as, Shoot Wrestling, and is considered to be a very highly developed combat sport taken from Judo, wrestling, Muay Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu.
- Pancrase, another form of fighting competition is part of the Japanese Mixed Martial Arts organization, which was founded 1993.
- Former President George Washington was involved in Irish Collar and Elbow Wrestling.
- Bruce Lee made famous a Mixed Martial Arts based fighting technique that included, Kung Fu, boxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, and Jiu-Jitsu, called Jeet Kune. He was credited by Dana White of the UFC, as the first one to practice Mixed Martial Arts in America.
Mixed Martial Arts Made it Big
With the help of Zuff LLC, who bought the UFC, for $2 million, Mixed Martial Arts quickly became the fastest growing sports in America. According to Ockickboxing, its fast growth helped the pay-per-view revenue exceed that of boxing and the WWE. Spike TV released the Ultimate Fighter reality show in 2005, pushing media coverage for Mixed Martial Arts. In turn, this placed them in very good light and soon appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine.
By Tracy Blake
Edited by Cathy Milne
Ockickboxing: History of MMA
UFC: RULES AND REGULATIONS
Mirror: Mixed Martial Arts: 11 things you REALLY need to know about the world’s fastest growing sport
Featured Image Courtesy of Tracy Blake’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Fight Club Central Gym’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License