Where did MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) come from, and what is it, what is this sport, and where will the modern industry lead it?
Where did MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) come from, and what is it, what is this sport, and where will the modern industry lead it? The answer seems to be simple, but behind these three letters lies more than two thousand years of history, the universal martial arts in the world of martial arts.
Let’s take a closer look at these issues, and go through the history of the emergence of MMA, study its principles and rules, consider the prospects for the development of this sport.
MMA (Mixed Martial Arts),- mixed martial arts. This is the name of the sport that has won millions’ hearts and whose popularity continues to grow. This is the sport of the future, but its connection with the past is undoubtedly apparent. After all, MMA contains the wealthiest heritage of various martial arts.
A bit of ancient history.
First, you need to look into the past to see the roots of antiquity’s martial arts, which became the progenitors of modern MMA.
Mixed martial arts have an ancient ancestor called pankration. This single combat was an Olympic sport, back in 648 BC.
It was pankration that was very similar to MMA and became its progenitor. Pankration was created as competitive combat, not as a means of destroying the enemy.
By its philosophy, pankration is unarmed combat and not the last hope of a fighter who has lost his weapon on the battlefield. This single combat was created as an element of competition, and not a means of destroying the enemy in a fight on the battlefield.
In pankration, the entire arsenal of blows was allowed, up to and including head blows. The fighters used a variety of striking techniques with arms and legs, knees, elbows and palms. Pankration, the first of all martial arts, introduced the principle of punches in series.
Throws and wrinkles were also allowed, up to the breaking of the fingers. In the pankration, painful and suffocating techniques were allowed. It was not allowed only to scratch, bite, make hooks and gouge out the eyes.
Compliance with these rules was monitored by a judge armed with a stick. If the rules were violated, the judge had the right to hit the offender.
But unlike the fistfights of the time, pankration was not a “bloody fight”. If fist fighters often died in competitions, then there were no cases of death of pankration fighters.
Even images on antique vases have survived, showing fragments of battles in pankration.
The decline in the popularity of pankration in ancient Greece is associated with the beginning of gladiatorial battles. Pankration could not compete with gladiatorial competitions in brilliance and brilliance.
Mixed martial arts in the 20th century.
At the end of the 19th century, a revival of the sporting era began, and the evolution of martial and sport disciplines started in various parts of the world. With the accelerated development of technological progress and transport links across the globe, carriers of various “mixed martial art” have an opportunity to meet like never before.
Even then, the question was prevalent – what martial arts fighter will come out the winner in a street fight. Of course, the fighters were not forced to fight on the street, and these questions were clarified in the ring, which subsequently gave rise to the so-called cross-matches, where, for example, a boxer met in a duel with a fighter.
Western European boxers’ fights with jiu-jitsu wrestlers were very popular, where the rules allowed wrestlers to use only throws, grabs and chokes, and boxers could use superior striking hand techniques. In these fights, wrestlers were forbidden to strike, and boxers were prohibited from using wrestling techniques.
It was a “one-sided” competition because boxers could successfully perform at a distance and in a clinch, but their advantage ended when it came to parterre. According to statistics, victories in most cases were won by representatives of ju-jitsu.
The geography of such competitions covered Europe, Japan and the countries of the Pacific basin. Such tournaments lasted until the 25s—years of the twentieth century.
Meanwhile, an event in Brazil is directly related to the birth of modern mixed martial arts. Brothers from the Gracie family received the knowledge of the art of jiu-jitsu from the Japanese master Mayeda.
In 1925, the brothers opened a jiu-jitsu academy and then began to challenge representatives of other martial arts schools to prove the superiority of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
The battles were fought with a minimum set of restrictions, and were called Vale – Tudo, which was translated from Portuguese as “everything is allowed.”
The history of mixed martial arts resembles two streams that originated in different places but then merged. At first glance, it might seem that all these events, separated by a great distance and considerable time, are in no way connected. However, they set the stage and sowed the seeds that will grow into a new sport called MMA.
Modern mixed martial arts originated in three countries: Brazil, Japan and the United States. The main tournaments held in the early to mid-90s were the Brazilian Vale – Tudo, the Japanese PRIDE promotion and the North American UFC promotion. It was these organizations that brought modern MMA to the top of the sports industry.
So what exactly is modern MMA? Let’s consider.
MMA is a full-contact combat sport, including striking and wrestling techniques used both in the standing position and in the ground. Modern MMA has incorporated many techniques and trends from various martial arts and martial arts, making it a separate fighting school.
MMA is a universal type of martial arts, and its strategy is not limited to any specific set of techniques or techniques. Various tactics can win a battle, from an open exchange in a standing position to a long exhausting clinch.
Training in MMA is also different from training in other martial arts. Here you need to train strength, strength and functional endurance, speed. Throws and grips, punches and kicks, work at the ropes or the net are practised separately.
MMA fighters’ training is varied. The work on the paws can be changed by strength training, and the practice of finishing on the ground can be replaced by training in kickboxing. The strengths or weaknesses of the fighters are also trained individually.
Drummers pull up the wrestling base, and the wrestlers practice their striking technique. And intellectual work is required continuously. You can’t survive without fighting intelligence in modern MMA. The fighter must read the opponent and make decisions with lightning speed. He must have a plan for the battle, but if necessary, be able to improvise.
Fighters from different sports are moving to MMA, but the wrestlers have more advantages since a fight close to reality almost always goes to the ground after the exchange of punches.
It is difficult for a drummer to get up from the floor, and therefore often, in confrontations between wrestlers and drummers, the fight ends in the ground, the drummer’s loss. Thus, the wrestling base is considered more profitable in terms of practising mixed martial arts.
But do not assume that striking technique is not as effective as wrestling techniques. Mixed martial arts is, first of all, a competitive sport, in which several restrictions have been introduced regarding strikes.
If martial artists are not limited, for example, to blow to the throat or the eyes, the battle’s outcome will be unpredictable. You can’t consider drummers weaker than wrestlers. It should be understood that strikers, who come from martial arts, and not from sports disciplines, have taken away a lot from the arsenal of strikes.
A little about the rules of MMA.
There is a widespread belief that MMA fights without rules, or without limits. This name stuck after the first tournaments in the UFC league when fighters entered the octagon with their bare hands.
This opinion is erroneous since, in MMA, there is a wide range of rules and restrictions aimed at preserving fighters’ life and health.
Most of the prohibitions apply specifically to striking technique. Consider some of the limitations that are present not only in MMA but in all permitted single combats.
It is forbidden to use: – blows and jerks with the head (not in all promotions); – various impacts to the back of the head; – multiple blows to the groin; – blows to the eyes and their squeezing; – bites scratches; – various blows to the throat and trachea; – deliberate injury to the nostrils, ears, mouth; – deliberate blows to the spine; – blows on the heels; – intentional throwing of a fighter out of the cage or ring; – trampling or kicking, lying down and not having the ability to resist a fighter.
These are just some of the prohibitions that prove that MMA is not a fight without rules. If in MMA the goal was to destroy the opponent, then there would not be a judge in the octagon, but orderlies with a stretcher.
There are also rules of aesthetic orientation. You can not be disrespectful to the referee, judges, your opponent. You cannot attack the opponent while communicating with the judge or referee.
But today, there are many promotions, and the rules may differ. But still, it is worth considering the general provisions for conducting MMA fights.
Equipment and ammunition for MMA.
According to the MMA rules, Fights are held in the ring or the octagon – an octagonal cage fenced with a metal mesh. It is also allowed to fight in a round or hexagonal cage. The cage consists of flooring, racks protected for fighters’ safety with plywood shields and mats, and a metal mesh stretched between the racks.
The battlespace should be between 36 and 42 square meters. The ring flooring consists of plywood, polyurethane foam mats, covered with PVC-based synthetic fabric. The coating should not be slippery and should not collect or crumple.
The fighters’ ammunition consists of shorts approved by the MMA rules, MMA gloves, a protective bandage, a mouth guard to protect the jaw and a protective bandage worn on the groin (shell).
Fights are held in eight weight categories for men and three for women. In professional MMA, bouts are played in rounds of five minutes. The number of rounds determines the status of the battle.
In champion (title) fights, the number of rounds is five, and all other fights are fought in three rounds. The break between rounds lasts one minute.
The fight is monitored by the referee in the ring and three judges who are watching the fight from the referee area outside the ring.
MMA as a business.
MMA is a spectacular sporting show that is extremely popular with fans around the world. In addition to the famous martial arts, MMA is becoming a leader in the sports industry.
Promotions and athletes receive a lot of money for fighting. MMA is already starting to catch up with the sport of boxing in terms of profitability.
MMA stars are on everyone’s lips, and they are not inferior in recognition to the stars of the music or film industry. Star Fighter salaries boost amounts of six or even seven zeros.
MMA is also rapidly developing in Russia and has already received the status of an official sport. In addition to professional leagues, there are also competitions for amateurs.
The keyword here is “developing”. It develops, and this concept is not associated with any period. This has nothing to do with the training of the fighters or the lack of money for tournaments. This is due to the ability to conduct business in this area.
The fighters in American promotions have the highest salaries, and all athletes strive to get into these promotions. In Russian leagues, there is an incubation period for the formation of athletes.
So far, our organizations cannot offer anything new in terms of business. For all athletes, success is associated with leading American promotions, and while it will be, Russian MMA can be called developing in terms of business and profitability. Absolutely the same situation is observed in boxing.
Therefore, this sport cannot yet compete with the development of MMA in the USA. Overseas, this industry is organized at such a level that promotions for fights gather full halls of viewers and sell broadcast rights around the world. In Russia, the situation is quite the opposite.
The media do not seek to cover tournaments and competitions held in our country widely. Also, the popularization of this sport is not as strong as in the West.
MMA can be safely called the sport of the future. This symbiosis of martial arts and sports disciplines will make many of them either decorative or forgotten. Mixed martial arts have already answered several interesting questions about which martial arts people are stronger.
It’s all in the past. Now schools and directions in MMA will compete. Tactics, combat strategy developed by coaching teams, and the school of fighters’ physical training will be decisive.
At the moment, one thing is exact. MMA is the most effective and versatile type of martial arts on the planet. Representatives of other sports cannot compete with MMA fighters. This is the sport of the future, the sport of the strong and brave!
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