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What is Mixed Martial Arts?

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The Meaning of Mixed Martial Arts

By: Jim Liu

Mixed Martial Arts is a sport that was created by Rorion Gracie who brought it up from Brazil. IN Brazil the sport was called Vale Tudo. In the United States, the sport is the culmination of all of the different martial arts. Fighters need an edge win in their matches and MMA type of martial arts is what is looked upon as the best.

MMA is a growing sport and will get more popular with time. The idea of mixing different fighting techniques in one competition was born in the 1920's and originated in martial arts tournaments in Brazil. Japan has created several MMA like events such as Pride and K-1. The idea of combining different fighting styles gained popularity overseas in the 1970's as famous martial artist Bruce Lee embraced the idea of combining different martial art styles in one fight. It was only since the birth of the UFC that MMA was born.

Although Mixed Martial Arts has become popular world wide, there is no sanctioning body for the competition and rules can vary from each Mixed Martial Arts organization. MMA techniques fall between several categories. Grappling techniques are used such as takedowns, throws, pinning holds, submission holds, and cinch holds. The techniques used in MMA are punches, jiu jitsu, knees, and elbows. Although the rules of mixed martial arts competitions are lax compared to other combat sports, there are some moves that are illegal in mixed martial art competitions. Fighters are not allowed to bite, fish-hook, eye-gouge, manipulate small joints (fighters must have control of at least three digits), or strike at the groin. There are some techniques that are questionable such head butts, elbows, and spinal locks.

Winning an MMA fight is determined either by a tap out, judge or referee decsion. Senator John McCain was a big opponent of the sport in the beginning. He found the sport to be too harsh. So far, there has been no deaths in MMA fighting in the United States. While boxing and wrestling are considered by many to be acceptable combat sports, the no-holds-barred approach that mixed martial arts competitions take make the sport out as brutal, when in actuality mixed martial arts fighters are some of the most well trained and disciplined fighters in the world. Even though many consider the sport to be barbaric, it has climbed to the top of combat sport popularity and has a strong following of fans as well as aspiring fighters.

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