MMA, or mixed martial arts has gained popularity in recent years as a sport, exercise tool and even as a method of self-defense. Unlike boxing, which is limited to punches, MMA is a combination of a variety of martial arts and includes kicks, takedowns and grappling.
Origins: There is no precise origin of MMA, thought it currently exists throughout the world in a variety of forms. The concept of a mixed martial arts competition originated during the early 1900’s but it wasn’t until the 1980’s that an organized league in the U.S was born. Originally, MMA was promoted as a competition between various forms of martial arts. However, fighters began to adopt several styles of martial arts at a time, pushing for new guidelines and safety regulations.
What does MMA include? MMA is a variety of martial arts. Most martial arts have a focus be it striking, take downs, or grappling. For instance, boxing and Mui Tai are focus for striking while Jiu-Jitsu and Judo are focus on takedowns and groundwork. Each MMA fighter will have his or her own strengths in a specific set of styles.
MMA today: Today, MMA rivals boxing and wrestling as a popular contact sport with a variety of gyms and competitions through the world. While men’s MMA has historically been more popular, the fighter Rhonda Rousey has recently put women’s MMA into the spotlight as well.
Rules: Over time, a variety of rules has been introduced- mostly to increase the safety of the fighters. There are nine weight divisions ranging from flyweight (up to 125 lbs) to super heavy weight (which ranges from 265 lbs with no upper limit). Rounds are typically five minutes long with short breaks in between.
How does a fighter win? In long matches, a victory can be decided by the judges. However, one can also win by a knockout, a submission or when the other fighter is not able to, or choose not to continue.
Training: You do not have to be a professional fighter to train in mixed martial arts. Many people who do train, do not compete. MMA is a great work out and martial arts can be a great self defense tool.
Whether you are curious about watching an MMA match or training, you should check out a local gym. Many gyms offer MMA-; if you are in Los Angeles, check out our MMA gym in West LA. Or, you can head to your local bar to watch the sport.
Adam & Amanda
We have spent most of our adult lives training and guiding thousands of people toward better health & fitness. We have created this A4 Blog in order to better educate our friends & members. We will answer any of your health / fitness / nutrition questions as well as keeping you posted on what's new at A4.