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During the late s to early s, the concept of combining the elements of multiple martial arts was popularized in the West by Bruce Lee via his system of Jeet Kune Do.
Lee believed that "the best fighter is not a Boxer, Karate or Judo man. You take a little something from everything. You take the good things from every different discipline, use what works, and you throw the rest away".
A contemporary of Bruce Lee, Wing Chun practitioner Wong Shun Leung , gained prominence fighting in illegal beimo fights against other Chinese martial artists of various styles.
Wong also fought and won against Western fighters of other combat styles, such as his match against a Russian boxer named Giko,  his televised fight against a fencer ,  and his well-documented fight against Taiwanese Kung-Fu master Wu Ming Jeet.
Antonio Inoki took place in Japan in Muhammad Ali sustained a substantial amount of damage to his legs, as Antonio Inoki slide-kicked him continuously for the duration of the bout, causing him to be hospitalized for the next three days.
Pride was acquired by its rival Ultimate Fighting Championship in The bout had mixed rules: Hadley won the fight via knockout on the first round.
This match was the first popular fight which showcased the power of such low kicks to a predominantly Western audience. The movement that led to the creation of the Brazilian mixed martial arts scenes was rooted in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The vale tudo events in Brazil. The "Gracie Challenges" were held in the garages and gyms of the Gracie family members.
When the popularity grew, these types of mixed bouts were a staple attraction at the carnivals in Brazil.
During that year the company renamed the brand to Super Fighters and sanctioned ten regulated tournaments in Pennsylvania. In , Pennsylvania State Senate passed a bill that specifically called for: Japan had its own form of mixed martial arts discipline, Shooto , which evolved from shoot wrestling in , as well as the shoot wrestling derivative Pancrase , which was founded as a promotion in The first Vale Tudo Japan tournaments were held in and and were both won by Rickson Gracie.
Interest in mixed martial arts as a sport resulted in the creation of the Pride Fighting Championships Pride in , where again Rickson participated and won.
The sport reached a new peak of popularity in North America in December The first documented use of the name mixed martial arts was in a review of UFC 1 by television critic Howard Rosenberg , in The rules used were an adaptation of the kickboxing rules already accepted by most state athletic commissions.
These modified kickboxing rules allowed for take downs and ground fighting and did away with rounds, although they did allow for fighters to be stood up by the referee and restarted if there was no action on the ground.
These rules were the first in modern MMA to define fouls, fighting surfaces and the use of the cage. In March , the Iowa Athletic Commission officially sanctioned Battlecade Extreme Fighting under a modified form of its existing rules for Shootfighting.
These rules created the three 5 minute round, one-minute break format, and mandated shootfighting gloves, as well as weight classes, for the first time.
Illegal blows were listed as groin strikes, head butting, biting, eye gouging, hair pulling, striking an opponent with an elbow while the opponent is on the mat, kidney strikes, and striking the back of the head with closed fist.
Holding onto the ring or cage for any reason was defined as a foul. On March 28, , Extreme Fighting 4 was held under these rules, making it the first show conducted under a version of the modern rules.
However, when the legislation was sent to the California capital in Sacramento for review, it was determined that the sport fell outside the jurisdiction of the CSAC, rendering the vote meaningless.
The intent was to allow the NJSACB to observe actual events and gather information to establish a comprehensive set of rules to regulate the sport effectively.
This meeting attempted to unify the myriad rules and regulations which had been utilized by the different mixed martial arts organizations.
At this meeting, the proposed uniform rules were agreed upon by the NJSACB, several other regulatory bodies, numerous promoters of mixed martial arts events and other interested parties in attendance.
At the conclusion of the meeting, all parties in attendance were able to agree upon a uniform set of rules to govern the sport of mixed martial arts.
The motion passed unanimously. Canada formally decriminalized mixed martial arts with a vote on Bill S on June 5, The bill allows for provinces to have the power to create athletic commissions to regulate and sanction professional mixed martial arts bouts.
According to MMA portal Tapology. Since the UFC came to prominence in mainstream media in , and with their merger with Pride FC and purchases of WEC and Strikeforce , no companies have presented significant competition,  and the UFC is regarded as having most of the top ranked talent.
Some MMA promotions tend to exist more to build up prospects while others have a good mix of prospects and veterans. Promo Score calculation is based on the strength of Events and Fighters that Promotion has at that time.
Promo Score has three main components:. As of 26 May the top 15 MMA promotions out of 41 ranked in the world are: There are hundreds of MMA training facilities throughout the world.
The rankings are based on a system where a champion earns their gym 25 points, A 1 contender is 15, a 2 contender 10 and then a decrease in ranking equaling a decrease of 1 point until the ranking reaches From there, rankings are each worth 1 point.
Web data traffic ranking leader Alexa Internet lists 40 online media outlets under its "MMA news and media" website category.
As of November 13, , the top 10 most popular websites covering the sport are: As a result of an increased number of competitors, organized training camps, information sharing, and modern kinesiology , the understanding of the effectiveness of various strategies has been greatly improved.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan claimed that martial arts evolved more in the ten years following than in the preceding years combined.
The early s saw a wide variety of traditional styles competing in the sport. In the early s, practitioners of grappling based styles such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu dominated competition in the United States.
Practitioners of striking based arts such as boxing , kickboxing , and karate , who were unfamiliar with submission grappling, proved to be unprepared to deal with its submission techniques.
This increase of cross-training resulted in fighters becoming increasingly multidimensional and well-rounded in their skill-sets. The new hybridization of fighting styles can be seen in the technique of "ground and pound" developed by wrestling-based UFC pioneers such as Dan Severn , Don Frye and Mark Coleman.
These wrestlers realized the need for the incorporation of strikes on the ground as well as on the feet, and incorporated ground striking into their grappling-based styles.
Mark Coleman stated at UFC 14 that his strategy was to "Ground him and pound him", which may be the first televised use of the term. Since the late s, both strikers and grapplers have been successful at MMA, though it is rare to see any fighter who is not schooled in both striking and grappling arts reach the highest levels of competition.
The greatest MMA fighter of all time is considered by experts, fighters and fans to be either heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko or middleweight Anderson Silva.
Both guys have had truly magical moments in competition against some of the best in the world. The rules for modern mixed martial arts competitions have changed significantly since the early days of vale tudo , Japanese shoot wrestling , and UFC 1 , and even more from the historic style of pankration.
As the knowledge of fighting techniques spread among fighters and spectators, it became clear that the original minimalist rule systems needed to be amended.
The new rules included the introduction of weight classes ; as knowledge about submissions spread, differences in weight had become a significant factor.
Small, open-fingered gloves were introduced to protect fists, reduce the occurrence of cuts and stoppages due to cuts and encourage fighters to use their hands for striking to allow more captivating matches.
Most professional fights have the fighters wear 4 oz gloves, whereas some jurisdictions require amateurs to wear a slightly heavier 6 oz glove for more protection for the hands and wrists.
Time limits were established to avoid long fights with little action where competitors conserved their strength.
Matches without time limits also complicated the airing of live events. The time limits in most professional fights are three 5 minute rounds, and championship fights are normally five 5 minute rounds.
Similar motivations produced the "stand up" rule, where the referee can stand fighters up if it is perceived that both are resting on the ground or not advancing toward a dominant position.
In Japan and most of Europe, there is no regulating authority over competitions, so these organizations have greater freedom in rule development and event structure.
Previously, Japan-based organization Pride Fighting Championships held an opening minute round followed by two five-minute rounds.
Stomps, soccer kicks and knees to the head of a grounded opponent are legal, but elbow strikes to the head are not.
More recently, Singapore-based organization ONE Championship allows soccer kicks and knees to the head of a grounded opponent as well as elbow strikes to the head, but does not allow head stomps.
As MMA rules allow submissions and ground and pound , the fight is stopped to prevent further injury to the fighter.
This can occur when a fighter is choked unconscious, or when a bone has been broken in a submission hold a broken arm due to a kimura, etc.
The ring doctor will inspect the fighter and stop the match if the fighter is deemed unable to continue safely, rendering the opponent the winner.
However, if the match is stopped as a result of an injury from illegal actions by the opponent, either a disqualification or no contest will be issued instead.
This is normally done when a fighter is being beaten to the point where it is dangerous and unnecessary to continue. In some cases, the fighter may be injured.
Usually occurs between rounds. The judging criteria are organization-specific. Three warnings will result in a disqualification.
Moreover, if a fighter is unable to continue due to a deliberate illegal technique from his opponent, the opponent will be disqualified.
A result can also be overturned to a no contest if the fighter that was originally victorious fails a post fight drug test for banned substances.
In a three-round fight, two rounds must be completed for a technical decision to be awarded and in a five-round fight, three rounds must be completed.
MMA fighters are ranked according to their performance and outcome of their fights and level of competition they faced. The most popular and used, ranking portals are:.
Mixed martial arts promotions typically require that male fighters wear shorts in addition to being barechested , thus precluding the use of gi or fighting kimono to inhibit or assist submission holds.
Male fighters are required by most athletic commissions to wear groin protectors underneath their trunks. Both male and female fighters are required to wear a mouthguard.
The need for flexibility in the legs combined with durability prompted the creation of various fighting shorts brands, which then spawned a range of mixed martial arts clothing and casual wear available to the public.
The fenced area can be round or have at least six sides. Popular disciplines of each type include: Most styles have been adapted from their traditional forms, such as boxing stances, which lack effective counters to leg kicks, the Muay Thai stance, which is poor for defending against takedowns due to its static nature, and Judo or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques, which must be adapted for No Gi competition.
It is common for a fighter to train with multiple coaches of different styles or an organized fight team to improve various aspects of their game at once.
Some schools advertise their styles as simply "mixed martial arts", which has become a style in itself, but the training will still often be split into different sections.
While mixed martial arts was initially practiced almost exclusively by competitive fighters, this is no longer the case.
As the sport has become more mainstream and more widely taught, it has become accessible to wider range of practitioners of all ages. Proponents of this sort of training argue that it is safe for anyone, of any age, with varying levels of competitiveness and fitness.
Boxing is a combat form that is widely used in MMA and is one of the primary striking bases for many fighters. Muay Thai or Thai boxing and kickboxing , along with boxing, are recognised as a foundation for striking in mixed martial arts, and are both widely practiced and taught.
Although both may seem identical, each has different techniques. Muay Thai originated in Thailand , and is known as the "art of eight limbs", which refers to the use of the legs, knees, elbows and fists.
Techniques cover the long, middle and short range with everything from kicks to clinch holds and throws. The modern style originated in Japan and is developed from Karate and Muay Thai.
Different governing bodies apply different rules, such as allowing the use of elbows, knees, clinching or throws, etc.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu BJJ came to international prominence in the martial arts community in the early s, when BJJ expert Royce Gracie won the first , second and fourth Ultimate Fighting Championships, which at the time were single-elimination martial arts tournaments.
Royce often fought against much larger opponents who practiced other styles, including boxing , wrestling , shoot-fighting , karate and taekwondo.
It has since become a staple art and key component for many MMA fighters. BJJ and jujutsu are largely credited for bringing widespread attention to the importance of ground fighting.
BJJ is primarily a ground-based fighting style that emphasizes joint locks and chokeholds , whereas jujutsu is a method of close combat that utilizes different forms of grappling techniques such as throws , holds and joint locks.
As jujutsu may also involve the use of a short weapon, it cannot be used to its full potential in mixed martial arts. Wrestling including freestyle , Greco-Roman , and American folkstyle gained tremendous respect due to its effectiveness in mixed martial arts competitions.
It is widely studied by mixed martial artists and credited for conferring an emphasis on conditioning for explosive movement and stamina, both of which are critical in competitive mixed martial arts.
It is known for excellent takedowns, particularly against the legs. The term no holds barred was used originally to describe the wrestling method prevalent in catch wrestling tournaments during the late 19th century wherein no wrestling holds were banned from the competition, regardless of how dangerous they might be.
The term was applied to mixed martial arts matches, especially at the advent of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Karate , especially Kyokushin and other full contact styles, has proven to be effective in the sport as it is one of the core foundations of kickboxing, and specializes in striking techniques.
Several accomplished MMA fighters have an extensive background in taekwondo. In his instructional book, Anderson Silva admitted the influence of taekwondo in the formation of his unique style.
In each of my fights, I tried to utilize techniques from all the various styles I had studied. I threw taekwondo kicks. I threw Muay Thai knees and elbows, and I used my knowledge of Brazilian jiu-jitsu on the ground.
Capoeira has been incorporated into MMA in more recent years and is often used as an addition to Brazilian jiu-jitsu; both originate from Brazil.
Several fighters use this martial art when fighting, although not fully, as music and dancing are major components of the discipline.
It is known for its quick and complex manoeuvres, which use power, speed, and leverage across a wide variety of kicks, spins and techniques.
Sambo is a Russian martial art, combat sport and self-defense system. Sambo focuses on throwing, takedowns, grappling, and includes submissions from Judo and Catch Wrestling.
Sambo also has a modality known as Combat Sambo , which adds punches, kicks, elbows and knees, making it a proto-MMA hybrid fighting style.
Sambo is popular in Russia and eastern Europe, where it is taught as a complement to Judo and Wrestling training, Sambo also provides a good base for MMA with all-around skills for combining grappling and striking.
Some notable Sambo fighters that transitioned into MMA include: They can be highly effective in competition due to their mixture of striking and takedowns, achieved through a condensation of traditional Chinese martial arts techniques.
The techniques utilized in mixed martial arts competition generally fall into two categories: They both have called each other out.
We wanted to prove that we could go up in the higher weight division, and we did that. Then Dana got mad that we dropped that title. We want to go the lower weight now and be a three-time world champion, three weight divisions.
Elias has really good combinations on his stand-up, really slick submissions on the ground. Stephen has good wrestling and cardio, hard punches.
But Elias is very slick, very quick. Loman is strong but can be slow with his single punches. Jose Aldo explains he was offered the main event vs.
You can ask him. He made the fight three rounds, he thought it would be better. I have no problem with that.
I want to get there and always do my best. I never said otherwise. Two fighters miss, one by 7 lbs. Dana White not impressed with NAC talk about reining in trash talk.
Testing or evaluation is important to martial artists of many disciplines who wish to determine their progression or own level of skill in specific contexts.
Students often undergo periodic testing and grading by their own teacher in order to advance to a higher level of recognized achievement, such as a different belt color or title.
The type of testing used varies from system to system but may include forms or sparring. Various forms and sparring are commonly used in martial art exhibitions and tournaments.
Some competitions pit practitioners of different disciplines against each other using a common set of rules, these are referred to as mixed martial arts competitions.
Rules for sparring vary between art and organization but can generally be divided into light-contact , medium-contact , and full-contact variants, reflecting the amount of force that should be used on an opponent.
As the amount of force used is restricted, the aim of these types of sparring is not to knock out an opponent; a point system is used in competitions.
A referee acts to monitor for fouls and to control the match, while judges mark down scores, as in boxing. Particular targets may be prohibited, certain techniques may be forbidden such as headbutting or groin hits , and fighters may be required to wear protective equipment on their head, hands, chest, groin, shins or feet.
Some grappling arts, such as aikido, use a similar method of compliant training that is equivalent to light or medium contact. In some styles such as fencing and some styles of taekwondo sparring , competitors score points based on the landing of a single technique or strike as judged by the referee, whereupon the referee will briefly stop the match, award a point, then restart the match.
Alternatively, sparring may continue with the point noted by the judges. Some critics of point sparring feel that this method of training teaches habits that result in lower combat effectiveness.
Lighter-contact sparring may be used exclusively, for children or in other situations when heavy contact would be inappropriate such as beginners , medium-contact sparring is often used as training for full contact.
Full-contact sparring or competition, where strikes or techniques are not pulled but used with full force as the name implies, has a number of tactical differences from light and medium-contact sparring.
It is considered by some to be requisite in learning realistic unarmed combat. In full-contact sparring, the aim of a competitive match is to knock out the opponent or to force the opponent to submit.
Where scoring takes place it may be a subsidiary measure, only used if no clear winner has been established by other means; in some competitions, such as the UFC 1 , there was no scoring, though most now use some form of judging as a backup.
Nearly all mixed martial arts organizations such as UFC , Pancrase , Shooto use a form of full-contact rules as do professional boxing organizations and K Kyokushin karate requires advanced practitioners to engage in bare-knuckled, full-contact sparring allowing kicks, knees and punching although punching to the head is disallowed while wearing only a karate gi and groin protector.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo matches do not allow striking, but are full-contact in the sense that full force is applied in the permitted grappling and submission techniques.
Competitions held by World Taekwondo requires the use of Headgear and padded vest, but are full contact in the sense that full force is applied to strikes to the head and body, and win by knockout is possible.
Martial arts have crossed over into sports when forms of sparring become competitive, becoming a sport in its own right that is dissociated from the original combative origin, such as with western fencing.
The Summer Olympic Games includes judo, taekwondo, western archery, boxing, javelin, wrestling and fencing as events, while Chinese wushu recently failed in its bid to be included, but is still actively performed in tournaments across the world.
Practitioners in some arts such as kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu often train for sport matches, whereas those in other arts such as aikido generally spurn such competitions.
Some schools believe that competition breeds better and more efficient practitioners, and gives a sense of good sportsmanship. Others believe that the rules under which competition takes place have diminished the combat effectiveness of martial arts or encourage a kind of practice which focuses on winning trophies rather than a focus such as cultivating a particular moral character.
The question of "which is the best martial art" has led to inter style competitions fought with very few rules allowing a variety of fighting styles to enter with few limitations.
The Beginning in the U. Some martial artists compete in non-sparring competitions such as breaking or choreographed routines of techniques such as poomse , kata and aka , or modern variations of the martial arts which include dance-influenced competitions such as tricking.
Martial arts training aims to result in several benefits to trainees, such as their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. For this reason, a number of martial arts schools have focused purely on therapeutic aspects, de-emphasizing the historical aspect of self-defense or combat completely.
According to Bruce Lee , martial arts also have the nature of an art , since there is emotional communication and complete emotional expression.
Some traditional martial concepts have seen new use within modern military training. Perhaps the most recent example of this is point shooting which relies on muscle memory to more effectively utilize a firearm in a variety of awkward situations, much the way an iaidoka would master movements with their sword.
Fairbairn and Eric A. Unarmed dagger defenses identical to those found in the manual of Fiore dei Liberi and the Codex Wallerstein were integrated into the U.
Many martial arts are also seen and used in Law Enforcement hand to hand training. Martial arts since the s has become a significant industry, a subset of the wider sport industry including cinema and sports television.
Hundreds of millions of people worldwide practice some form of martial art. Martial arts equipment can include that which is used for conditioning, protection and weapons.
Specialized conditioning equipment can include breaking boards , dummy partners such as the wooden dummy , and targets such as punching bags and the makiwara.
Protective equipment for sparring and competition includes boxing gloves and headgear. Asian martial arts experienced a surge of popularity in the west during the s, and the rising demand resulted in numerous low quality or fraudulent schools.
Fueled by fictional depictions in martial arts movies, this led to the ninja craze of the s in the United States. When the martial arts came to the United States in the seventies, lower ranks kyu began to be given colorful belts to show progress.
This proved to be commercially viable and colored-belt systems were adopted in many martial arts degree mills also known as McDojos and Belt Factories as a means to generate additional cash.