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Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

What is Mixed Marts?

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Mixed martial art is an extreme combat sport in which contestants are permitted to use the fighting techniques of wrestling and boxing but also those of martial arts such as kickboxing, judo, and karate.

Mixed Martial Arts Training

Today’s MMA mentality is about individual practitioners choosing to meld only the physical techniques from seemingly unrelated martial arts. For example, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, sambo and boxing might work for one practitioner but not for another practitioner. Furthermore, the goal of the MMA fighter is not to create a new martial art or become a master or follow a codified moral philosophical path but to use his personal hybrid to compete or train in self-defense.

Typically, MMA training includes practicing and combining several stand-up fighting styles (boxing, clinch fighting, muay Thai) and several brands of grappling techniques from various arts (judo, Greco-Roman wrestling, sambo). The practitioner also trains in several ground-fighting methods (Brazilian jiu-jitsu, freestyle wrestling).



Boxing is often called the Western martial art, but it’s more accurately identified as a martial sport. Since the appearance of humans, competition for food, mates and territory, people have undoubtedly been attacking each other with fists. The oldest record of boxing dates back to 4000 B.C.; an Egyptian pyramid from that era contain hieroglyphics and mural paintings that show men punching each other with laced gloves that have twine wrapped halfway up their forearms—similar to traditional muay boran kickboxing in Thailand.

Catch Wrestling

a folk style of wrestling called Lancashire catch-as-catch-can wrestling was created by local coal miners in Wigan, Lancashire County in England. From there, catch-as-catch-can wrestling spawned freestyle wrestling, collegiate wrestling, shootwrestling and catch wrestling. Catch wrestling also finds its roots in Irish collar-and-elbow, Greco Roman, Varzesh-e Pahlaviani (Iranian wrestling) and Pehlwani Indian wrestling.

Catch wrestling became popular in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Carnivals hosted “athletic shows” that would pit carnival wrestlers against the locals. If the opponent could defeat the strongman by a pin or submission, he would win a cash prize. The traveling wrestlers developed concession holds, or “hooks,” to defeat their challengers. The wrestlers would stretch and crank their opponents, making them shout “uncle.” Hooking your opponent as quickly as possible was and still is the name of the game in catch wrestling.

Catch wrestling includes many techniques, including hand strikes, kicks, takedowns, sweeps, gouges, arm locks, leg locks, torso cranks, neck cranks, chokes and rips. Most techniques can take place standing up or on the ground.



Traditionally, grappling was always synonymous with the combative sport of wrestling. Back then, wrestlers were called grapplers and grapplers were called wrestlers. During traditional grappling competitions, two unarmed opponents engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle, and the goal was to throw your opponent to the ground and gain control over him. These competitions separated themselves from boxing arts by disallowing strikes.

Nowadays, most use the word “grappling” to describe techniques that use holds and leverage, such as clinches, escapes, pins and controlling skills, sweeps, submission holds, reversals, takedowns, throws and turnovers. However, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles considers grappling a wrestling style (aka submission grappling or submission wrestling).

Although many combative sports and martial arts use grappling techniques in conjunction with body strikes, combative arts like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo and submission wrestling are pure grappling arts that do not allow striking.



Kickboxing is a generic martial arts term that refers to a modern combative sport rooted in karate, Western boxing and muay Thai. Although practical as a means of self-defense, kickboxing has gained wide acceptance as a fitness method and a competitive contact sport.

Kickboxing was born when Japanese boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi and martial artist Tatsuo Yamada took an interest in muay Thai fighting. Frustrated that traditional karate didn’t allow contact on strikes, the duo developed what they first called “karate boxing” and staged “karate vs. muay Thai” fights, in which practitioners of each art squared off against each other. The popularity of these matches grew, and by the early 1960s, the combination of karate’s hand strikes with muay Thai’s emphasis on kicking and no-holds-barred aggression yielded the new sport of kickboxing. Osamu Noguchi and Tatsuo Yamada’s entrepreneurial spirit and creative blending of two distinct arts doubtlessly sewed the seeds for the emergence of today’s mixed martial arts.


Since the beginning of mankind, humans have tussled, punched, kicked and screamed. As a way of establishing a peck ordering or even as a means of communication, men have tumbled, rolled and wrestled each other to the ground. The oldest record of wrestling is depicted in cave drawing 15,000 years old. Other early records of formalized wrestling include shuai jiao Chinese wrestling (used for training troops and for entertainment), Greek wrestling (the progenitor of Greco-Roman wrestling) for sport and ancient Egyptian wrestling. Relief pictures from the ancient civilizations of Babylon reveal wrestlers using many of the holds found in today’s wrestling sports.

Many cultures throughout time have developed varying brands of wrestling for entertainment, combat and sport. Each style uses skills that include grappling, throws, takedowns, pins, clinches, submission holds, escapes, turnovers, reversals, trips, sprawls and sweeps.

Wrestling has been playing an increasingly important role in training today’s top mixed martial artists.