What is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Those three letters stand for mixed martial arts. This is the blending of two or more styles or systems of fighting. The most common styles to be combined are striking and ground techniques. MMA has changed a great deal since its early days. In those early competitions, ground fighters had an advantage, since most strikers were not prepared for the fight to go to the ground. Then an interesting transformation took place: strikers, also known as stand-up fighters, began to train for ground fighting, while ground fighters began to train to improve their striking skills. The result was a well-rounded fighter that is now the model of the modern mixed martial arts competitor.
Components of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
As the sport has evolved, MMA bouts have grown more complex, and MMA fighters have incorporated more varied and complex techniques. Here, briefly, are some important components of MMA competition:
Striking is where the fighter attempts to punch, kick, and knee or elbow his opponent in an effort to force a knockout, submission, or referee stoppage.
A submission occurs when a fighter forces his opponent to surrender, usually signified by "tapping out," due to a painful hold, usually a manipulation of the joints such as an arm bar, or a strangulation technique such as a rear naked choke.
SubmissionCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unparent/4267892276/sizes/z/in/photostream/Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unparent/4267892276/sizes/z/in/photostream/
"Ground and pound" is a term used to refer to when a fighter takes down his opponent, mounts him and pummels him in the head with strikes until scoring a knockout or the referee orders a stoppage.
Ground and PoundCredit: http://www.apollomag.com.au/images/ufc81_8_mir_vs_lesnar_010%20website%20medres.jpgCredit: http://www.apollomag.com.au/images/ufc81_8_mir_vs_lesnar_010%20website%20medres.jpg
Sprawl is a tactic used to defend against an attempted takedown. The defending fighter will place his hands on the opponent's shoulders and spread his legs out behind him, widening his base in an effort to prevent the takedown.
To shoot is to move in low on an opponent's legs and attempt a takedown. "Shooting the leg" is a common expression.
Shooting a Leg
Mixed Martial Arts Training
Along with honing their fighting skills, most MMA competitors also incorporate rigorous physical training in their training regimens. Weight training and cardio is practiced to increase muscle endurance. High intensity like sprints and skipping rope are common. The goal of such training is to prepare the fighter to withstand several rounds of intense, nonstop fighting, and still have enough energy in reserve to put up a good fight.
Safety of Mixed Martial Arts
Though it was a rough and wild sport in its early days, there has never been a serious injury or death as the result of a sanctioned, professional MMA fight. MMA referees are trained to stop fights immediately if a fighter is knocked senseless or unable to defend himself. There are no standing eight-counts as in boxing.
The Ultimate Fighting Championships
The recent explosion in popularity of MMA is due in large part to one organization: the Ultimate Fighting Championships, or UFC. Their popular series, The Ultimate Fighter, invented the genre of reality fighting, and has popularized MMA among an entire generation of TV viewers and sports fans.