MMA - Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed martial arts or more popularly known as MMA is exactly as it sounds. It is a combative sport consisting of various techniques taken from different forms of martial arts. Those different sets of techniques are then taken as the fighter’s own as his skills are sharpened and improved through rigorous amounts of training. The popularity of the mixed martial arts soared, owning most of it through the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a live broadcast tournament with no definite weight classes or judges.

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The MMAs was first made known when the Gracie family brought the idea of ‘vale tudo’ in the United States. ‘Vale tudo’ is a fighting sideshow that became popular in Brazilian circuses during the 1920s. It is a full contact sport that adapted techniques from different martial arts. Rorion Gracie of the renowned Gracie Family was a Brazilian- American jiu-jitsu grandmaster and co-founder of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993. Even before that, and of ‘vale tudor’, ancient Greece already has the Pankration where grappling and striking skills are used. Obviously, it has similarities to mixed martial arts. The Pankration has very few rules where gouging of the eyes, biting and attacking of the genitals are highly banned.

Regular training strengthens, tones the muscles as well as adding flexibility to the body. It is a full cardio workout that greatly increases hand –eye coordination,, stamina and endurance. A regular practitioner of any type of martial art is bound to have the same good effects to their mental and physical health.

Safety issues, however, have been sparking because of the fatalities throughout the years. There’s been a higher rate of injuries in mixed martial arts going beyond the rates of taekwondo, judo, amateur and professional boxing. The head is the most easily injured part followed by hand or wrist. Also, the most common types of injury are concussion, laceration and fracture. The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts continues to uphold and improve the rules of the mixed martial arts matches to lessen the fatalities. MMA in general, was meant to aid in the improvement of personal fighting styles. Some matches can get out of hand but it is not a widely common problem in the sporting world.

MMA is a typical martial art just like any other forms of martial art that is mainly used as a form of self-defense. A student who was properly taught to have self-discipline, control emotions and develop self-awareness will not use his skills to deliberately start a fight. They are also taught to be responsible for their own actions, to abide by the rules set by their teachers, and to understand what it means to follow a discipline that could alter one’s life. Character building is one of the main reasons why many parents would enrol their children to mixed martial arts classes. Some Christian groups are starting mixed martial arts classes for their youth organizations to teach them, self-control, perseverance, integrity and the desire to improve oneself.