What is Mixed Martial Arts? You have probably heard of karate or judo. But did you know that there is such a thing called mixed martial arts? Mixed martial arts or MMA is a full contact combat support which allows players to fight in a competition using various fighting techniques. The rules allow the fighters to use various striking and grappling techniques both while standing and on the ground. But MMA was first introduced by the Greeks in 648 B.C. Back then, it was called the pankration which was introduced into the Olympic Games. Records show that there was a similar version of this in the 1800's which continued on in the early 1900's until the MMA came out in 1993 with the establishment of the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC. The difference between the MMA and those in the past is that this was initially created to find out which hand to hand combat technique works best to fight in a combat situation so fighters of various disciplines were gathered. During that time, there were only a few rules but more than 10 years later, additional ones were adopted to increase the safety of those who computed and to promote the sport. Today, you can see the Ultimate Fighting Championship on television. Research shows that mixed martial arts is now more popular today than boxing especially when more people were willing to pay to see it on pay per view channels surpassing wrestling and boxing. There are now 5 weight classes namely lightweight which is 67 to 70 kg, welterweight which is 71 to 77kg, middleweight from 78 to 84 kg, light heavyweight from 85 to 93 kg and heavy weight from 94 to 120 kg. There are 4 other weight classes but these are not currently being used by the UFC. How someone wins in mixed martial arts is pretty simple. If the opponent taps the floor, the match is over. The same happens if the opponent is knocked unconscious. Should both fighters still be standing at the end of the match, the winner will be decided by the judges. Illegal contact with the other opponent is called a foul. The referee inside the ring may deduct points from one player or even disqualify that person if the act committed was intentional or no contest if this was unintentional. One of the biggest differences in mixed martial arts is the ring where the fighters play. Unlike a boxing or wrestling ring that is shaped in a rectangle, competition here is done in an octagon shaped cage. The eight sided structure has walls of metal chain link fence coated with black vinyl. There is padding around the top of the fence and between each of the eight sections as well as two entry-exit gates which are opposite each other. Competitors who enter the ring have to wear proper attire. This means going into the ring with approved shorts and no shoes. Gloves must also be approved and have at least an inch of padding around the knuckles so the person will still be able to use his fingers and grab the opponent without the risk of injuring the hand. Is mixed martial arts nice to watch? The answer is yes given that there are now more people watching it and others who want to join the competition. There was even a reality show that come out recently called the Contender which first started airing boxers fighting in the ring. The Facts about Mixed Martial Arts Have you seen the Ultimate Fighting Championship? If you have, then you already know why this sport uses mixed martial arts. For those who have no idea, here are some facts you should know about. Mixed martial arts made its introduction in early 1990's. Its growth was very slow at first and it was always both brutal and violent. In the years that followed, rules were set up which helped gain its popularity among the audience which enabled television channels to broadcast it in the airwaves. Despite the rules, matches between two fighters are still violent. Some leave the ring with a broken arm or leg while others have cuts or bruises. The only good news is that no one has died yet in the ring unlike boxing. Just to give you an idea, there are at least 11 boxers who die every year. The reason why you call it mixed martial arts is because a fighter for instance in judo challenges another fighter in another martial art discipline. The key to winning depends on your technique and your conditioning. Mixed martial arts are now more popular than boxing or wrestling. In one show, it made $30 million and the company owned by the Fertita brothers is now worth $700 million. The athletes who also participate in these matches get paid very well. One example is Diego Sanchez who was given $7,000 for a fight. If he won the match, he gets an additional $7,000. You could earn more depending on your skill. Top rated fighters can get $200,000 or even more for just one fight. If you saw the Contender which featured Sylvester Stallone, Sugar Ray Leonard and a few up and coming boxers, a mixed martial arts version came out soon after. Here, amateur fighters are trained by professionals and compete in elimination matches until the last two standing fight for the title of the Ultimate Fighter. Mixed martial arts has spread throughout the globe. They are called by different names as well. In Japan, it is called PRIDE. The ring and the rules may be different but its essence remains the same. What you see is what you get when two fighters enter the ring. This means there is no script and everything you see is real. If a fighter goes down, it is because one fighter was better skilled then than the other. Mixed martial arts is growing despite the fact that it was once banned in television by Senator John McCain. Experts believe that it will peak in the next 15 to 20 years and who knows; this sport may one day be part of the Olympics. But despite what you see on television, mixed martial arts is a great form of exercise and it also teaches you about self defense. This is very useful regardless of your age or gender because criminals attack when they think you are vulnerable. As a result, a lot of gyms offer classes to their members. Other benefits of learning mixed martial arts include building your self confidence and making you strong both mentally and physically. Children can also learn it so they can defend themselves if ever someone at school decides to pick on them which is something that no parent wants their child to experience. The Various Disciplines of Mixed Martial Arts Mixed martial arts is a combination of various disciplines and the only weapon you have in this sport is your body. Do you have to be an expert in all of them? No but it will be useful to know what these are so when you are facing an opponent, you more or less have a strategy to counterattack his moves. Let's talk about some of these. Kick boxing otherwise known as muay thai is a martial arts technique that uses both kicking and punching. It is a standing sport and the fight ends when the opponent hits the ground. This is a full contact sport. Some of the best known mixed martial artists who use this include Pedeo Rizzo and Bass Rutten. Unlike kick boxing which was only introduced in the 1960's, boxing has been around since 688 B.C. Here, you are only allowed to use your hands to knock out your opponent. Although this fighting technique is not that effective on its own especially when you are fighting someone else using another discipline, this is still essential especially when you are fighting in close quarters with your opponent inside the octagon. Another close quarter mixed martial art discipline is judo. Instead of punching or kicking your opponent, you have to grab and throw them into the ground. If this is not possible, you can also immobilize your opponent using a grappling maneuver. Similar to judo is wrestling because learning winning depends on your ability to clinch, hold, lock and have leverage over your opponent. Next is jujitsu which also focuses on grappling and ground fighting by using chokeholds and joint locks to force an opponent to submission. There are other martial arts techniques aside from those mentioned. If you want to learn any of these disciplines, you have to join a gym so that a trainer will teach you the correct technique. In most beginner classes, no sparring is involved. It is only when you take advanced classes that you get to engage another student. Do you get your money's worth when you sign up in a gym? This depends because there are some who don't teach that well compared to others. This is why you should ask around first and read some reviews. Better yet, you can visit the gym and avail of their free workout session so you get the feel of what it is like to exercise there. While we often see people in mixed martial arts competitions use the various martial arts disciplines for offensive purposes, all of them were designed to do one thing and that is to protect yourself from situations that require you to stand up and defend yourself. You also get a good workout each time since you work up a sweat that will help you lose weight if you happen to carry a few extra pounds. Just in case you didn't notice, most of the competitors in mixed martial arts competitions are physically fit. You can probably achieve this with the proper training and diet not so you can compete but so you can live a healthier lifestyle. If you choose to compete, you might big the next Ultimate Fighting Championship winner but only time will tell if you have what it takes. Mixed Martial Arts Training Gym With mixed martial arts gaining a lot of popularity, it didn't take long before mixed martial arts training gyms have sprouted around. People may join to simply increase their fitness levels or train themselves to also participate in mixed martial arts competitions. Since mixed martial arts are a combination of various fighting techniques, the trainers there will teach you the various disciplines. These may include kick boxing, boxing, judo, jujitsu and wrestling. Members will be able to practice in a MMA octagon, utilize weights and cardio equipment as well as heavy and speed backs. Mixed martial arts gym offer different packages to choose from. For instance, you can sign up for the gym membership which allows you to use the facilities but you will not be able to join any of the classes. But if you pay a little more, this will entitle you to join the classes. The class schedule is usually posted in the bulletin board. There is also a copy which you can bring home. While browsing around the web for a gym, you can also look at it since this is also featured in their website so you this into your schedule. If you are busy at work during the weekdays, don't worry because you can make up for it since many of them have classes on weekends. Rates are usually billed on a monthly basis with no time obligation. This means you can cancel your membership any time you like or even freeze it for a short period of time if you will be out of town. If you don't want to attend a class, see if there are private lessons being offered. This usually last a hour long and if you paid in advance for 10 sessions, you could get a discount. But how will you know if this is a good martial arts training gym? For that, you will have to do some research by asking those who are currently the members there or go online since there are websites that review such facilities. The important thing to consider is the ability of the trainer to help you reach your desired fitness level. You will then set an appointment for a free introductory class so you can get a feel of what it is like to workout in a mixed martial arts training gym. If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask because part of the job of the trainer is to answer any issues you may have. If you are still having a hard time looking for a mixed martial arts gym, why don't you go to a local MMA event and ask to fans and fighters themselves so you will know where they train. You can also ask people at work if any of them are members. Watching a mixed martial arts competition on television could also help because some gyms are major sponsors. All you have to do is check if there is branch that is in your neighborhood. You will be more self-confident about yourself when you decide to enroll in a mixed martial arts training gym because what they teach you will be very useful if someone tries to mug you. This is also the first step that everyone has to take if they also want to compete in this sport. What Does It Take To Be A Mixed Martial Arts Fighter If you are familiar with one martial arts technique, you may be able to win fighting another opponent using the same discipline. But could you do the same if your opponent is using something else when you meet him in the ring? The chances of you winning are fifty-fifty. But if you are familiar with the technique the opponent is using, then your chances become much higher. For that to happen, you have to learn a variety of martial arts and condition yourself like you have never done before. Being able to this makes you a mixed martial arts fighter and since this is not for everyone, you have to commit yourself to the sport and make a lot of changes in your lifestyle. These changes include how you train, how you eat, sleep and even how you live. The downside is that it will affect your family and even your social life. Every sacrifice you make is important because the moment you lose focus, the greater the chances that you will really get hurt in the ring. If you are for example skilled in judo, you will have to learn how to punch and kick by learning other styles such as boxing, kickboxing, judo and jiu-jitsu. You will not learn this overnight since it will take time to master them. After all the training, you should be able to switch from one discipline to another when the need calls for it especially when you are facing your opponent in the ring. Aside from fighting in the ring, you will also need to run regularly so you are able to maintain your endurance. For those who were on the varsity team in high school or college, things are going to get more intense than that. When you are hurt, you will train even harder until you reach the point of exhaustion. Just remember that your opponent whoever he may be is doing exactly the same thing and the winner all boils down to who wants it the most. The human body is the weapon you have as a mixed martial arts fighter. What you do and how you train for it will greatly affect how well you perform in the ring. If you notice, most of the fighters in the ring are physically fit so you have to just as ready them during competition. So what does it take to be a mixed martial arts fighter? To be the best in this sport you must have dedication. For that, you have to give up a lot of things and the first step is to enroll in a school that offers various levels of training. What you learn here is not only proper technique but also helps build up your morale and confidence which is something you need to push yourself further. When you look for a school, review the methods of training they use as well as the cost. Can you afford it? If you do, then this shouldn't be a problem but if you are financially strapped, try to find another school that can give you the same quality of training so you may become a mixed martial arts fighter. Look for them in the internet or ask around because surely there is surely a school there that can help you out.
Mixed Martial Arts Training Products Practice makes perfect and the only way you can do that is to train constantly. Although the weapon in mixed martial arts is your body, the only way to practice your technique properly is by using the proper training products that are available in the market. During practice and in the ring, you need to use a primetime level glove that is sanctioned for use in amateur events. This is available in both open and closed palm designs which offers the right amount of protection to your arms and at the same time does not restrict you ability to grab your opponent. The heavy bag is another thing you need for training. It is heavy and weights about 100 pounds and is a full 6 feet in height. This will allow you to do a full range of strikes which is a very good cardio workout. To practice your punches and agility, you will need a curved focus mitt. This is worn by your trainer and you get to punch it while at times, you have to dodge when your trainer decides to hit you. Mixed martial arts fighters wear shorts or pants during practice and in the ring. You just have to make sure that this is approved for use before you use it. You could lose more than a tooth when you are punched in the face. You could get a concussion or even a broken jaw which is why you also need to put on a mouth guard at all times. Studies have shown that this will also make you less vulnerable of getting a knockout but despite that, this still happens when you don't have any energy left in the ring. Although there are rules in mixed martial arts competitions that prohibit the opponent or you from hitting the groin or any other vital area, this still happens. Fortunately, you can protect that from happening by wearing pads. Last but not the least is the helmet. If the mouth guard protects your jaws and teeth, the helmet will protect your head and face. You have to remember that some boxers have died because of a significant blow to the head and this can also happen during a mixed martial arts competition. The ideal helmet should have different openings for better cooling and ventilation when you are in the heat of combat. This should also protect your ears, eyes and forehead in the event of a frontal strike. For people who want to study how other mixed martial artists do it, you can also buy videos and then watch this at your own convenience. There are many around and if you want to buy it, try downloading this from the web. The best part is that it is free. The price range for each of the mixed martial arts training products varies and they could reach more than $100 a piece. While some gyms already have some of these items, you have to buy those which you will use personally. After all, will you let someone borrow your shorts, helmet or mouth guard? You can buy mixed martial arts training equipment in your favorite sporting goods store or online. These come in different sizes and colors so you won't have a problem finding one that suits your taste. Why Do You Want To Learn Mixed Martial Arts We do things for a reason. Sometimes, this could just be a spur of the moment. But when you want to learn mixed martial arts, you have to be committed. Mixed martial arts consists of various techniques. Examples of these include karate, judo, aikido, jujitsu and a lot more. The nice thing about each of them is that you can start learning this regardless of your age. So what do you get from learning the mixed martial art? You become self-confident, get a good workout, build up your endurance and have good balance and coordination. This first begins by learning one technique and then moving on to another. When you know them, the trick is now knowing when you switching from one style to the next especially when the need calls for it. Many people want to learn mixed martial arts for defensive purposes and this is a very good reason. Some say that this is much better than a self-defense course because this is useless if the attacker is much bigger than you. Mixed martial arts is useful because you can switch from defensive to offensive mode at any time. Since you practice this regularly, what you do is already automatic. Some decide to get into mixed martial arts to stay fit. This is because even one class a week is more than enough to get your heart rate pumping and keep your muscles in check. People who want fame and fortune can also learn mixed martial arts and then get to compete in competitions like those in the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC. The top caliber athletes in this sport have practiced this for years so you better train hard if you want to be in the same level as them. There is nothing to stop you from learning more than one martial art. In fact, the more you know the better because each technique has strengths and weaknesses. If you know what these are, you can exploit it and use this to your advantage. A good example of this is boxing because it is a contact sport that only allows you to use your hands. But if your opponent is beyond your arm's reach, this is useless. If you want to hit them, you have to go closer or learn karate which is the basis of martial arts training since you are able to utilize your hands and legs for defense and offense. Another technique which many come in handy when using the legs is Tae Kwon Do since there are aerial kicks involved. This is good for someone who has long legs but difficult for someone who is not agile or flexible. Since it is hard to kick or punch in close quarters, this is when judo or jujitsu is very useful. This is because you get to grapple your enemy and still do some damage even when both of you are on the ground. Self-defense, exercise and for competitive purposes are the three main reasons that make a lot of decide to learn mixed martial arts. Of course, there are other sports that allow you to do the same thing but if you are interested from what you see on television, there is no harm in giving it a try. Is Learning Mixed Martial Arts Good For Your Child? Getting your children in extra curricular activities helps them become a well-rounded individual. Aside from basketball or boxing, another sport you can try is mixed martial arts. What is mixed martial arts? It is a combination of various martial arts techniques which include karate, jujitsu, judo, tae kwon do and a few others. Since each one takes time to learn, your child will have to learn the basics of one before moving on to the rest. But why mixed martial arts? This is because the activity boosts not only your child's physical health but also mental as well. Although intense, they get to sweat which reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and even obesity. Bigger kids will think twice about bullying them since they know how to defend themselves when they are threatened. They will also become more self confident and be more assertive after completing a few sessions. Will training in mixed martial arts make your child violent? The answer is no because most studies have shown that those who start fights in school are usually the ones who have no discipline, no training and no self esteem. This is their way of seeking attention even if there are other ways to get it. Studies have shown learning mixed martial arts has a profound impact for children who are suffering from ADD and ADHD because it helps them stay focus on a task after doing something repeatedly which in the long term will help them later on in life as this helps them control the symptoms of these two disorders. Before enrolling your child in a mixed martial arts program, do some research by checking the various gyms or dojo's that offer this to children. You may be surprised to know that there is a class called Krav Maga which is an Israeli developed combat system which teaches you to escape from an attacker and then fleeing so you can get help which has helped saved lives. In any case, you should also watch a few classes and also speak with the instructors. If you are satisfied with how they answered your questions, bring your child over because many will let your child join an introductory class at no extra charge. If you child likes it, then it is time to sign up. Be aware that some gyms will charge you for the next 6 months. Since your child may like it right now and change their mind in the future, see if you can pay for this on a monthly basis. But not every child may like mixed martial arts as a recreational activity. If this is the case, try to find something else that they are into so you are able to find something that is good for their overall emotional psychological and physical well being. Mixed martial arts just like any other sport can help in your child's development. They will become more responsible, more mature and less likely to engage in violence so they grow up and become decent members of society. So give it a shot and see if he or she likes it. They don't have to compete if they don't want to but if they like to give it a try later on, just support them. Mixed Martial Arts is Growing Mixed martial arts is growing in popularity ever since rules were implemented for the safety of those in the ring and you can now watch it on television. It captures an audience both young and old since what happens either in the cage or ring is not scripted unlike wrestling. There are two main styles of MMA. These are sport and street. In sport, two unarmed competitors fight it out using the same or different martial art discipline. Here, you can't bite, insert fingers to any bodily crevices, attack the groin and eye gouging. In street, you are allowed to use a weapon of your choice but the first is more popular that the other. Just to prove how popular mixed martial arts is, various organizations have been formed since the Ultimate Fighting Championships was established in 1993. There is PRIDE, International Fighting Championships and Elite XC. You can watch UFC fights on pay per view which is featured in Spike TV. Elite XC airs their events after striking a deal with CBS entitled "Saturday Night Fights." Aside from its popularity on television, there is an increase in the sale of mixed martial arts merchandise especially in the form of videos which fans can take home. There are also websites which feature upcoming competitions, blogs, forums and everything else related to this sport. Some fans who have become engrossed in this sport have signed up in gyms that offer this in their classes. This can be done just to work up a sweat instead of lifting weights or running on the treadmill. Those who are serious train hard so they will be able to join a competition and win. But did this craze really start 15 years ago? The answer is no because mixed martial arts was known by a different name more than 2,000 years ago when this was first introduced by the Greeks during their Olympic Games and that time, this was known as Pankration. There is no doubt that mixed martial arts as a sport is growing. You can see this in the number of fans who watch it, the sales revenue which happens to be much higher than that of boxing and wrestling, the establishment of academies and gyms as well as the founding of organizations both local and abroad. There was even a move to make this an Olympic sport in 2004 when the games were held in Greece but this was not added since there were concerns that this venue will not be able to host a list of other new sports. Four years later, the recently concluded Beijing Olympics did not also have mixed martial arts as one of the new sports. Despite that, there are still fighters willing to make a name for themselves using the other organizations since these events are shown all over the world with millions watching even if the International Olympic Committee has not yet approved it. Senator McCain once referred to mixed martial arts as "human cockfighting" because according to him, this was too violent. That may be the case but with no fatalities yet compared to boxing which averages 11 a year, this will continue to be part of American society today and it is not going to go away anytime in the foreseeable future. Mixed Martial Arts through the Web Many people have discovered various uses for the web. You can use it for research, buy and sell merchandise or simply advertise your products and services to the audience. If you are a mixed martial artist and want to get in the game, this tool can help jumpstart your fighting career. This is made possible because of websites that enable you to gain free exposure. Some of these are designed by the fighter themselves so they know what they are talking about when they are giving free advice on how to start or improve your martial arts career in the form of blogs and videos. If you don't have a manager yet, the website can recommend someone. Aside from starting your mixed martial arts career, these websites post ads so those who need a training partner may be able to find one and help them prepare for an upcoming competition. If you are a little short on cash, mixed martial arts websites can help you find sponsors. This is updated daily so if you don't see anything in your area, it is possible for you to do so tomorrow. One person who made it big using these websites is Chuck Liddell who worked his way to the top and defeated Quinton Jackson in Pride, an organization similar to the UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship. If it wasn't for the information available there, nobody would still now him. Most of these sites encourage mixed martial arts and fans to sign up and become a member. This will allow you to post questions and comments if you don't agree with what other members are saying. The other benefits of becoming a member allows fighters will be able to form a network, mixed martial arts event organizers may hire officials and ring card girls to be present during an event and fans will be able to watch professional and amateur competitions. Websites that focus on mixed martial arts are there and all you have to do is find it. How many are there? There is no actual figure but with more people becoming interested in the sport, you will probably find a few out there that are worth visiting over and over again. You can simply start by typing in a few keywords like the names of mixed martial artists or the word mixed martial arts itself so you can see them appear on your computer screen in a matter of seconds. The challenging part is looking through each one so you will know which of these sites are relevant or not. Once you find something you like, bookmark the page so you can easily visit it with a click of the mouse. Spread the word around by forwarding the site to your friends so they too will be able to enjoy it. For the fans, the journey ends there. But if you are a fighter, the information is simply a guide. You have to win a few matches first so people will know who you are. One website which you can check out is MMARecruiter.com. You will be able to find here almost everything that was mentioned earlier. Once you have visited it, look at the others because they may have something else to offer especially if you are a die hard fan of this full contact sport.
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