Mixed Martial Art or MMA is a free fighting sport that combines the techniques of percussion, submission, strangulation and joint keys (arm or leg). It is a combination of ground fighting and standing combat. In this article, find out everything you need to know about Mixed Martial Art!
Mixed Martial Art means "mixed martial arts" in French. It is also called Free Fight because this sport combines several techniques from many martial arts.
According to legend, the origin of MMA dates back to 648 BC in Greece. The period in which the "Pancrace" is the very first form of modern free fighting. The term "Pancrace" is derived from the words "pan" and "kratos" which mean "someone who has power". Pancrace" was used as an effective exercise to train warriors. In addition, "Pancrace" has always been practiced in the Olympic Games since the 33rd Olympiad until the year 349.
It is also said that modern free fighting originated from the Vale Tudo encounters in the 1920s in Brazil. The Gracie family, in opposition to other martial arts practitioners, has demonstrated that ground fighting can make an opponent harmless.
This event made Brazilian Jiu Jitsu famous around the world. However, it seems important to point out that it was a Japanese master called Mitsuyo Maéda who taught this martial art to Carlos Gracie and he will teach it to his brothers.
MMA really took off in the 1990s with the creation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC in the United States. The objective was, at the beginning, to find the "ultimate fighter" by bringing together different disciplines such as jujitsu, wrestling, karate, kick-boxing...
It took only a few years for the techniques used in the PDU to blend together and the fighters kept choosing the most effective techniques to become the "ultimate fighter". For example, Thai kick-boxing and Thai boxing techniques are often the most used in a standing fight and wrestling and BJJ techniques are often used on the ground. This led to the appearance of MMA.
MMA was a huge success in the United States thanks to various UFC competitions, and then in Japan thanks to the Price FC (Pride Fighting Championship) tournaments. Mixed Martial Art is also beginning to gain ground in Europe, notably in London where UFC competitions have been organized.
Mixed Martial Art is different today from the old "Free Fight" which was characterized by the absence of rules. Techniques considered too dangerous have been progressively eliminated. This has allowed MMA to quickly become popular worldwide. However, although Mixed Martial Art is very popular in France, MMA competitions are still forbidden.