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Mixed Martial Arts 101 – Part 3

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Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is an extreme contact sport that began in 1993 with the introduction of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. MMA incorporates fighting techniques of a variety of martial arts forms, including taekwondo, judo, and karate. The original Ultimate Fighting Championship was an “anything goes” type of competition, with few rules and little regard for the competitors’ safety. The beginning years of mixed martial arts competition was considered to be brutal by many, but rules and regulations for the sport have evolved over the years. Even with the additional rules for competition, MMA is still an intense sport that requires immense strength and fierce training.

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MMA concentrates on strikes and grappling techniques. Martial arts strikes use either a weapon or body part to execute an attack on an opponent. Mixed martial arts competitors use fist punches, leg and foot kicks, and head butts. Grappling involves gripping and controlling the opponent without the use of strikes. A variety of holds and choke holds are used during MMA competitions.

Popular Fighting Styles

* Stand-up: One of the most popular arts to come out of the MMA popularity is Muay Thai along with various forms of boxing and kickboxing, and forms of full contact karate are learned to develope footwork, kneeing, punching, elbowing.

* Clinch: This incorporates Judo, Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling and Sambo in which are learned to improve clinching, takedowns and throws, while Muay Thai is trained to improve the striking aspect while in the clinch.

* Ground: Shoot wrestling, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Sambo are trained to learn submission tactics, also defense against them. These arts are also learned to improve and gain control on the ground.

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