MMA – Mixed Martial arts
MMA, in other words: mixed martial arts, is a modern sport discipline which successfully uses sports and martial arts in its methodic and goes beyond the frames of the meaning of „fighting styles”.
Fighting competitors use every possible fighting technique of various sports and martial arts without restrictions, excluding the techniques which may provoke dangerous situation that could lead to life threating or body damaging situations.
The world-wide society believes that the creator of the contemporary form of MMA is Bruce Lee, the pioneer of the free style, where everything is allowed.
Jun Fan was the first person who revolutionized martial arts and he connected and mixed a plethora of fighting styles. He publicly expressed his opinion in mass media that he doesn’t approve the „fighting style” word.
In that period he didn’t gain followers and his speeches shocked the world of martial arts to such degree that the traditional schools of fighting didn’t accept his methods and their masters started to believe that he was a madman. Modern martial arts and international martial arts organizations which were founded by Bruce Lee admired his merits only after he had died.
We can find the roots of MMA in 648 B.C. in Greece where Greeks introduced a sport discipline that was called pankration during the ancient Olympic Championships. Pankration was a mix of wrestling and boxing.
The techniques of the classic Greek type of wrestling and boxing became a very spectacular part of those championships as time was passing. A lighter form of Olympic pankration was organized for young boys. The modern mixed martial arts has a common origin with the Brazilian vale tudo competitions which were held in the 20th century and with the Japanese kakutougi championships. The first official MMA tournament was iniciated on 15th of November, 1993 by Ultimate Fighting Championships. It was based on the free style rules of „gladiator fights” with the presence of various martial arts masters. 1997 was the stormy beginning of this new sport trend in the USA, Brazil and Japan. The so-called entertainment – the presence of televisions, sponsors and the organization of amazing sport shows for spectators – plays an important role since the first tournament till present day. Expect big money, MMA gained more and more representatives of various fighting schools: kickboxing, box, judo, jujutsu, karate, muay thay, K1 and wrestling. They gradually raised the level of sport rivalry. The methodic of teaching in MMA aims at many-sided schooling of competitors. It teaches them how to fight at a distance and use leg techniques, at a half distance and use fist hits and how to skillfully shift into clinch, to the moment when it becomes a ground fighting. Because of it, the most important aspect is so-called cross-training where fighters learn how to smoothly shift between these three distances.
The competitors wear shorts and light gloves (like in Pancrase, RINGS) that are adjusted to grasping and hitting, and they fight barefoot. The rivalry is led on a boxing ring – luboctagon-Octagon, the octagonal fighting field which is made of web. It is informally called “the cage”, so the fights are often told to be led in “cages”. Victories generally take place by knock-out in stand–up or by ground fighting due to chocking, levering or the decision of the sport judges.
Mixed Martial arts had its origin thanks to jujutsu, and especially thanks to the Brazilian representative of jujutsu – Royce Gracie. He took part in the first historic tournament that was organized by Ultimate Fighting Championships and in the two following editions. He won every fight. He is an acclaimed legend of MMA . He beat his opponents during ground fighting and he forced them to surrender. But his greatest deed which is the proof of his mastery and sophistication is the fact that he won against his opponents without harming them in even the smallest way.
Royce Gracie contributed to dissemination of MMA and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, becoming the honorary member of Hall of Fame of UFC. Of course, the new masters of UFC who had many successes and represented various fighting styles also contributed to the development of extreme MMA .
Contact fighting styles, such as muay thai, kickboxing, boxing, Brazilian jujutsu, sambo, grappling and judo, had the best qualities for fighting in „the cage” when the fighting styles were confronted.
Unfortunately, the traditional fighting schools, including aikido, karate and taekwondo, weren’t so successful.
The most important MMA organizations in the world are: UFC, PRIDE FC and HERO’S.
The beginning of Mixed Martial arts in Poland evoked foundations of many organizations: KSW, MMA Attack, Fighters Arena, Profesjonalna Liga MMA (Professional MMA League), Amatorska Liga MMA (Amateur MMA League).
Bruce Lee’s theory and historic statement: „ Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system” sum up with the ranking list of MMA fights.