What is MMA?

Discussion in 'Other Martial Arts Articles' started by Sonshu, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. Sonshu

    Sonshu Buzz me on facebook

    These are not my words but words of a british fighter.

    Q1. What is M.M.A?

    M.M.A (Mixed Martial Arts) is an acronym that best describes a well rounded, more complete, and combined approach to fighting where all effective fighting disciplines meet and merge. M.M.A is often also known as ‘Vale tudo’ a Brazilian-Portuguese term meaning ‘no rules apply’ reflecting old types of unrestricted matches that are rarely found in modern events and find it difficult to get approved or sanctioned by athletic commissions or regulatory associations. The most striking thing about M.M.A is firstly the events can be housed in either a boxing ring or a steel cage, segregating and safeguarding spectators and the fighters into formal partitioned areas. Secondly the fighter’s attire is markedly different from traditional white martial arts uniforms. Most fighters chose to wear only loose or tight shorts with branded logos that often support or sponsor the fighters financially, which in turn aids professionalism.

    Q2. How did M.M.A evolve?

    M.M.A events are numerous throughout the globe; they can be found in some form or another on most continents, and have redefined modern Martial arts thinking. Well-established grass roots events like the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships) arose in mid America in the early 1990’s and have dramatically expanded into a global presence. The UFC enjoyed good broadcasting by cable companies until the events became too controversial and spurred a critical backlash that made cable companies drop the broadcasting, thus exiling the early events. Today other events such as Pride Japan (DSE), King of the Cage, and the new UFC managed by Zuffa Entertainment are known and respected among Martial Arts enthusiast across the world. Some older events are available in selected high street stores, however a thorough examination of the market reveals a pull away from the early bloodier events in an effort to gain legitimate status as a sport M.M.A events like the UFC have had to readdress there marketing strategy and alter the context, or rules in which modern day events occur to survive.

    Q3. Who competes in M.M.A?

    Most practitioners of M.M.A usually have a background in a single fighting effective approach such as, Thai boxing, Western Boxing, Judo, Kickboxing and Wrestling, however seek a wider training syllabus to more fully represent reality combat. Many are top athletes in their own discipline and seek new wider challenges and learning opportunities.

    Many famous names such as Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Maurice Smith, Bas Ruttan, Tito Ortiz, Mario Sperry, Kasushi Sakuraba, Takada, Mark Coleman, Mark Shultz... etc to name only a few have competed in M.M.A events.

    Has M.M.A changed?

    Modern M.M.A is not static in its progress, or tied to a specific heritage, although famous in Brazil the notorious ‘Gracie clan’ who added to and modified the missing or neglected elements of ground fighting for ‘no time limit’ reality fighting challenges have become widely acclaimed and associated with this reality sport. Since these early beginning the sport has evolved substantially and gained credibility from initial critics by implementing higher safety standards, including time limits and having rest periods between rounds similar to boxing.

    What is the purpose of M.M.A?

    The whole purpose of M.M.A is to establish (a) REALITY, (b) CREDABILITY (c) EDUCATION and (d) ENTERTAINMENT in both training environments and fighting events in a well-designed risk assessed environment. The wider remit of attacks and counter-attacks make the sport a lot more varied, introduce interesting, strategies, a wider skill base that some fighters equate it to ‘a high adrenaline physical chess match’ which requires immense physical conditioning.

    Is M.M.A really safe?

    M.M.A is more than just pure violence to the educated spectator. In fact M.M.A is not ‘Death fights’ or other spurious definitions such as ‘ Human C0ck-fighting.’ There have never been a single death or serious injuries attributed to proper sanctioned events to date. Most competitors are genuine everyday balanced people who enjoy the challenge, training focus, and unpredictability of the sport. They enjoy the fast paced action and understand the importance of stringent safety protocols such as verbally submitting or tapping when under duress, like any other contact sport such as boxing, televised wrestling, or rugby injuries are possible. In M.M.A if a K.O. occurs or even if a fighter cannot intelligently defend the opponent’s attacks, then a referee immediately ends fight. Judges tend to be appointed to score the relative success of bouts and decide on close decisions or award victories just like boxing. In addition a medical physician and other qualified personnel are usually present to render aid should it be required.

    Will I get hurt, or am I to old/ weak to practice M.M.A?

    Like any contact sport the potential for injury is a reality. However locating a friendly and supportive training environment should always be a critical priority for beginners. The need for safety is paramount and should be judiciously maintained by the training supervisor and insurance is an important issue. In short determine your needs and make sure they can be properly addressed by any prospective club.

    With reference to age many people chose to train in the sport but not actively compete, however the opportunities to what extent you wish to get involved should always come down to your decision. Strength, agility, speed, reflex, conditioning, motor coordination and flexibility are all physical factors that vary from one practitioner to the next and can influence the outcome of victory or defeat. However the most important starting point in training is assimilation of skill and strategy that is generally ranked as being near the top if not the most important pre-requisite to continued success. The depth and intensity of training often varies amongst students in most classes and underpins there specific needs. The general rule is to tap out or verbally submit to safeguard against damage when it all gets too much – this is always the best policy to adopt
  2. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    Thanks Sonshu, an interesting, rounded view of MMA.

    Could you expand on what might have been meant by "reality"? Especially as it appears that more rules are being introduced, in order to gain acceptance as a sport?
  3. Sonshu

    Sonshu Buzz me on facebook


    The term reality to "ME" anyway in this context.

    Whe you are sparring or rolling with the person it encompasses more options than in a tratitional art as such. The person you could be against may have a strong Judo background vs your Kick boxing background hence the person will be playing to your weakness - grappling.

    You find people at different levels in these areas

    Ground strikes
    Ground submissions

    However in a normal Judo session you will not be striking in a normal Karate session you will not be working a knee bar on the ground - however there will be excetions.

    When I spar with a TKD person for example I know he will be proberbly a better kicker than me and depending on his version of TKD maybe a better puncher so I will go to my better element - grapple and clinch work.

    There is far more scope for realisim to it as there are more general ranges to work to. Like a real fight eg, also you get used to going at a high level of work, grappling you can safely go at about 80% strength and speed/power and be VERY SAFE. It gets you used to people trying new things that are "NOT IN THE SYLLABUS". Now many arts do this I agree but it is the norm for a MMA school to do this.

    Yes as a sport there are more rules coming in but still way way more open than anything else we have.

    Hope this helps
  4. Yukimushu

    Yukimushu MMA addict

    Dont forget clinch! (i dont know weather you included that under the grappling area as some people do!) Such fighters as Wanderlei Silva & Randy Couture who are excellent in clinch.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2004
  5. Sonshu

    Sonshu Buzz me on facebook

    Sorry for the benefit of clarity I included clinch in Grappling but it could well do with a mention in its own right.
  6. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    Thanks for the clarification Sonshu.
  7. Sonshu

    Sonshu Buzz me on facebook

    No probs

    What is odd is there are less comments on this than I thought there would be :confused: :confused: :confused:
  8. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    That's because there's a huge silent majority here who agree with you...
  9. Yukimushu

    Yukimushu MMA addict

    *waves* Im one of those who agree :)
  10. Sever

    Sever Valued Member

    Good post. I don't think there've been many comments because, like Knight Errant says, pretty much everyone agrees.
    Mind if I ask which UK fighter wrote this article, Sonshu?
  11. Sonshu

    Sonshu Buzz me on facebook

    Dont know he posts on another forum as FIREBALL.

    Just stole the post - like I steal all my techninques!!!!!

    It is funny as there is a lot of people getting upset about the TMA and MMA and RBSD etc discussions yet here is an open and honest post that no one is trying to pull apart


    Very suprised if I am honest as I thought there would be someone have a go somewhere.

    Still :confused: :confused: :confused:

    I agree there are some great TMA people out there but its the bad that is remembered often.

  12. Kinjiro Tsukasa

    Kinjiro Tsukasa I'm hungry; got troll? Supporter

    That's because the article you posted just explains what MMA is, and doesn't bash everything else! :)
  13. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    I was gonna say that :D
  14. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    Hmm - clearly more controversy is required! To that end, here's something I wrote a while ago, which generally encapsulates my thoughts on MMA:

    MMA covers all 'ranges' (admittedly not the best term, so I'll use it keeping that in mind), combining grappling, striking, clinching and takedowns. MMA also uses the most effective training methods available, due to pressure-testing of techniques against non-compliant opponents, meaning that all techniques shown to be ineffective against a resisting opponent are discarded. Also, MMA teaches the transmission between ranges, and this is what places it above merely cross-training striking and grappling. For example: in MMA, while engaged in striking, the practitioner is also prepared for takedowns and grappling, whereas a muay thai practitioner, though a highly effective striker, is not training with the expectation of grappling. Furthermore, if an individual's time is limited, then MMA contains all the ranges and techniques he or she would otherwise have to find in a variety of arts as opposed to simply one system.

    For real street self-defence, a self-defence system such as that taught by Dave Turton is the most effective form of training, as this takes into account such factors as psychology and environment. MMAs prime focus is not self-defence in the same sense, but keeping that in consideration, MMA is still the most effective martial art other than self-defence (in a Dave Turton, Geoff Thompson sense) for the street, because an MMAist will be ready for any eventuality – he or she can strike, but if taken down, can grapple. A boxer, while very effective at striking, will be effective on the street against most attackers as long as he or she manages to remain at striking range; however, if taken down the boxer will be in trouble as it is an unfamiliar situation for which the boxer has no defence. The same is true of multiple opponents – no MA has a reliable defence against multiple attackers, but an MMAer will at least be able to defend him or herself against a single attacker at any range, raising their chances of surviving against more than one attacker, though not guaranteeing it.

    As to weapons, I am looking at this from a UK perspective, and as it is not legal to carry weapons in this country, it would not be sensible to train in them for the purposes of effectiveness as no law-abiding individual will have constant access to illegal weaponry.

    Most martial arts do not cover all ranges, do not train with pressure-testing and non-compliance, and/or do not include transitions between all the ranges in sparring. Furthermore, many martial arts aim to conserve their syllabus in the name of tradition, rather than aiming to use the most effective techniques for any situation. This means that they are concerned with preservation rather than evolution, which results in less effective training and less effective over-all sparring ability. Hence, MMA is superior in the development of all-around ability to ‘fight’ effectively.
  15. Sonshu

    Sonshu Buzz me on facebook

    Hi slidey

    We will get to train soon mate as I will be down Heathrow soon again - promise!

    Good post mate also a credit to Dave Turtons system is that he has a British MMA Champ under his system.

    MMA is not the best system because of the awareness but the getting used to being hit and the speed and natural flow of realistic attacks makes it one of the best mediums about.

    A good solid test of a systems worth is seeing how it does against others - another great gift from MMA.

    Alson sometimes saying nothing is best of all :)
  16. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    Like I said on TF, would be cool to train with you, mate - let me know when you do, as I'll have to take time out from my busy schedule of playing computer games. :p
  17. Yukimushu

    Yukimushu MMA addict

    Excellent definition to me Slideyfoot :D well written.
  18. Kosh

    Kosh New Member

    I have only one minor issue with the post...thats the use of the word credibilty to describe MMA. As if its the only form of MA practise that is credible because its 'real'.

    Not everyone does MA because they want to fight, that doesnt make it less credible.
  19. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    Hmm - not sure if I agree with your interpretation there. The only use of the word I can find is here:

    And also here, which I assume is the part you are referring to:

    Now, why do you take that to mean that MMA is saying its "the only form of MA practise that is credible because its 'real'" ? I don't see that as the case, the poster is merely stating that MMA aims to achieve credibility, not that other arts do not. That is an intrepretation you have made, not something implicit in the text, I feel.

    MMA has the goal of realistic competition. MMAists, individually speaking, may not share this goal, in the same way that an individual shotokan karateka may live for forms demonstration as opposed to sparring, or an individual wushu stylist may love pure acrobatics as opposed to weapons training. I myself enjoy flashy kicks and do MA for fun, not SD or even 'realism'.

    Fireball is talking about credibility in terms of MMA, and in terms of a competitors goal to achieve effective technical skills. After all, credible merely means (in one sense of the word at least) 'Worthy of confidence' - it is a sensible goal, surely, for a MMA competitor to be confident in his/her abilities?
  20. Sonshu

    Sonshu Buzz me on facebook

    I think it is saying it’s credible as the results are tested and measurable - also there for all to see.

    But be remained the techniques are nothing new they are just re used Trad moves stripped to the bare bones and often a better delivery system added.

    i.e. no kata or odd stances - just kept simple.

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