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Mixed Martial Arts

The History of MMA

The history of MMA is a long and varied one. Whilst we can pinpoint the time that the term Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) was used (this was in 1993 and was used by the TV critic Howard Rosenburg), being able to define when people started fighting in a way similar to modern MMA is slightly harder. The Ancient Greeks had a sport called 'Pankration' which was a combination of wrestling and boxing and was fought as far back as 648 BC. In Ancient China there was also a combat sport called 'Leitai' that combined Chinese Martial Arts as well as boxing and wrestling. In more recent times, the Muhammad Ali vs Antonio Inoki fight in 1976 could be seen as a precursor to modern MMA. Ali, the boxing superstar, fought Inoki, a Japanese professional wrestler in a fight of mixed disciplines to see who would come out on top.

But it wasn't until 1980 when the first MMA league called 'Tough Guy Contest' was created. This was followed in 1993 by the creation of the UFC, and MMA as we know it today began.

What Type of Martial Art is MMA?

The original concept of MMA was to see which Martial Art was the most effective. Early fights saw fighters from different styles fight each other with little or no rules. As the sport progressed, fighters incorporated many different styles into their techniques. MMA comprises a wide range of styles and many fighters adapt to different aspects of each discipline. Because it involves both stand-up and ground fighting alongside striking and grappling, a 'mixed' array of styles is needed. Hence the name Mixed Martial Arts.

Bruce Lee is considered one of the early pioneers when it comes to mixing Martial Arts styles with his concept of 'Jeet Kune Do'. Lee took many different aspects from many different styles and adapted these to find what suited him. Modern MMA participants are likely to do the same in the hope that they can find the best mix that works for them.

Different Styles Used in MMA

Here are some styles that are used by modern MMA fighters:

  • Jiu-Jitsu
  • Judo
  • Muy Thai
  • Kickboxing
  • Karate
  • Submission Fighting
  • Catch Wrestling
  • Boxing

MMA in Australia

MMA in Australia is a sport that is constantly growing in popularity. It is arguably the most popular combat sport in the country, and there have been a number of top quality MMA fighters to come out of Australia: Robert Whittaker, Alexander Volkcanovski and Nadia Kassem to name a few. Each of these fighters is at the top of their divisions in the UFC. Alongside producing top quality fighters, Australia has also played host to a number of large UFC events which draw huge numbers both to the stadium and watching at home. Outside the UFC, MMA in Australia is popular due to local MMA productions that take place all over the country. Combat sports have long been popular in Australia, and MMA is now the biggest of them all and shows no sign of slowing down.

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