by Jimmy Ruffler
Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is one full-contact sport that has literally been taking over the sporting world over the last few years. What began as a notion, and then turned into an event that was a bit confusing and muddled, has grown up over the past decade. Mixed martial arts not only has a wealth of participants, but it also is supported by millions of fans across the globe.
Everything can be utilized in mixed martial arts, from wrestling and striking to open hits and kicks, as well as other forms of martial arts; in other words, athletes have a laundry list of talents they must acquire and hone in order to achieve the ultimate success.
The big event that most all know of in 2013 is referred to as the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Beginning during the turn of the 19th Century, a variety of mixed-styles of martial arts came into the United Sates and began to develop into something far more. But it wasn’t until 1993, that the UFC was born.
In the beginning, rules and regulations were pretty much null and void in these particular contests, but as the sport expanded, safety had to be achieved for the competitors, which is what eventually became the more regulated form of the sport – the popular MMA.
Safety has most definitely increased for the athletes, which has also helped fans better understand how the sport actually runs. The competition’s goal was to discover the best ways martial arts could be shown to an eager audience. These are unarmed competitions, which means all competitors must rely on their talents, abilities, and intelligence of the martial arts field in order to win.
In reality, mixed martial arts didn’t begin with the UFC or the MMA, and most definitely did not begin as a pay-per-view sport that brought in almost as much, or more cash, than the world of professional wrestling now does. Long ago, as with the rest of the sports we watch every day, Mixed Martial Arts began in Ancient Greece. A full-combat and full-contact sport, Grecians referred to it as Pankration. Looking just as the MMA does today (without the rules), competitors met each other toe-to-toe and had to strike, wrestle, as well as stand and fight in order to call themselves the champion.
The Romans saw MMA as a fight to the bitter end. Like their very own gladiators, the competitors who met could use everything from wrestling to boxing, mixing fields of study and sports in order to put on the best show for the large crowd.
One of the earliest in America came when the world boxing champion at the time, John Sullivan, stepped into a ring in front of a crowd back in 1887 with his own trainer. His trainer, a man by the name of Muldoon, was actually a champion himself; he was a Greco-Roman Wrestling victor and showed the crowd, quite quickly, that wrestlers could outdo boxers, pinning is student to the mat. (Only a few years later, the tides turned when a boxing champion instead knocked out the wrestling champion.)
The boxers versus the wrestlers were definitely the first to mix their art forms in the ring, yet as time went forward every sport was brought into the picture. Skills such as judo, jujutsu, as well as things like stick fighting were allowed, and competitors looked at long, grueling hours of training in all of these different techniques.
The one very large positive to MMA seems to be a consensus across the continents. Whether boxer, wrestler; whether European, Japanese – no matter what the culture or the background of the athlete, everyone is most definitely welcome to battle.