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About MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)
By Cathy Richey, the Cathy Factor
For a sport that has captured the imaginations of millions of Americans as much as it has, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is actually a new sport.
Not new, in the sense that it has been in existence for a very long time and has been practiced in several countries around the world. But it has only in recent years been recognized all around the globe as a sport.
Although MMA can be traced back to traditional combat practices in ancient kingdoms, the sport which most audiences are familiar with began in 1993 when the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was founded.
Mixed Martial Arts today comprises of several forms of martial arts training including the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, judo, kick boxing and different forms of wrestling. MMA has evolved over the years to feature unarmed combat at its best and has been dubbed the fastest growing sport in America.
This has been helped by the overwhelming publicity that has been given to the sport, but also by the wide coverage given by the media. With the help of the media, MMA has grown to become part of America’s urban culture.
The first MMA competitions were known as ‘no holds barred’ fighting and did not adhere to any particular set of rules. The result was that fights were often violent and brutal, leading to serious injuries. At this point, detractors of the sport nicknamed it ‘human cockfighting.’ This led to MMA being banned in a number of states in the U.S. But MMA continued to grow as a sport in America and drew thousands of fans to its live matches and even more to the pay per view televised matches.
The negative publicity brought by the violence of the fights and mounting political pressure which came, spurred the UFC to undergo reforms. It was at this time that the ‘no holds barred’ tag was dropped and this form of fighting became officially known as mixed martial arts.
MMA has now developed into a sport with rules and regulations and has spread to other countries particularly in Europe. Although MMA is still banned in some areas of Canada, it has been well received in others. When the UFC had its first match in Ireland, tickets were sold out.
An MMA workout has a great deal to do with developing strength in the muscles. This makes sense because it is impossible to do any fighting in Mixed Martial Arts if you are weak. The more strength you can build in your muscles, the better your chances are for delivering force in kicks and punches, holding, and making takedowns. Your strength is the root of your force, and your core strength is especially critical.
A part of fighting fitness is being powerful. That means you need to be able to move quickly and with great control. A proper MMA workout will incorporate exercises that push your limits in speed and keep you thinking on your feet. A Mixed Martial Arts competition is filled with opportunities to win based on speedy attacks. With the right fighting fitness in power and agility, you will be able to strike quickly, take down the opponent, or use blocks and maneuvers to avoid attack with your quick body and mind.
A Mixed Martial Arts tournament is built on intense matches with very short breaks between rounds. In MMA, as in any fighting fitness situation, endurance is a part of the picture. A fight cannot continue if either fighter becomes exhausted quickly. If you want to participate in competitions, you need to develop the ability to complete matches. To win, you must have the endurance needed to stay on form throughout the competition. If you simply want to do a good MMA workout, it is important to include endurance as a goal for fighting fitness as well.
The right kind of MMA workout will improve general health. The reason this fits in with fighting fitness is that people who are not pysically fit cannot do Mixed Martial Arts effectively. Cardio should be included routinely in the workout plan so that the heart and lungs are taken care of at all times. During the actual fighting, the heart and lungs get a workout, which increases health as well.
There are different styles of Mixed Martial Arts. Some people focus on stand-up fighting. These people do more exercise involving kicking and punching. They use karate, kung fu, kickboxing, taekwondo, and Muay Thai to make their stand. Other styles are more geared to grappling, similar to Greco-Roman wrestling, with holds and ground fighting. Fighting fitness is about training the body effectively in all areas.
MMA is a wonderful way to achieve your fitness goals, and it presents the
opportunity to put that level of fitness to the test in competition. MMA
fighters are multidimensional and display amazing skills. With the way MMA has
evolved in the past few years, many speculate that it is only a matter of time
before it becomes recognized and approved by the Olympic sports.
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