Mixed martial arts is one of the most prominent sports in America and the world at large. Despite it being viewed as a dangerous sport, MMA continues to attract a cult following. The versatility that MMA brings is what has made it famous. It combines different fighting styles to create a whole new combat sport. To better understand the MMA, you have to go back to where it all began.
The Ancient origin of MMA
The concept of combining different fighting styles is certainly not new. The provenance of the MMA can be traced back to ancient civilization. One of the earliest forms of MMA was known as Shuai Jiao. The Chinese military practiced it during the Han Dynasty. Shuai Jiao incorporated various fighting techniques such as kicking, punching, and joint locks.
Another form of martial arts that had a striking similarity to modern-day MMA was called Pankration. It was developed in ancient Greece and introduced as a sport in the Olympic Games in 648BC. Pankration was a no holds barred fighting match. Two fighters had to fight until one submitted to the other. The winner then proceeded to the next level.
MMA In the 18th and 19th Century
Various forms of mixed martial arts continued spreading across nations in the 1800s and 1900s. In 1920, the Gracie family popularized this sport by introducing the Vale Tudo tournament in Brazil. Bruce Lee also intensified the popularity of MMA. He introduced a fighting style that incorporated Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, and Karate.
Modern Day MMA
This amazing combat sport truly kicked off in North America in 1993. The establishment of the UFC was a game-changer in MMA. The first event was held in Denver, Colorado, at the McNichols Sports Arena. Royce Gracie won the first UFC tournament.
Nowadays, several rules have been developed in MMA to prevent injuries. Nonetheless, it remains a highly competitive sport that provides sheer excitement to fans worldwide.