Often billed as the fastest growing combat sport, MMA is an art which combines striking martial techniques and wrestling into one discipline. Martial artists fight while standing or on the ground. But what does MMA stand for? MMA is an acronym for mixed martial arts, and this explains why this technique borrows from other combat sports.
Common Disciplines in MMA
Fighters who practice MMA combine training in various fighting techniques, including jiu-jitsu, boxing, wrestling, judo, and Muay Thai, which is also known as Thai kickboxing. Other fighting systems used in MMA include karate, taekwondo, sambo, kungfu, and capoeira.
Mixed martial artists fight in cages, rings, or sandpits. This can actually be either indoors or outdoors, depending on the type of competition or the organizers. Non-professional MMA fighters may choose their preferred venue; however, they must ensure that they are safe, considering that this is a full-contact sport and is very aggressive in that it may result in unnecessary injuries.
How Safe is MMA?
As in other contact sports, MMA has been linked with injuries, some of which are life-threatening. Since the inception of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993, there are growing concerns that the injury incidence in mixed martial arts is higher than in other combat sports. A 2012 study by Dr Charles Bernick showed that MMA fighters and professionals are at a higher risk of experiencing mental health problems, such as memory loss. This might be due to the frequent concussions in these martial arts.
Do Women Participate in MMA?
Although MMA is a male-dominated sport, female athletes can also practice it. However, men and women can only fight in separate events. It is uncommon for mixed martial arts organizations in the USA to invite women to compete. But the case is different in Japan where many women participate in this sport.