MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is the fusion of concepts from existing martial arts into one combat style. MMA uses a variety of martial arts techniques that include punches, kicks, joint-locks, chokes, takedowns and throws, used as part of three general tactics: striking, finishing holds, and control. MMA is unpredictable, so having many different styles to draw upon in combat makes the ultimate difference as being able to both attack effectively and to defend against any potential style of attack is essential.
History & Overview
MMA traces its’ roots to the early 1990s, when there were two fight styles that stood out for their effectiveness: Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Over time, practitioners of both began cross-training and adapting other styles, - thus, MMA was born. Modern MMA fighters often train in a mixture of just three styles: Amateur Wrestling (clinches and takedowns), Submission Wrestling (submissions and positioning on the ground), and Kickboxing (striking). These three distinct styles are directly linked with the "phases of combat" theory, which holds that fights can be separated into three unique phases, each requiring totally different skill sets: stand-up fighting, clinch fighting, and ground fighting. The Phases of Combat theory states that a fighter’s key to success is to determine which phase of the fight their opponent will be weakest at, and then engage them in that phase – but if you are equally skilled in all three combat phases, then you will be best prepared to take advantage of any weakness your opponent may have.
Skills and Benefits
As Bruce Lee, who is often considered the original MMA fighter once famously said, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” This is what MMA can teach – the ability to punch like a boxer, kick like a Muay Thai fighter, grapple like a wrestler and be as lithe as a Ju-Jitsu fighter. Having such a wide grasp of many different fighting styles and key self-defence components means that those practicing MMA are prepared for almost any potential physical altercation. Aside from teaching essential combat skills, MMA can also provide a myriad of significant health benefits to students such as strength and endurance gains, heightened cardiovascular fitness, improved mobility and flexibility, enhanced balance, coordination, and athleticism, and greater mental strength and self-discipline. MMA is also a fantastic way to mobilise fat and lose weight, as the high intensity of practicing MMA cranks up the body’s metabolic rate and burn calories for hours long after a class is finished.
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