Mixed Martial Arts has always been a sport waiting to be invented but who could know that it would become what it is under the guidance of the UFC .
Over forty years ago the pioneering martial artist Bruce Lee spoke of the importance of combining the elements of many different martial art forms. Thought here was no organized competitive environment back then for this idea Lee was able to create his own system and philosophy called Jeet Kune Do. Lee said that “the best fighter is not a Boxer, Karate or Judo man. The best fighter is someone who can adapt to any style, to be formless, to adopt an individual’s own style and not following the system of styles.” In 2004 UFC President Dana White called Lee the “father of mixed martial arts.” And to MMA fighters Bruce Lee is the “father of modern mixed martial arts.” Though it was Bruce Lee who had the vision in America the name mixed martial arts was first coined by Rick Blume, president and CEO of Battlecade, in 1995.
Today Bruce Lee’s vision of mixed martial arts has come to fruition in this sport which has been experiencing explosive growth of the last few years. Of course in the early days of the sport, just a few decades ago, things were a bit chaotic. There were not many rules and regulations and the status quo was “anything goes.” The MMA Business has gone through many changes from its original form over the years and this has manifested as a sport that is increasingly safer and more secure as far as the players are concerned. In time as the popularity of the sport has grown professional organizations have formed, sanctioning bodies have been created (UFC), rules, regulations, safety equipment and accepted forms of behavior have been brought into the MMA Business.
The origins of mixed martial arts as presently practiced in the MMA Business has its genesis in the early 20th century when various mixed style competitions were held throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim. The expansion continued with the introduction into the United States of the Brazilian martial art of Vale Tudo. Developed in the 1920s it was brought to the U.S by the Gracie family in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The Vale Tudo style of fighting was more violent than other styles of MMA and thus there were more injuries among MMA fighters.
In time the UFC tempered the intensity and injuries associated with this technique by the implementation of additional rules.
As more rules and safety regulations were put in place by the UFC, and injuries to players were reduced, state laws have been passed throughout the US. Recognizing MMA as a sport and television contracts were signed allowing pay-per-view for the MMA Business.
What began as a combat event with minimal rules has evolved into a recognized and respected sport. What originally pitted competitors against each other, all to determine the most effective martial art for unarmed combat situations has blossomed into a mainstream sport with mainstream acceptance.
Today the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as presented by UFC is so popular that pay-per-view events of the UFC, MMA events often draw a larger viewership than professional wrestling or boxing. Most of these events are sponsored through the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) organization which maintains and enforces the strict rules and regulations of the sport.
At the present time MMA consists is based on various fighting styles from the East, West and Latin America including incorporating western wrestling, western boxing, Shootfighting, Kickboxing, Karate, Savate, Sumo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. These have been broken down into three basic styles of fighting. New techniques are classified as one of these three. The three are: striking, wrestling and submissions. Striking and wrestling are the basic foundation of most martial arts include a large amount of these techniques. These techniques are so popular because they give a combatant the basic ability to take the opponent player down to the mat which is an essential element for self defense.