MMA—that is to say, “mixed-martial-arts”—has seriously grown in popularity over the past few years. This is probably because the ring brings together several combat techniques (mostly from Asian cultures) that allow for striking with the hands and feet as well as grappling, takedowns, and ground attacks and submission holds. Of course, the sport has been named “MMA” because fighters train in various combat styles from around the world.
While there are many other martial arts, here are some of the more popular training techniques of MMA.
Boxing, of course, is the classic combat sport that involves only fist-based strikes. The aim of this sport is to knock the opponent out. In a contest, of course, a referee will declare a winner if one fighter is knocked down and cannot recover quickly (a 10-count) or has been knocked down too many times (and the referee believes it is safer to end the fight). Most MMA fighters have at least some study of technique with this combat sport.
BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU
Developed in the early 1900s, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu expanded on the grappling and submission techniques of traditional Jiu Jitsu. It is less a martial art of sheer force, focusing more on submissions, joint locks, and chokes for the purpose of submission. Many fighters also find these techniques help to escape and reverse from ground techniques.
JEET KUNE DO
Bruce Lee considered this martial art a philosophy for freeing the body of styles and patterns; and its founder has long been called the world’s first Mixed Martial Artist. While other arts are simple in that you learn styles and forms, Jeet Kune Do can be complicated—requiring constant practice in preparation for a fight—because it is a personalized fighting system.
Also known as Thai boxing, this form of kickboxing also utilizes “clinching” techniques. It is simple, but powerful, relying on the strength of “eight points” (two hands, two feet, two elbows, and two knees) to overpower an opponent.
SANSHOU / SANDA
A military art from China, this form focuses on close hand-to-hand combat. It is particularly helpful for the development of throwing skills and is known to improve the success of getting opponents into a more vulnerable position.
TAE KWON DO
With an emphasis on kicking techniques, Tae Kwon Do developed out of various Asian martial arts while Japan occupied Korea. Many fighters train in this sport because the core philosophy is that the leg is the longest and strongest limb, so it can not only be powerful, but can help you avoid attack from a fighter utilizing the shorter limb of the arm.