Mixed Martial Arts: What is it?
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills, from a mixture of martial arts and non-martial arts traditions, to be used in competitions. The rules allow the use of both striking as well as grappling techniques, both while standing and on the ground. Such competitions allow martial artists of different backgrounds to compete.
The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be traced back to various mixed style contests that took place throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim during the early 1900s. The combat sport of Vale Tudo that had developed in Brazil from the 1920s was brought to the United states by the Gracie family in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Professional MMA events had also been held in Japan by Shooto starting back in 1989. In due course the more dangerous Vale Tudo style bouts of the early UFCs were made safer with the implementation of additional rules, leading to the popular regulated form of MMA seen today.