Muscle Sport Magazine

How MMA Became the Most Popular Combat Sport

Contact combat sports have been a thing since the days of ancient China and their form of Leitai – which was a combat sport with no rules. Almost like the movie ‘Fight-Club’. In Greece similarly, the sport is comprised of a combined wrestling and boxing match was dubbed ‘pankration’ – the only thing not allowed was biting. All these sports decided a winner once the opponent cannot fight anymore and sometimes, especially in the Chinese sport, till death.

Now when we categorise MMA – Mixed Martial Arts as a sport, it was with these ancient civilization’s techniques, that we pay respect and heed to. The difference now is that in the 20th Century the idea has changed to include rules and relevant regulations so as not to harm the opponent excessively.

Sometimes the sport is referred to as cage-fighting and has an annual event that surrounds it called the UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship, where the winner takes all, either prize money or a belt. The first of its event was held in Colorado in 1993 and was watched live on television throughout homes that had televisions.

The popularity grew once this was broadcasted online, but no one is certain who coined the phrase. Later that year, the government prohibited this sport in the same year but other forms of fighting didn’t stop anyone. Even though the fighting was stopped in public, behind the scenes the training still continued. For instance, the Brazilian form of fighting Jiu-Jitsu which was already popular back in the 1920’s, was brought to the United States.

This idea came about in search of what is the best overall style of fighting was amongst all the rest, when two opponents are pitted against each other with no rules, who stand the chance at winning and using which style of combat sport. Needless to say, incorporating martial arts influences into the fighting techniques made a lot of difference and this was later adapted into the MMA style.

Looking at the hypothetical timeline, it started from the art of fighting in an arena without any rules in Lei Tai, almost 2000 years ago, and fast-forward now to the 21st century where new events are taking place like Kumite 1 League MMA fighting that began in 2018, and famous fighters like Mike Tyson who are also starting to see the effectiveness in introducing this to all the other countries

Ultimately the fight was won when promoters and organisations worked hard to change the perception of combat sports from one that is barbaric to a legitimate form of sport and recreational activity too. One does not need to do it for the fight, they can also enjoy it as a past-time activity and hobby of sorts, to strengthen your muscles and become leaner, it can act as an anti-stress activity, you can learn self-defence, discipline and for some it can be a confidence booster too.

This also has an abundance of advantages for children. Because of its roots, it promotes self-discipline, it will teach them how to focus better because this sport helps to sharpen your mind and thus increases focus due to oxygen in the brain, can help your children boost their confidence level and they can learn to interact with other children in a safe and controlled environment, this activity will help them to learn how to listen and increase stamina and perseverance.

There are tons of reasons as to why people would enjoy this and even though it is for all ages, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to it because training centres have particular structures to their training depending on the participant.

If you want something slightly tougher, the other form of martial arts that has been added to this is Muay Thai. Which, as the name suggests originates from Thailand and is a form of both boxing and kicking but protecting your face while doing it. You can read a publication about this here. They call this a discipline as well and is literally translated as the ‘art of 8 limbs. The focus on conditioning of the body and has a lot more fitness and endurance or tougher routines to it. This too has a lot of benefits for a trainee.

MMA is still as prevalent today as it was back in the day and the demand for it is growing every year within the modern society and amongst both men and women.

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