Is learning MMA better than developing in a single martial art discipline?
Martial art generally refers to a collection of combat practices that have been practiced over centuries in both Asia and Europe primarily for self-defence. It encompasses physical exercise, mental and spiritual development interspersed with fighting techniques. Most of the martial art techniques have the origin in China, Japan, Korea, Egypt, Greece, India as well as Roman civilization. Some of the popular ones include Karate, t’ai chi and kung fu from China, Kalaripayattu from India, Boxing, Greco-roman wrestling and pankration from Greece, Sumo and Judo from Japan, Taekwondo from Korea, and gladiatorial combat of ancient Rome.
In modern times martial art has been used for law enforcement as well as a competitive sport. Learning martial art has multiple benefits include improving self-confidence when seen as a form of self-defence, increase in strength, stamina and fitness levels when seen as a form of exercise, as a stress buster, improvement in concentration at the mental level, increase in longevity and disease prevention as well as spiritual growth, balancing the body and the mind.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has more recent origin although the ancient Greek combat sports Pankration involving striking and grappling skills could be called the precursor to MMA. Various forms of MMA have existed all around the world through the centuries. Modern MMA involves techniques like grappling, striking and ground fighting. The popularity of MMA took off worldwide with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993 although an MMA league existed in Pennsylvania from 1980.
MMA competitions are conducted under strict regulations and supervision. The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts of California and the rules formulated by New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB) in 2000 have become the de-facto standard for holding MMA competitions all over the world.
Apart from UFC, major MMA promotions include Bellator MMA of CA; One Championship of Singapore; World Series Fighting of Las Vegas and the Invicta MMA of North Carolina for females. These bouts are broadcast on popular TV networks like Fox Sports, Spike TV, ESPN Star Sports and NBC sports in addition to online subscription service throughout the world.
MMA vs. martial art
MMA differs from traditional martial art in that it involves a combination of different techniques of martial arts. Training in MMA encompasses learning various martial arts like kickboxing, karate, taekwondo etc. for stand-up striking; freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, Judo, Jujutsu, Muay for clinching, takedowns and throws; Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo for improving ground control and position.
To become adept at MMA one requires cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, speed drills and flexibility. Although MMA started as a competitive sport reserved exclusively for fighters, it has now become popular with the general public of all ages and gender. It improves overall fitness levels of the practitioners. MMA fight involves various strategies like sprawl and brawl, ground and pound, submission seeking, score oriented fighting and clinch fighting. Learning MMA is more fun when compared to learning the single martial art.
With its rising popularity through pay-per-view channels as well as online subscriptions MMA is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. One can look at MMA as an option for making a living. Managing the sport also involves coaches in various disciplines of martial arts, fitness trainers, supervision involving referees, sports commentators etc. Thus a wide spectrum of opportunities exists in pursuing MMA as a career.