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What is MMA?

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sports that allows striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from other combat sports and martial arts especially from Jiu-Jitsu.

During the early 20th century, various mixed-style contests took place throughout Japan, Taiwan and in the countries of the Four Asian Tigers. In 1980 CV Productions, created the first regulated MMA league in the United States, called Tough Guy Contest, which was later renamed Battle of the Super fighters. The company sanctioned ten tournaments in Pennsylvania. 


In the 1983 the Pennsylvania State Senate passed a bill prohibiting the sport. In Brazil there was the sport of Vale Tudo, in which fighters from various styles fought with little to no rules. The Gracie family was known to promote Vale Tudo matches as a way to promote their own Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu style.

In 1993 the Gracie family brought Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, developed in Brazil from the 1920s, to the United States by founding the UFC MMA company. The company held an event with almost no rules, mostly due the influence of Art Davie and Rorion Gracie attempting to replicate Vale Tudo fights that existed in Brazil.This would later implement a different set of rules (example: eliminates kicking a grounded opponent), which differed from other leagues which were more in realistic fights.

Originally promoted as a competition to find the most effective martial arts for real unarmed combat, competitors from different fighting styles were pitted against one another in contests with relatively few rules. Later, individual fighters incorporated multiple martial arts into their style. MMA promoters were pressured to adopt additional rules to increase competitors' safety, to comply with sport regulations and to broaden mainstream acceptance of the sport.

Now MMA is the world's fastest growing sports in modern history,making a huge impact in America as well as in Europe.


  • Ultimate Martial Arts Encyclopedia (McGraw-Hill; 1 edition) by John R. Little, Curtis F. Wong (September 2000). 


Rorion Gracie.jpg
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