The roots of mixed martial arts have been traced back to ancient Greece. It is derived from the word “pan-kratos” which literally means “all power”. Fighters from completely different backgrounds were fighting under a common ring called “Vale Tudo (anything goes)”. Because of this mix of fighting techniques; the pankration had little to no rules.
Later on, with the development of the sport; various rules have been incorporated to protect the competitors. The various techniques come from the various different styles of fighting. The fighters fight inside a cage popularly known as ‘the octagon’; it protects the fighters from falling out or getting thrown out. The wide angles of the octagon also prevent the fighters from getting stuck in corner.
Eventually, the art found its way into India with the help of Alexander the great. After which an ancient Buddhist monk picked up this technique and included Karate and Muay Thai to it. MMA is a combination of Boxing, Kickboxing, Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Wrestling and Judo.
It allows ‘striking’ and ‘grappling’; grappling, derived from Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling and Judo. Striking is permitted both standing and on ground; it allows punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes derived from Boxing, Kick Boxing, and Muay Thai.
This sport has now been developed into something that can be available for physical fitness. Numerous modifications have been made to spread the various benefits that it offers to our physical and mental well being.
MMA is a total body workout. Kicking works the muscles in your legs, punching works your arms and grappling really activates your core. There is also a technique called ‘sprawling’ which is used for self defence; this technique works the muscles in your shoulders and back.
Just like how MMA is for every part of your body, it is also for everyone. Fighters fight under 8 different weight classes; MMA has no gender and it is available in almost all countries.
The major reason for the popularity of this sport is the premiere organisation – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). UFC has been giving life to the sport since November 1993. The UFC programming is currently aired in 28 different languages in over 145 countries. It is the largest pay per view provider in the world.
The fight is scored by three judges sat cage side with different viewpoints of the contest. The evaluation is based on the effective MMA techniques like striking and grappling. They use the 10-point must system where the winner of the round gets 10 points and the loser gets 9 or less; rarely, there is a tie. They are also marked based on their aggressiveness and defence. The fight ends in a number of ways. They can be submission, technical knockout, knockout, forfeit, technical draw or know contest, or simply by the judge’s decision.
The reason for the boundless respect for this sport from people is almost entirely due to its purity. The fight always ends with a handshake and a hug broadcasting the respect the competitors have for each other. The UFC offers only one title unlike other sports. There aren’t many scandals or politics. People are rewarded entirely based on hard work and dedication.
– Shruthi Krishnan