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A Short History of Mixed Martial Arts
Since time immortal man has continued to indulge in conflicts. At times it was serious, though it was often for fun with a sense of competition. Pankration, an ancient Olympic Games sport, was among the first formal body contact competition of strength in Greece. It was a combination of grappling and wrestling skills with striking skills.
As the Roman Empire progressed, the Greek slaves it captured turned out to be excellent teachers who taught the boys of rich Roman families. Apart from their culture these slaves brought with them the skills and techniques of unarmed and armed fighting that included Greco-Roman wrestling and their own pankration.
East soldiers training
In old times, soldiers in the East were trained for different types of combats without involving any arms to prepare them for fights even on losing their weapons during the course of fighting battles. For example, Ju-Jitsu formed a part of training of Samurai Warriors. Fundamentals of ju-jitsu are believed to have originated in China more than 2500 years ago.
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It employs the skills of conserving one’s energy, followed by making forceful moves on the attacker. It gained popularity the world over. It was in Brazil that it got evolved as 'vale tudo’, and proved to be the foundation of miscellaneous forms of martial arts in the Americas.
Judo got developed as a mild way of holding back the opponent. It demanded that the opponent be thrown to the ground or held back in a helpless manner by using tactful grips without really hurting him. Many of the tactful grips and techniques of throwing the opponent have been included in MMA, which surely is not so mild.
In Europe, boxing gained a lot of popularity during the nineteenth century. In due course of time, enthusiasts of boxing and wrestling would often speculate how the two specialists would perform against each other. The combination of the two and the addition of martial arts from the East led to the development of MMA.
Mixed martial art in its infancy was known as Bartitsu and London got the credit of having founded it before the end of the 19th century. Initially, it was known as a combination of the eastern and western style of martial arts and included boxing, judo, kick boxing, ju-jitsu and French stick fighting.
It started as a sort of free-for-all type of contest wherein each participant used his own style to beat the other fighting in his own style. However, the participants of this sport soon realized that they had to be skilled in more than just one style, whether it was wrestling, boxing or simply ju-jitsu. With passage of time and varying systems of training that made fighters more competent and versatile, the need for framing of formal rules was recognized for development of game to its next stage. Bruce Lee was renowned for having believed that a good fighter wouldn’t follow a specific style approach to any martial art but would be competent to adjust his style to beat the opponent.
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