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Introduction-to-Mixed-Martial-Arts (MMA) and Common-Martial-Arts Used in MMA

Updated on December 24, 2013

What is MMA?

So, what is MMA? Basically, it is a fastest growing sport in the world where multiple martial arts are allowed in a single competition. Unlike boxing, the match is allowed to continue when the fight goes to the ground. It is a mix of different martial arts disciplines including Muay Thai, boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, etc.


Common Martial Arts that the Fighters Use

Some of the most common martial arts used in the MMA would be Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, boxing and wrestling.

famous Muay Thai fighter and actor, Tony Jaa
famous Muay Thai fighter and actor, Tony Jaa

Muay Thai

Undeniably, Muay Thai is recognized as a foundation in mixed martial arts as it is useful for striking. Besides, Muay Thai is referred to as “The Art of the Eight Limbs“, as the hands, elbows shins and knees are used in this art.

Origin country: Thailand

Strengths:

  • Complete stand up striking skills
  • Considered one of the most deadly martial arts
  • Toughens shins and forearms – which mean you can take more damage during the fight

Weakness:

  • Lacks of ground fighting techniques


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that focuses on ground fighting. It teaches a smaller person to fight against larger opponents by using leverage and techniques, with emphasis on positioning, chokes and joint locks.

Origin country: Brazil

Strengths:

  • Able to gain leverage from technique, not strength
  • Able to overcome larger opponents
  • Excellent submission techniques

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks of stand-up fighting skills and techniques
  • It takes time to master


Mohammad Ali
Mohammad Ali

Boxing

Boxing is widely used in MMA fight. It focuses on punches and hand defenses.

Origin country: Great Britain, Greece

Strengths:

  • Strong and swift punching skills
  • Focuses on speed, agility, endurance, strength, etc.
  • Standing combat based martial art
  • Adaptive way of fighting (which means you can easily match it with other martial arts)

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks of ground fighting skills and techniques
  • No kicking skills (which are somewhat crucial in MMA fight)


Wrestling

Wrestling involves grappling techniques such as clinch fighting, throws, takedowns, joint locks, etc. The grappling skills of wrestling are important and extremely useful in submission in the MMA competitions.

Origin country: Greece

Strengths:

  • Strong and complete takedown techniques
  • Excellent submission techniques

Weaknesses:

  • Takes time to master
  • Lacks of stand-up fighting techniques


Methods to attain victory in MMA competitions

1) Knockout (KO)

2) Technical Knockout (TKO) - Referee will stop the fight when the fighter could not defend himself intelligently.

3) Submissions

  • tap on opponent’s body or the floor
  • verbal Tap out

4) Corner man requests a stoppage

5) Decision wins (by the judges)


Weight Class of MMA competitions

Weight Class
Upper limit (lbs)
Upper limit (kg)
Flyweight
125
56.7
Bantamweight
135
61.2
Featherweight
145
65.8
Lightweight
155
70.3
Welterweight
170
77.1
Middleweight
185
83.9
Light Heavyweight
205
93.0
Heavyweight
265
120.2
Super Heavyweight
>265
>120.2

Fitness

Apart from all the skills and techniques, you need to have good fitness to excel in a MMA fight. It means that you will need to have good stamina, power, strength, endurance and etc. You have to be all-rounded in order to be a good fighter. Click here on how to increase muscle size fast and here to increase muscle using bodyweight.

Besides, a good fighter must be mentally strong so that he/she does not give up easily during the fight.


What is the Suitable Age to Learn MMA?

Some people say it is too old to learn MMA if you are above 20. Well, personally I think it all depends on your goal. Is it just for fun? Self-defense? Fitness? Or competition?

For me, I guess it is never too late to learn martial arts as they are really beneficial in many ways. You will never know what you are capable of unless you try. So, just go for it.

In fact, there are many fighters who fight until the age of 40 or even older. For instance, one of the best fighters in the world, Randy Couture did not make his UFC debut until the age of 34 and he retired at the age of 47.


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