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What is MMA?

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a combat sport in which two competitors attempt to achieve dominance over one another by utilizing a wide variety of permitted martial arts techniques, including striking and grappling. Well-known MMA organizations include the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Pride Fighting Championships. MMA is also sometimes referred to as "NHB" or "No Holds Barred," but this term is now out of favor: NHB is no longer an accurate description of the modern sport, with its formalized rules and banned techniques that were developed for the fighters' safety.

Techniques in Mixed Martial Arts

The techniques utilized in MMA competition generally fall into two categories:

  • striking techniques such as kicks, knees and punches; and
  • grappling techniques such as clinch holds, pinning holds, submission holds, sweeps, takedowns and throws

Octagon Addict MMA shirtSome unarmed hand to hand combat techniques are considered illegal in arguably all modern MMA competition, such as biting, eye-gouging, fish-hooking and small joint manipulation. Over the last ten years strikes to the groin have become illegal in all legally sanctioned MMA organizations. The legality of other techniques such as elbows, headbutts and spinal locks vary according to competition or organization.

Victory is normally gained through by judges' decision after an allotted amount of time has elapsed, a stoppage by the referee or the fight doctor (in the event that the competitor is injured or can no longer defend themself intelligently), a submission, by a competitor's cornerman (throwing in the towel), or knockout.

Ground fighting

Groundfighter shirtsGround fighting is an intrinsic part of MMA. Mixed martial arts was originally based around the concept of pitting different martial arts and fighting styles against each other in competition with minimal rules, in an attempt to determine which system would be more effective in a real combat situation. Modern MMA competition is an evolution of such events, but rules have been implemented to promote acceptance of the sport, while at the same time maintaining as much of the original no-holds-barred concept as possible. There is however no general sanctioning body for the sport, and the sets of rules vary according to the laws of individual organizations and localities.

Mixed Martial Arts organisations



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