MMA 101: The Arts Behind Mixed Martial Arts
Having been involved in mixed martial arts (MMA) for almost a decade, I sometimes forget it is still a new sport to most people. As such, the concept of the sport may not be very clear for people encountering the sport for the first time. What exactly does the name mean – mixed martial arts? What are the “arts” involved in MMA?
The biggest promoter of MMA over the years has been the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) which was originally created by Rorion Gracie. The Gracie family has done much over the years to spread the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Although in pure BJJ competition athletes wear a cotton gi, in MMA it is practiced without the gi. BJJ focuses on technique as opposed to strength and is the art of submissions –mainly chokes, arm locks, and leg locks. The strength of a BJJ player is on the ground as it is a grappling art.