MMA – Mixed Martial Arts
Mixed martial arts, also known as MMA, is a heady mixture of boxing, karate, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, judo, wrestling, taekwondo and muay Thai. This is the fastest growing sport that has risen from being known as freak show into a full-fledged legitimate sport. It has shed its early amateurish looks and has gained immense popularity and respect. Despite being popular, there is not much understanding about this sport. The thrills and excitement apart, there are many finer aspects that are not known to people at all. Knowing it in the right way would generate more interest in the sport and enhance its popularity. In this article, some important information has been shared that would lend more clarity in understanding the sport.
The birth of the sport
Although martial arts are as old as the hills, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a newbie, having broken into the scene barely two decades ago. Full contact combat sports have existed since the days of the Roman gladiators, and so have many other ancient martial arts. Every martial art has its own history and style that have been perfectly blended in the new sport. Asian, American and European styles have been fused in the new sport that promises much more excitement, thrill, and variety. The fights last for five minutes per round and three rounds as the standard time for a contest. However, if it is a championship fight, it can go up to five rounds. The first competitive event, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) took place on 12th November 1993.
It is not fake
There is a misconception about MMA. Many think it to be some kind of stage-managed show, which is completely false. It has acquired a legitimate entity as a competitive sport. There are defined rules of the sport by which one has to play. The rules are elaborate as they cover all aspects of the sport, and are known as Unified Rules. From information about fouls and judging to specifications of hand wrapping and the size of the ring, it covers all.
There are about 25 kinds of fouls that are officially listed. One point is deducted for each foul, and if a player breaks the rules intentionally, he can be disqualified. Injury time of five minutes is allowed for a player to recuperate from a foul. Any unsportsmanlike conduct is considered tantamount to foul. Additionally, head butting and small joint manipulation are a strict no-no.
The scoring method
The fight is judged by three people who sit beside the cage who have different perspectives of judging. Scoring is based on the techniques of the sport, and the judges look after specific sets of these. The effectiveness of defense and aggressiveness, effective grappling and effective striking are noted for scoring. How one exercises control in the fighting area is also judged. The winner is awarded 10 points and the loser gets maximum 9 points. Drawn encounters, though rare, are also known to occur.