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Mma-A Brief History

It would be impossible to fully track every aspect of the beginnings of mma. The Greeks, Romans, Cavemen? I will try to bring to you a history of mma that impacted the United States as I believe it occurred, and what is now the growing popularity in this reality fighting. When I use the term reality fighting, it refers to actual full contact striking and joint wrenching submissions. It is not meant to disrespect the traditional martial arts.

In Brazil there was a competition called vale tudo (Portuguese for anything goes) In the early nineties an elder son of a very respected Brazilian jiu-jitsu (bjj) master came to the United States. This elder son and his younger brother were giving Bjj lessons out of their garage. This elder son partnered with another man and began a very popular competition where fighters of different styles would fight each other abiding by only a few rules. The younger brother of the man you started this competition dominated the fighters that stood before him. Many of the fighters were of a standing style (karate,kung-fu,etc) when this young man would take them down and tie them in a pretzel they were at a loss on how to defend against it. At this time there were no time limits on rounds. This young man would hold on to his competitors like an anaconda; wearing them down and waiting for the right moment to apply a submission hold.

It did not take long for future fighters to start training in this young manís style and start gaining there own submissions. One mistake was made though. Now they were getting knocked out. The new rules to this competition incorporated rounds, and if they were on the ground too long with no action the ref would stand them back up. Not exactly a grapplerís desire. With these new rules in place a new breed of fighter emerged.

Mma fighters had to find a new way to cope with the double threat of stand up and ground fighting. Many of these fighters started to cross train in both ground fighting and stand up. The world of mma in the United States would never be the same. It was no longer a matter of style versus style, but who had the better stand up OR ground game. Itís very complex if you think about it. Say fighter A is stronger at stand up than on the ground. His competitor, fighter B is equal at both, maybe a little better at standing and just as good a fighter as A on the ground. This scenario can be a combination of a lot of variables. There is strategy in these fights. They do not just go toe to toe with a fighter. They study their competitor and try to exploit their weakness.

Regardless where mma originated from, no one can deny the explosion this sport has seen, or the skill of these athletes. These are not brainless brawlers wanting to duke it out, they are skilled combatants with a strategy wanting to compete with other skilled fighters.

About the Author: Shawn Sellen is the owner of the mixed martial arts website

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