Welcome back to my humble virtual-abode. Listen to this. A math teacher from Ohio, an Olympic wrestler and a Brazilian Polícia Militar member walk into a room. Does this sound like a joke? Well, if after a couple of minutes you didn’t make the connection, the joke might be on your expense 🙂
I hope this doesn’t come as a complete shock, but I love MMA! Yes, Mixed Martial Arts, also known as cage fighting and if you want to take the judgmental viewpoint – modern gladiators.
When I mention my fondness of this sport, the popular responses vary between Awkward silence, blank stares, the question “MM What?” and “Really?“. Ok, occasionally I’ll meet someone who a) Knows what MMA is and b) does not look down at me…
So, to answer the first question – MMA is what it sounds like – a sport that integrates every Martial Art known to man. 2 men (and recently women) enter a ring/cage and utilize their strengths and skills at various martial arts to try to win a fight. Some of the more well-known disciplines used in MMA include Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Kick-Boxing, Wrestling, Taekwondo and Judo among other less known ones.
The fighters fight under time limits (rounds), they fight within weight classes and have to follow a set of rules which were put in place in order to determine a winner as well as keep the fighters as safe as possible in this profession.
Now let’s talk about the second question – “MMA? Really?”
The level of skill required to succeed – really succeed – in MMA is like no other sport.
Take any sport you’d like and the required skills are still focused on that specific goal. Put the ball in the basket, Get to the end zone, hit that ball out the park, put the puck in the net.
Sure, Hocky requires a lot more than knowing how to ice skate and basketball requires more than the ability to dribble. In order to excel in any sport you need to be in good shape, have the right physique, learn different strategies perhaps, know how to conserve energy and more. MMA is also focused on one main goal – beat the other guy.
The thing is, a good basketball player needs to excel in basketball.
A mixed martial artist needs to excel at the very least at (seriously, if you don’t have a strong game in one of these 3 main skills, re-think your career) – Boxing, Wrestling, BJJ. Since the nature of the sport is it being multi discipline, you have to be very good in more than one “sport within sport”.
Every fight starts on the feet. If you’d like to take your opponent to the ground you must have some wrestling/Judo skills. If you want to keep the fight standing, you need these skills to avoid being taken down. Obviously, you’d need boxing skills (Or karate) to be able to hit the other guy. If the fight gets to the ground, you better have good BJJ skills otherwise you might be sleeping early tonight…
The above is a very simplistic look at what can be as intricate and complicated as you want it to.
Mixed Martial Arts is likely the sport that requires the most diverse skill-set period.
This very nature makes every fight as unpredictable as they come.
A seasoned UFC fighter will beat a rookie out of the streets 9 times out of 10. But wouldn’t it be cool to see that other 1 time? Also, the statistics change dramatically as the match ups do. Good matchmaking and the skills and styles make fantastic competitions and battles.
I don’t like boxing.
You get to watch 2 guys stand and trade punches for 12 rounds. That’s all that happens there, I swear! I don’t like wrestling. Two guys rolling on the mat forever, in and out of positions… I could use some boxing. Know what I mean?
MMA fights are all over the place.
The fighters battle to impose their will. A wrestler will normally try to take the fight to the ground and a striker will try to keep it standing. They go back and forth, down and up. Not a dull moment (Well, almost… but that happens more often in other sports).
When was the last time you watched a sport evolve? Make its first few steps.
By every standard, MMA is a baby. Sure, martial arts are as old as can be, but the sport of mixing them together is a modern concept and we’re witnessing the gradual growth of something from relative infancy to something that becomes a huge phenomenon in countries such as Brazil (where Soccer is a religion).
Watching fights as they become more and more professional, fighters as the new emerging generation of guys who don’t come from a specific discipline to add others, but rather start out by training MMA from day one.
Watching as the actual disciplines evolve into MMA orientated – terms like “MMA boxing” and “MMA wrestling” are real things. the rules of the MMA fights and the settings inside the cage/octagon push the fighters to be more and more innovative and if you search the web, you’re likely to find things you probably didn’t think people could do.
The answer is not violence, it’s more about respect.
You’d easily see the trash talk leading up to a fight, and at times there are real emotions involved, but in the end of the day these are professionals who go into the cage to do their job. It’s not pro wrestling and they don’t need a story line to bring them to the cage. They need a challenge and a worthy opponent. They go in, fight their hearts out and then they hug and go prepare for the next fight.
I intend to write about MMA more regularly, as I enjoy it. Are you a fan? Why do you like MMA? Why don’t you? Any favorites? Let your voice be heard!
Would you like a taste of some fine MMA? – Tomorrow night (January 26th) – UFC on FOX It’s free and you even have title fight in the main event! Watch it, then come back and let me know what you think!
Remember that joke? Just thought I’d give you something to read about 🙂 The math teacher is Rich “Ace” Franklin (search for his photo to understand his nick name), The Olympic wrestler is Randy “The Natural” Couture and the policemen from Brazil is Paulo Thiago.