Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a modern combat sport that combines techniques from various martial arts, sports, and combat disciplines. These include boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, karate, and muay Thai. Originally decried by critics as a brutal bloodsport with no rules, it has evolved into one of the world’s fastest-growing spectator sports in the early 21st century.
The sport is regulated by state athletic commissions, which also conduct medical and drug tests on fighters. Fighters are assigned weight classes and judges are used to score each fight. The winner is determined by either knocking out the opponent or forcing them to submit. Fighters are allowed to use any legal strikes, kicks, and grappling holds during a match, but they are not permitted to hit below the belt or attack an injured opponent.
MMA matches are divided into three phases: Stand-up fighting, clinch fighting, and ground fighting. Stand-up fighting consists of techniques that involve kicking, punching, kneeing, and elbowing the opponent. Clinch fighting involves holding the opponent, and ground fighting refers to taking the opponent to the floor through the use of grappling holds. The fight ends when a fighter is disqualified, or if the referee, a fighter’s corner, or a doctor stops the fight for reasons that include the opponent being unable to defend themselves or if continuing could put their health at risk.
In addition to the various striking and grappling techniques, MMA athletes are required to perform strength and conditioning training to improve their overall physical fitness and performance. However, despite the popularity of MMA and its growing number of participants, a lack of scientific research into the sport has hampered its ability to develop an evidence-based approach to training for this unique, multielement combat sport.
A few studies have been conducted into the training methods of MMA athletes, but the results of these studies have not yet been published in peer-reviewed journals. In one study, researchers surveyed 28 fighters who participated in a regional reality fighting event to assess their self-reported training methods. The researchers found that the majority of MMA fighters train using an all-around approach, with some focusing on specific areas such as power endurance.
Because there is no one governing body for MMA, the rules of this sport vary from country to country and from organization to organization. However, a set of rules known as the Unified Rules of MMA have been developed and are commonly used by most MMA promotions. Some of the most common violations in MMA include attacks on the head, eye gouging, and biting. In general, a fighter is disqualified if they commit multiple dangerous fouls or infractions that put their opponent’s safety at risk. MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)