Mixed martial arts

Mixed martial arts (MMA), is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of other combat sports. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be traced back to the ancient Olympics where one of the earliest documented systems of codified full range unarmed combat was in the sport of pankration. Various mixed style contests took place throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim during the early 1900s. The combat sport of vale tudo that had developed in Brazil from the 1920s was brought to the United States by the Gracie family in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).[1] The more dangerous vale-tudo-style bouts of the early UFCs were made safer with the implementation of additional rules, leading to the popular regulated form of MMA seen today. Originally promoted as a competition with the intention of finding the most effective martial arts for real unarmed combat situations, competitors were pitted against one another with minimal rules.[2] Later, fighters employed multiple martial arts into their style while promoters adopted additional rules aimed at increasing safety for competitors and to promote mainstream acceptance of the sport.[3] The name mixed martial arts was coined by television critic Howard Rosenberg, in 1993.[4] Following these changes, the sport has seen increased popularity with a pay per view business that rivals boxing and professional wrestling. Modern sport File:UFC 74 Respec.jpg Clay Guida and Marcus Aurelio at UFC 74. The movement that led to the creation of the American and Japanese mixed martial arts scene was rooted in two interconnected subcultures and two grappling styles, namely Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and shoot wrestling. First were the vale tudo events in Brazil, followed by the Japanese shoot-style wrestling shows. Vale tudo began in the 1920s and became renowned with the "Gracie challenge" issued by Carlos Gracie and Helio Gracie and upheld later on by descendants of the Gracie family. Early mixed martial arts-themed professional wrestling matches in Japan (known as Ishu Kakutogi Sen (), literally "heterogeneous combat sports bouts") became popular with Antonio Inoki in the 1970s. Inoki was a disciple of Rikidozan, but also of Karl Gotch who trained numerous Japanese wrestlers in catch wrestling. Mixed martial arts competitions were introduced in the United States with the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993.[13] The sport gained international exposure and widespread publicity when jiu-jitsu fighter Royce Gracie won the first Ultimate Fighting Championship tournament, submitting three challengers in a total of just five minutes,[14] sparking a revolution in martial arts.[15][16] Japan had its own form of mixed martial arts discipline Shooto that evolved from shoot wrestling in 1985, as well as the shoot wrestling derivative Pancrase founded as a promotion in 1993. The first Vale Tudo Japan tournaments were held in 1994 and 1995, both were won by Rickson Gracie. Around the same time, International Vale Tudo competition started to develop through (WVC, VTJ, IVC, UVF etc.). Interest in mixed martial arts as a sport resulted in the creation of the Pride Fighting Championships (Pride) in 1997, where again Rickson participated and won.