Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that combines various martial arts techniques such as striking, grappling, and submission holds. It has become one of the most popular sports in the world, with millions of fans tuning in to watch events such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). But how did MMA get its start?
MMA has its roots in ancient Greece, where it was known as pankration. This was a combination of boxing and wrestling, and it was a popular event in the ancient Olympic Games. The sport was also popular in other parts of the world, such as Japan, where it was known as “jiu-jitsu”.
In the early 1900s, a Brazilian martial artist named Carlos Gracie began teaching a form of jiu-jitsu that he had learned from a Japanese master. He and his brothers opened a school in Rio de Janeiro, and they began to teach their style of jiu-jitsu to students. This style of jiu-jitsu eventually became known as “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu”, and it is still popular today.
In the 1980s, a Japanese martial artist named Kazushi Sakuraba began to combine various martial arts styles, such as judo, karate, and jiu-jitsu, into a single style. This style was known as “shootfighting”, and it was the precursor to modern MMA.
In 1993, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was founded in the United States. This was the first major MMA promotion, and it quickly gained popularity. The UFC held its first event in Denver, Colorado, and it featured fighters from various martial arts backgrounds.
Since then, MMA has grown in popularity and is now one of the most popular sports in the world. It has spawned numerous promotions, such as the UFC, Bellator, and ONE Championship, and it has become a major part of the sports landscape.
MMA has come a long way since its beginnings in ancient Greece. It has evolved into a major sport, and it continues to grow in popularity. It is a testament to the power of martial arts, and it is sure to remain a major part of the sports world for years to come.