Mixed martial arts - mma, sometimes known as no holds barred - nhb, or ultimate fighting championship - ufc, is a mixture of martial arts.
These are terms used to describe the use of striking, grappling and submission techniques in a sports ring or cage, where fighters can submit or knock out their opponents to win a contest.
For thousands of years, martial arts were shrouded in mystery. Secrets were jealously guarded, while claims were made of lethal techniques and special powers.
Each system said that it was the best, and its masters unbeatable. Only a few people, like Bruce Lee, dared to question how traditional arts were taught, and created their own unique system that included many styles.
Then came the Gracies, a large extended family from Brazil, who discovered that real fights were rarely won by complex movements. They offered to take on anyone, of any style and won repeatedly by taking their opponents to the ground and forcing them to submit.
When the Gracie challenge was picked up by an innovative US Television Company called semaphore entertainment, a new mma sport was born.
The ultimate fighting championship began in 1993 and turned the martial arts world on its head. By matching experts in different arts against each other in a realistic setting, it exploded many of the myths about combat.
Black belts and flashy moves proved no match for the skill and technique of a new breed of mma fighter.
In less than 10 years, mixed martial arts (mma), no holds barred (nhb), and the ultimate fighting championship (ufc) changed from a novelty spectacle to a World Wide Sport that produced athletic superstars.
The UFC organization follows a rich history and tradition of competitive combat dating back to the Olympic Games in Athens. About 80 years ago, a Brazilian form, known as Vale Tudo sparked interest in the sport.
Then, the UFC organization brought MMA to the United States. The aim was to find the Ultimate Fighting Champion with the goal to have a tournament of the best athletes skilled in all martial arts, including...
karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, grappling, wrestling, sumo and other combat sports. The winner would be crowned the champion.
Once the UFC brand was launched, Mixed Martial Arts popularity surged in Brazil, followed by massive interest in Japan where these bouts became major events. In January 2001, the UFC completely restructured MMA into a highly organized and controlled combat sport.
As a result, the UFC organization now offers live pay-per-view events annually through cable and satellite.
Response to the UFC brand has been tremendous, resulting in a growing fan base that has developed through the years. UFC popularity has also grown through the hit reality series The Ultimate Fighter.
The UFC organization is regulated and recognized by the world’s most prestigious sports regulatory bodies including the Nevada and New Jersey State Athletic Commissions. The UFC organization strives for the highest levels of safety and quality in all aspects of the sport.
Under the strong leadership of Dana White, the UFC brand continues to thrive across a spectrum of live event sports, and television productions.
My local Self Defence Seminars are based on methods that have been proven to be very effective in a variety of street combat situations.
Aikido, like all martial arts, teaches you how to protect yourself in a combat situation. It offers you an effective way of controlling an attacker, especially if they are actually attacking you for real.
That is with emotion... angry, aggressive, and full of venom.
Mixed Martial Arts fighters are highly trained to attack and defend their position... also to absorb punishment from their opponents. They also have rules and a referee to protect them from their opponents.
After all, tornaments are sporting events, not a life or death struggle.
But, in Aikido terms, many of the best weapons are either expected or against the rules. For example, the element of surprise, an atemi to distract, and the ability to manipulate small joints are not available.
Also gloves are worn that stop striking and accessing vital points.
The few Aikidoka that have entered these tournaments, have all used punching, kicking and grappling as part of their arsenal, so it's rare to see any Aikido moves at all.
Also, Aikido teaches the importance of avoiding fights at all costs, and you can't deny it has been effective in this regard!
The art is actually about bringing peace to the world, and uses the martial art of Aikido as a vehicle of study. Also we learn to be humble and aim to reduce the size of the ego.
But, Aikido can also be devastating... if used in the right way!