Growing up we’ve all heard tales of great Roman gladiators fighting until the death. These warriors were trained fighters, in various disciplines, and gifted athletes. The thing that separated them from all others was the courage and lack of regard for their own safety exhibited by these fighters. They honored having the opportunity to fight for and entertain the fans and they had the utmost respect for the other combatants. You may be asking yourself what this has to do with MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) or any martial art for that matter. If you subtract the fighting until death aspect you will see that MMA fighters exhibit many of the characteristics of these past warriors. You could even say they are our modern day gladiators!
What is MMA? Firstly it stands for Mixed Martial Arts and it is a relatively new combative sport that combines wrestling, boxing, karate, Jiu-jitsu and pretty much any other Martial art you can think of. Some events are held in a cage while others go the traditional combative sport route and use a ring. A match pits two competitors against each other usually for 2-3 five minute rounds. A fighter is allowed to use strikes consisting of elbows, kicks and punches and is allowed to grapple with their opponent both while standing and while the two are on the ground. A fighter can win a match by either knocking their opponent unconscious, applying a submission hold and having their opponent submit or by going the distance and having the judges decide upon the outcome.
You often hear various slurs, like street fighting and human cock fighting, in association with MMA but these detractors couldn’t be further from the truth. The biggest misconception is that your average tough guy can enter one of these events and hold their own. Would people expect your average golfer to be able to keep up with Tiger Woods or your average basket ball hobbyist to stand a chance against Michael Jordan? The answer is no because these athletes are extremely trained and incredibly athletic. This holds true for MMA as well. No, the fighters you see competing in mixed martial arts are not street fighters or thugs they are highly trained athletes. The average fighter trains for 1 hour a day each in boxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling. They also do an hour of cardiovascular training as well as an additional hour of strength training. That’s 5 hours of intense training in martial arts and conditioning. You’re not going to find many other pro athletes with that much of a work ethic.
Mixed martial arts, is becoming the fastest growing combat sport in the world with many representatives from every continent. When you look at the fact that just 5 years ago there weren’t many mixed martial artists taking home more then ten thousand dollars a fight and now some of these same fighters earn 250 to 500 thousand dollars a fight it definitely shows how far this sport has come. Boxing better make way because mixed martial arts is here to stay.
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