Mixed martial arts, better known as MMA, is a form of sports that involves the use of a mixture of martial art combat techniques to win over the opponent. MMA has become very popular in recent years and MMA championships like the "UFC" or Ultimate Fighting Championships have become very popular.
MMA began with pitting one martial art technique with another under minimal rules, so that the martial art which would be the most effective in day to day life could be found. Modern mixed martial competitions have evolved from such events, but rules are much stricter due to which, the sport has been promoted into acceptance. However, there is no centralized sanctioning authority for mixed martial arts and the rules vary from place to place or organization to organization.
Striking and grappling are the common techniques used in MMA. Striking techniques involve kicks, knees and punches while grappling techniques involve the use of holds, sweeps and throws. Techniques like eye-gouging, biting and fish hooking are considered illegal in most MMA competitions. Other techniques like head butts, spinal locks and elbows may or may not be considered legal in different MMA organizations.
In MMA competitions, victory is based on the judge's decision, submission or knockout. A competitor's corner man can also decide the outcome of the match and so can the match doctor if the competitor is injured to an extent that he / she can no longer fight properly.
Competitors participating in MMA have to train themselves in a variety of fighting styles so that they can effectively overcome their opponents. MMA training usually involves stand up, clinch and ground combat. To make the stand up combat effective, boxing and kickboxing are taught. These improve kicking, punching, kneeing and most important of all-footwork. Freestyle wrestling is taught to improve clinching. Additionally, competitors are trained in Muay Thai to improve the striking power during a clinch. Training in Brazilian Jujitsu and Sambo improves ground combat by improving the competitor's positioning. Further, shoot wrestling, catch wrestling and judo are taught to enhance the competitor's ground combat abilities.
Some of the best competitors are well rounded fighters. But, they all specialize really well in one aspect of mixed martial arts. Sometimes this style is so dominant that it is overwhelming for the other opponent.
Success in modern martial arts lies in adapting many styles. These styles have to be altered accordingly. Today, MMA competitors do not train in a particular style but train all the styles together. Flexibility plays a very important role in succeeding in MMA competitions. MMA is physically a very demanding sport and being competent is the only key to success.