MIXED MARTIAL ARTS (MMA)
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), formerly Free Fight, is a complete combat sport, combining first fighting and hand-to-hand grappling.
The two fighters can use numerous techniques; according to the various federations, striking techniques such as kicks, punches, knees and elbows, but also grappling techniques and sometimes specific throwing techniques.
In fact it allows for mastery of the 3 distances of combat; standing combat at a distance where one uses primarily punches and kicks, close-quarter standing combat, where one uses elbows, knees, locks and twists, and finally groundwork, close distance where one can attempt to get the other to submit using strangles, arm or leg locks, or using ‘ground and pound’, which is to say, to take advantage of an advantageous position on the ground, to hit one’s opponent.
The MMA organization that receives the most media attention, is the UFC. Actually, this form of combat, although recent, and more effective than artistic, is at the centre of growing media coverage.
Fighters must have specific clothing and protective equipment: mouth guard, chest protector for women, groin protector/box for men, thin bandages to protect the fingers, MMA-specific gloves, and also helmets and shin/foot protection.
Contrary to what people may perceive, MMA requires a lot of strategy, reflection, and self-control. Above all, it engenders an enormous respect among the fighters, as well as between the fighters and the coaches.
MMA can be practiced by everybody.