Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, is the fastest growing sport in the world. Given the meteoric rise of the UFC, many fans assume MMA originated with the promotion, but this type of competition has been in existence for many years. However, earlier forms of MMA tended to pit one particular discipline against another. The Gracie family in particular was famous for its policy of accepting all challenges as a way of testing the efficacy of Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
MMA has now evolved into a discipline that is clearly distinguishable from its “parent arts”. MMA competitions typically take place in a caged venue and involve a combination of striking with the hands, elbows, knees and feet, clinching, wrestling, and submission grappling. The goal of MMA is to place a resisting opponent in a position from which there is no intelligent defence. A stoppage usually occurs by KO, TKO (where the referee stops the fight as one fighter is not intelligently defending), or when the fighter indicates submission, either by tapping, verbally submitting or has lost consciousness. If a stoppage does not occur within the stated time limits (typically either 3 five minute rounds or 5 five minute rounds) the judges will declare a winner. Fighters wear light, open fingered gloves to protect their hands.