According to Joe Rogan wrestling is the greatest skill to have in the octagon, and a wrestler is the best ‘base’ to build a top level MMA fighter from. Fantastic wrestling skills allow you to control where the fight happens, and therefore expose an opponent’s weaknesses. Your opponent is a striker? Take them down and beat them up. Your opponent is a submission expert? Keep the fight standing and beat them up on the feet. Your opponent hasn’t got the best cardio? Keep them against the cage and grind them down. Control where the fight takes place and you control the fight. That’s why freestyle wrestling is one of the most commonly trained skills in MMA. But where does the art of freestyle wrestling come from?
Judo, which means ‘the gentle way’, is a martial art that originated in Japan in 1882. Whilst it originated as a physical, mental and moral way of life it has evolved into a modern martial art, with practitioners competing at the olympics and utilising the techniques inside the MMA octagon. Throws and takedowns feature heavily in Judo, and are followed up by pinning your opponent or submitting them with a joint lock or choke. This makes it a very popular choice for MMA fighters, the most famous recent Judoka in MMA being Ronda Rousey.
Karate is possibly the most well known martial art in the world – the Japanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs estimates 50 million practitioners worldwide, whilst the World Karate Federation believes there are 100 million practitioners worldwide. Everyone either trained a bit when they were a kid, or knows someone who did. Basically every school or leisure centre has a karate club, and most people know it originated from Japan and uses a mix of strikes using the hands and feet, but we’re going to run through the brief history of Karate, and how it moved from a simple martial art to the hugely widespread art, with many different styles, we know today.
Boxing. The Noble Art. The sweet Science. It has a long history, and has generated thousands of stars, often rags to riches stories of the poorest people fighting their way to fame and fortune. It would be easy to write a book on the history of boxing, but I’m going to try and cover the important parts in this article.
In the latest of our brief history articles we’re going to take a look at Taekwondo – the Korean striking martial art known for its crazy spinning and head kicks. While only recently developed, it has quickly risen in popularity and has become an easily recognisable Olympic sport, as well as being utilised by MMA fighters such as Edson Barboza, Anderson Silva and Anthony Pettis.
A couple of weeks ago we covered Muay Thai in our Brief History of Martial Arts series, which has a long and storied history in itself, as well as being the main stand up martial art used in MMA due to its effectiveness. This week we’re going to cover the other side of the coin and look at the ground fighting element of MMA, which more often than not means Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.Continue reading A Brief History of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Muay Thai (pronounced Moy Tie), and often called the ‘Art of Eight Limbs’, is the national sport of Thailand and a very common and effective stand up martial art often used by MMA fighters. Rapidly growing in popularity across the globe for its exciting and explosive style, fighters use their hands, elbows, knees and shins to strike the opponent, as well as utilising clinch fighting to throw their opponent. It’s a complex and intricate martial art, with several traditional elements that are often lost on western audiences. But the history of the sport is fascinating, a mixture of truth and legend that we’re going to briefly cover in this article.