MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is one of the world’s fastest growing sports. Its brutality and high profile stars have drawn a large audience of fans worldwide. This has led to a growth in MMA training camps, technique sharing and strategy development. It has also allowed fighters to expand their skills and make a living from this sport.
In MMA, contestants compete in a fenced area (usually a wrestling mat or an indoor ring) with opponents of the same weight class and fighting style. Strikes, throws and grappling moves are used to dominate the opponent. Typically, striking techniques are combined with submission holds from the grappling arts such as Brazilian jiu jitsu and muay Thai. The Unified Rules of MMA govern the competition. These include the use of padded gloves, where strikes and throws are made, and the stances in which attacks are launched from. In addition, most MMA rules prohibit head butting, eye gouging, pulling hair and groin strikes.
A fighter can win a match by either knocking out their opponent or forcing them to submit, which is a hand tap or a verbal statement indicating that the fight is over. A match can also be stopped by a referee or official attending physician who deems it unsafe for the fighter to continue. A match can also end in a no contest if a fighter violates the rules or is seriously injured.
Fights are conducted over a fixed number of rounds, with each round lasting for a set period of time. Non-championship MMA matches are usually three five minute rounds, with a one-minute break between each round. Championship matches can have up to five rounds. During the course of a fight, fighters must be aware of their time remaining and if they are losing too much time they may be penalized by the officials with warnings or even disqualified.
Each MMA competitor has coaches that help them prepare for the upcoming fight. These coaches have extensive knowledge of all the fighting styles that their students train in and are familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of each fighter. They help their fighters develop a strategy for the upcoming fight and train them to implement it.
During the early days of MMA, most fighters only trained in a single martial art. However, as the sport grew in popularity, it became clear that a multidisciplinary approach was needed to become successful. The best fighters have developed a strong understanding of multiple disciplines, and they have learned how to combine the striking techniques from boxing with the submission holds from brazilian jiu jitsu, throws from judo and wrestling and the mobility of karate.
In a typical MMA match, the first fighter to score points is declared the winner. If neither fighter scores a point after all of the rounds are completed, the judges decide who is the winner by adding up their scorecards.