The Roots of MMA
On November 12th 1993, in Denver, Colorado, the world of Martial Arts was changed forever by a unique event, one which is now synonymous with a sport, that in many respects was built on the foundation it laid.
The very first Ultimate Fighting Championship, now better known by its shortened initials the UFC, was an event like no other. In many respects, UFC 1 was like a real life version of the Bruce Lees’ Enter the Dragon, complete with all the colour and characters of the most famous martial arts movie of all time.
Fighters came from four corners of the globe to fight in a no holds barred martial arts tournament which pitted style versus style, a battle to find out the age old question of who had the most effective fighting style?
To the fighters answered the calling, including a Brazilian Mr Han of the now famous Gracie family, it was undoubtedly the ultimate challenge in martial arts: one that would change the face of the sports involved forever.
What happened on that day and in the twenty five years that followed with the UFC is well documented and not the subject of our article series “The Roots of MMA”. In fact the UFC made an excellent documentary (Watch here) on it, as well as it having been the subject of many a blog, video and book.
The styles that made Mixed Martial Arts what it is today..
In this series of articles we look at the individual styles that make up what has become the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Each have their own story to tell with their history, techniques and fighters. Each has contributed to the development of the world’s most comprehensive combat sport, from boxing and Muay Thai, to wrestling and BJJ.
We also look at how many of the sports involved in MMA have been changed by the new breed of martial arts student; one who no longer believes their style to be invincible. We look at how a new reality for martial artists everywhere dawned on the day Royce Gracie showed the world that a 170lb man could defeat any man on the planet, and how he could do so without throwing a punch. The Roots of MMA looks at how the advent of wrestling skill would change Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and how the striking arts adapted to the bomb on their belief systems that was Gracie Jiu Jitsu.