Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, is the accepted name for a competition
format that blends striking, clinch and grappling.
Martial arts are systems of codified practices and traditions of
training for combat. Today, martial arts are studied for various
reasons including combat skills, fitness, self-defense, sport,
self-cultivation (meditation), mental discipline, character
development and building self-confidence.
Worldwide there is a great diversity of martial arts. Broadly
speaking, martial arts share a common goal: to defeat a person
physically or to defend oneself from physical threat. Within most
martial arts there is a deep sense of spirituality. Every style has a
different "feeling" that helps embody the martial art.
A common characteristic of martial arts is the systemization of
fighting techniques. One common traditional method of training,
particularly in the East Asian martial arts, is the form or kata (also
called poomse, ch'ůan t'ao, kuen, tao lu, hyung, or tuls). This is a
set routine of techniques performed alone, or sometimes with a
Some martial arts, particularly the traditional Chinese martial arts,
also teach side disciplines such as bone-setting, Qigong, acupuncture,
acupressure (Tui na), and other aspects of traditional Chinese
medicine. Traditional Indian martial arts also teach aspects of
traditional Indian medicine as side disciplines.
The martial arts, though commonly associated with East Asian cultures
and people, are by no means unique to this region. For example, Native
Americans and Hawaiians have a tradition of open handed martial arts
that includes wrestling and the Hawaiians also have a tradition of
small and large joint manipulation. In addition, the Hawaiians have
been influenced by Polynesian weapons traditions which include Poi
Balls and Fire Knife Dancing. Various Indian martial arts, such as
Mallayuddha, Kuttu Varisai, Varma Kalai, Kalari Payattu and Adithada,
were developed in ancient India. Savate was developed from Chausson
and English boxing. Capoeira's athletic movements were developed in
Brazil by slaves based on skills brought with them from Africa.
English boxing was developed from bare-knuckle boxing.
Many martial arts also strive to teach moral values and provide
guidance for children who join the ranks of those learning the art.
Many arts require those who achieve black belt or the equivalent to
take an oath restricting their use of their knowledge. MMA
are also trained in mental & emotional discipline.