Humans have fought since immemorial times, rarely for fun, more often for superiority; rarely friendly, more often to death. So, no wonder, fighting techniques has been perfecting, particularly unarmed hand-to-hand combat. Eventually, an universal combat sport of no hold barred fighting came into existence. It has different names but the idea is to fight to the end, to submission.
This is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking techniques (including usage of knees and elbows) and grappling techniques (including chokes and painful moves) - both standing and on the ground. The sport includes variety of hand-to-hand combat techniques available in the world. Nowadays, the common used name is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)..
The main concept of this universal combat style is the submission principle – to subdue an opponent forcing him or her to give in – by any means. The sports focus on obtaining submission using submission holds. Usually, a match is stopped at the moment when one of the fighters is virtually able to kill another one.
The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be traced back to the ancient Olympic combat sport of Pankration as well as to Chinese sport Sanshou (Sanda).
Various mixed style contests also took place throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim during the early 1900s. The combat sport of Vale Tudo that had developed in Brazil from the 1920s was brought to the United States by the Gracie family in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which is currently the largest MMA promotion company worldwide. Prior to the UFC, professional MMA events had also been held in Japan by Shooto since 1989.
In due course, the more dangerous Vale Tudo style bouts of the early UFC's were made safer with the implementation of additional rules, leading to the popular regulated form of MMA seen today. Originally promoted as a competition with the intention of finding the most effective martial arts for real unarmed combat situations, competitors were pitted against one another with minimal rules. Later, fighters employed multiple martial arts into their style while promoters adopted additional rules aimed at increasing safety for competitors and to promote mainstream acceptance of the sport. The name mixed martial arts was coined by Rick Blume, president and CEO of Battlecade, in 1995.
Since the sport became relatively less dangerous, women were allowed to the rings and octagons. However, women’s no hold barred fighting trace back to ancient times. There are many records of women participating in Oriental martial arts. In isolated cases, women competed in Ancient pancration. Roman female gladiatrices were trained in unarmed hand-to-hand combat as well as in ultimate fighting – both with and without weapon. In the 18th century British women often engaged in no holds barred fighting for prize. In fact, famous Elizabeth Wilkinson was a real ultimate fighter rather than a boxer.
Many skillful strong women have fought in the contemporary rings and octagons. But until Cristiane Santos of Brazil appeared in the octagon, female fighters had looked too feminine by contrast with brutal male MMA fighters. Cris fights differently: she acts as a robot designed for killing, without remorse. She methodically smashes her opponents in tough manly way – with highest speed, strength, skills, techniques, ferocity and implacability. This is no accident that her nick name is
Cyborg - a combination of human and machine. Actually, the nickname Fighting Machine would more suit her...
Her appearance in the octagon represents the turning point in the female combat sports. Actually, nothing seems to have to be improved once the Fighting Machine is already fighting and winning in the cages.
Brazilian cage fighter Cristiane Justino Venancio Santos (Cyborg) was born on July 9, 1985. Santos won the title on August 15, 2009 by defeating MMA Gina Carano via TKO in the first round. Cyborg lives in San Diego where training and teaching at The Arena, one of the premier MMA gyms in the United States. Santos is currently the #1-ranked pound-for-pound female MMA fighter.
Is MMA the end of the history of combat sports? In fact, every single unarmed combative move and technique can be used in a MMA fight, while very few moves are not allowed by the MMA rules. The progress in combative sports is even more striking as far as women are concerned in combat sports – they have stepped up from “helpless creatures” to full-fledged fighters.
There are three essential ways to win a MMA fight:
- To force the opponent to submit
Submission (also referred to as a "tap out") is a term for yielding to the opponent, and hence resulting in an immediate defeat. There might be several reasons to submit: suffering an injury; avoiding an intensive pain or injury or losing consciousness; being choked; being overwhelmed by striking, preventing being knocked out or injured. The submission is commonly performed by clearly tapping the floor or the opponent with the hand or sometimes with the foot, to signal the opponent and possibly the referee of the submission; the submission can also be verbal. The submission can also be announced by the fighter’s team. If the submission is decided not by the fighter, it is called technical submission.
- To knock the opponent out by striking him/her
Knockout is usually awarded when one participant is unable to raise from the canvas within a specified period of time, typically because of fatigue, injury, loss of balance, or unconsciousness. In MMA, KO is relatively rare, more common is early stoppages (Technical knockout also referred to as a TKO) often declared when the referee or other judges (such as official ring physician, the fighter, or the fighter's cornermen) decide that a fighter cannot continue the match, even though he did not fail the count; or, in many regions, a fighter has been knocked down three times in one round.
- To dominate during the fight in order to be declared a winner by judges after an allotted amount of time has elapsed. If neither of the contestants has won decisively, the outcome is decided by judges.
The most of upright victories in MMA fights have been achieved by painful armlocks, knockouts and chokes.
Exclusive of the Female Single Combat Club