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martial arts (MMA) is a full contact
combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques, from a
mixture of martial arts traditions, to be used in competitions. The rules
allow the use of striking and grappling techniques, both while standing
and on the ground.
Modern mixed martial arts competition emerged in popular culture in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Initially based on finding the most effective martial arts for real unarmed combat situations, competitors of various arts were pitted against one another with minimal rules or concern for safety.
In the following decade, MMA promoters adopted many additional rules aimed at increasing safety for competitors and to promote mainstream acceptance of the sport. Following these changes, the sport has seen increased popularity with pay per view reach rivalling boxing and professional wrestling.
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All across the world, people have heard about it and possibly even witnessed it first hand or on television - the furious punches, bone crushing elbows, lethal and piercing kicks, and the unforgettable knees. Although watching it on television is great, nothing begins to compare to seeing these moves executed live - with thousands of fans cheering the fighters on.
This is the wonderful world of Muay Thai kickboxing. Muay Thai is a martial art that is unlike any other, rich in the proud heritage of an entire nation. The style is interwoven into the well known history of the Thai people. Even though they are gentle and fun loving people, they’ve had to defend both themselves and their land for many years against the aggressive powers and thieves.
To protect what they had, the Thai people developed a fighting system of close combat techniques that were suited to the type of rough terrain they would be fighting in. Over the years, it eventually become a rite of passage for all Thai men to train in this amazing martial art.
In the beginning, Muay Thai proved to be a dangerous and deadly art, with the fighters having no safety gear or protection - all they had were lengths of cords in which they would wrap around their fists as gloves. As the years progressed, rules were written into the equation to establish some protection for the fighters.
Over the years, Muay Thai has progressed as both a martial art and a style, attracting people from all over the world. There are training facilities in Russia and the United States, with qualified instructors to help teach Muay Thai to interested students.
These days, Muay Thai is one of the most popular sports in the world. There are a lot of television networks that broadcast Thai bouts on a weekly basis, pleasing avid fighting fans from all over the world. International boxing is another popular sport, although most successful International boxers got their start in Muay Thai. This goes to show why Muay Thai training is so popular - and so lethal as well.
Normally, Thai bouts are fought with 5 three minute rounds, with a two minute rest period in between the rounds. All fights are preceded by a dance, which gives the contestants the opportunity to pay homage to their teachers. The dance is an excellent exercise to warm up with, with plenty of symbolic meaning towards the style.
During the fights and even with training, you’ll see that each Thai boxers wears armbands and a headband. The headband that fighters wear is believed to have been blessed by a monk or teacher, and will bestow luck upon the fighter. Thai boxers take a lot of pride in their training and fighting, with the headband being a source of inspiration and pride for the fighter.
During training, Thai fighters will learn a lot about their spiritual well being, the history of Muay Thai, and the skills they need to survive. Fighters that plan to compete in Thai fights will need to practice a lot, as the fights can be very demanding.
Thai training can be very brutal, all depending on where you study. If you are studying the ancient arts of Thai boxing, you can count on the training to be very rigorous and demanding.
Although Muay Thai can be a tough art to practice, it is one of the best martial arts that you can study. The techniques are lethal, the training is tough - yet the competitions make it all worth while!
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