MMA, or mixed martial arts, evolved out of Vale Tudo 'no holds barred' competitions. Thearly tournaments were often bare-knuckle
and with the minimum of rules. As the sport grew in popularity safety became more of an issue so fingerless mma gloves were
introduced, the most brutal techniques were banned, and more proffessional refereeing was put in place.
Currently rules differ from one organisation to the next, but generally things like the knee or stamp to the head of an
opponent on the ground have been banned along with striking to the groin, gauging the eyes and so on. Some competitions allow
elbows, some don't. In some amateur fights you can't punch to the head of an opponent on the ground, but this is generally
allowed in professional fights where it is known as the 'ground and pound'. You can win an mma fight by K.O. T.K.O (when the
fight is stopped), submission, or on points.
There are five main elements to a mixed martial artists game: striking, takedowns, sprawling, floor work, and submission
holds. The first two should be prettey self explanatory, as should submission holds. Sprawling is when you spread ou the legs
and lean forward into an opponent to stop them from doing a rugby tackle style takedown, which is quite common in MMA fights.
More generally it can be used to mean the overall ability to stay on your feet when your opponent is trying to take you down.
It is particularly important for strikers who are fighting against strong grapplers, but it is important for anyone because
the person who makes a successful takedown will get the dominant position on the ground. And that brings us on to the next
category - ground work. This is basically all about getting into a dominant position when both fighters are on the ground
to either ground and pound or to get a submission hold. The ideal position is called the 'mount' and is when you are basically
sitting on your opponents abdomen with your knees on the floor. The main defensive position from on your back is called the
'guard' and is used to stop your opponent getting a mount position, and to control them and stop them being able to get good
strikes to your head.