Mixed Martial Arts: An exciting fighting form

By by camille m. doty/cdoty@vicad.com
Sept. 7, 2011 at 4:07 a.m.

MMA, which stands for Mixed Martial Arts, has seen an increase in world-wide popularity in the last few years. And on Saturday, MMA lovers will have a chance to see it for themselves at the Riverside Convention Center.

MMA is a full-contact sport that allows competitors to incorporate various styles, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Karate, Judo, boxing and wrestling.

Most martial arts practiced today were established in China, Japan and Korea, according to martialartshistory.com.

Those who dare to enter can show their versatility.

"It's the best of each art. It's a lot more exciting," said Jason Stringo, from Victoria MMA.

This extreme sport can be enjoyed by anyone, whether you're inside or outside the cage. Stringo said the fights are extremely visual because of the different elements contenders used.

He also said that factor could be a reason this combative style has grown in popularity.

Stringo said more people have come to his studio within the last six to eight months. There are about 60 students enrolled.

As the interest grows worldwide, so did the regulations. The pound-for-pound fighting used to be no holds barred.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship organization helps to regulate the industry.

Some of the violations that are subject to disqualification include headbutting, eye-gouging, hair pulling and biting.

Fights usually last three to five minutes. The judging is based on a 10-point must system for all UFC fights.

Three judges score each round, and the winner of each receives ten points.

The loser receives nine points or less. If the round is declared a draw, then both fighters earn 10 points.

Fights can conclude for many reasons, including submission, knockout, or judges' decision.

Stringo admitted Mixed Martial Arts had a rough reputation at first. He said now it isn't any more dangerous than any other sport.

"Those who criticize it need to learn more about it," he said.



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