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Martial Arts


The Diverse Act of Combat Sports

Contributor:  Trent Harrison Grossman

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Martial arts can be broadly categorized into two main types: striking arts and grappling arts. Striking arts focus on using strikes, punches, kicks, and other forms of striking techniques to defeat an opponent. Unlike striking, grapplers utilize wrestling, throws, joint locks, and submission holds. Generally, a striking practitioner may attempt to incapacitate their opponent via punches, while a grappler may attempt to immobilize their opponent through suffocation.
Striking arts primarily focus on the effective utilization of strikes, punches, kicks, and other forms of striking techniques. These arts seek to incapacitate opponents through precise and powerful blows. Boxing, known for its strategic punches and footwork, serves as an excellent example of a pure striking art. Muay Thai, originating from Thailand, combines punches, elbows, knees, and kicks for a comprehensive striking arsenal. Kickboxing blends elements of boxing and karate-style kicks, while Karate and Taekwondo emphasize a wide array of strikes, including punches, elbows, knees, and kicks.
Grappling arts differ significantly from striking arts as they revolve around wrestling, throws, joint locks, and submission holds. The objective of a grappler is to immobilize or submit their opponent through various grappling techniques. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) specializes in ground-based grappling and submissions, while Judo emphasizes throws and takedowns. Wrestling, a dynamic combat sport, involves clinching, takedowns, and controlling opponents on the ground. Sambo, a Russian martial art, blends judo, wrestling, and Jiu-Jitsu techniques, making it versatile in both striking and grappling scenarios.

The sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has gained significant popularity, particularly through organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). MMA serves as the epitome of combat sports, combining elements from various martial arts disciplines. It showcases a breathtaking display of both striking and grappling techniques, as fighters engage in dynamic and unpredictable battles. MMA fighters must possess a well-rounded skill set, integrating punches, kicks, knees, elbows, takedowns, and ground fighting strategies. The sport’s explosive growth has captivated audiences worldwide, cementing MMA as the most prevalent form of combat sports in the United States and beyond.
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