MMA: Art, Science, or Sport?

Greetings Evolve Family! This is Brett Gleason writing in the Evolve Blog today. Hope you enjoy the article!

What is MMA?
The practice of Mixed Martial Arts is both art and science. As an art, it is an everlasting, ongoing journey- a pursuit of perfection. As a science, it is subject to scientific method. It evolves because we constantly propose hypotheses, test these against resisting opponents, and determine if our hypotheses are correct and repeatable.

How is MMA different from Traditional Martial Arts?
If a Martial Arts “style” fails to subject itself to this process, it becomes stagnant- it is no longer a science. If a Martial Arts “style” falls back to teaching and learning through mere repetition of dead patterns, that “style” will no longer be adaptable in the greater arena of application. This has occurred in a number of “Traditional Martial Arts”, and it has rendered them ineffective in competition against evolving disciplines.

The Evolution of MMA

Mixed Martial Arts represents the most rapid evolution of unarmed combative skill ever seen. In less than 20 years, the sport has evolved faster than in all of past human history. MMA incorporates disciplines such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, Freestyle Wrestling, and other arts. All of these disciplines have a common denominator - they are all practiced according to scientific method and tested against resisting opponents.

Because each of these sports individually is bound by and subject to different rules and objectives, their skill sets and characteristics evolve necessarily in different ways. But when rules are removed to the point where almost anything is allowed (save foul tactics) the sport we know as modern MMA becomes clearly visible. MMA may be seen as the combination of all of the disciplines mentioned, but as a whole, it is truly greater than the sum of these parts.

Watching MMA fighters that are at the apex of the sport now (like George St. Pierre) it is difficult to tease out the individual disciplines anymore, as they are seamlessly woven into a distinct skill set that is impeccably adapted to the sport of MMA.

How effective is MMA in a “real life” self defense situation?

When contemplating how effective MMA is as a self defense skill set for the “real world”, It should always be noted that MMA is a sport; bound by rules just like any other sport. It may be the Martial Arts competition that is closest to a “real fight”, but this is only because it is played in an arena bound by the fewest rules- but bound by rules all the same.

Situations in “real life”, requiring urgent self defense actions, are not subject to any standard measure of rules, as a sport is. The setting will never be a padded, matted, open area- brightly lit, and carefully supervised by a trained referee. Nevertheless, by learning and practicing MMA, the odds of a person being able to defend themselves in a variety of situations, improves dramatically. The human body becomes a tool that can operate effectively at any range and in any situation.

Why should I train in MMA?
Mixed Martial Arts represents the pinnacle of unarmed combative skill. As a sport, it continues to evolve at an exponential pace. At the same time, it continues to provide practical strategy and skills for the practitioner to effectively defend themselves and their loved ones in a “real life” situation.

Evolve Mixed Martial Arts® is Asia's premier brand of MMA academies. Evolve MMA ranks among the best academies in the world for Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts.