MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is a full contact sport that has grown to become a major spectator and professional sport. It incorporates techniques from a variety of martial arts, including boxing, wrestling, judo, karate, jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai (Thai boxing). It was originally decried as a brutal blood sport with no rules but has since shed that image and evolved into one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

Throughout the years MMA has become more and more popular and has now reached the point where it is taught in schools all over the world. Many people who do not plan on fighting professionally learn the sport as a form of exercise and self-defense. There are many benefits to this such as increased flexibility, improved cardiovascular health, and a sense of confidence.

There are also some negatives to MMA such as the fact that it can be dangerous if not practiced properly. This is why it is important to find a reputable and experienced coach when starting out. The best coaches are well versed in all aspects of the sport and can help their students develop a complete game.

The first thing to understand about MMA is the rules. These are set out in the Unified Rules of MMA which regulate everything from competitors’ uniforms, gear, fight length, and fighting etiquette. There are several tactics that are not allowed in MMA such as eye gouging, biting, hair pulling, headbutting, kneeing the head of a downed opponent, groin strikes, footballing kicking the head of a downed opponent, 12 to 6 elbows, and finger bending.

During an MMA match a winner can be decided by a knockout or submission. A fighter may also be disqualified for a flagrant foul at the referee’s discretion. A doctor can also stop a fight if he or she believes that a fighter is severely injured to the point of not being able to continue fighting.

Aside from the rules governing the sport there are certain martial arts that are not good for MMA such as Aikido and Kung Fu due to their lack of striking ability. In addition, some fighting styles put too much emphasis on dirty tactics such as eye gouging or groin strikes which are not allowed in MMA.

Most MMA matches are held in an enclosed area called a cage. This is to ensure the safety of the fighters and protect the audience from being harmed. There are also ring officials who keep track of the unique scoring system used in MMA and enforce the rules during a fight. These are usually assigned by state athletic commissions which also conduct drug and medical tests on the fighters.

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