The History of MMA How was MMA founded and brought together? MMA stands for mixed martial arts so in order to find out how mma started we need to explore the history of martial arts. Almost every country had a martial art of some kind but these are the main ones.Pankration The first ever documented martial art was pankration, the name came from the ancient greek words pan (all) and kratos (strength) and it literally means “all of the might.” it was added to the olympic games in 648 BC in the 33rd game and it mixed boxing and wrestling together, the only difference is that pankration had no rules! The fighters, called pankratiasts, fought until someone could not continue or surrendered by raising their index finger, there were also no rounds. The Greek emperor Alexander the Great was a well known pankratiast!ChinaIn China 6000 years ago there was a martial art called Shuai Jiao, this was just Kung Fu. This was key in the Yellow Emperor’s power, he was the first ever emperor of a unified China and he is idolised by China as a god and a legend.FranceThe mid-19th century had a new sport called savate, this was just a variation of Kung Fu. French savate fighters wanted to test their techniques against the traditional combat styles of its time. In 1852, a contest was held in France between French savateurs and English bare-knuckle boxers and the French savate fighters won. 1900In the early 1900s, full contact combat with mixed styles began happening in a variety of places.However, there was 1 very important sport that was more noticeable and noteworthy. Vale TudoFirst, there was vale tudo in Brazil, which began in the early 1920s. Vale tudo was basically Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the Gracie family made BJJ popular. In 1914, a Judo master called Mitsuyo Maeda taught Carlos Gracie (Gastao Gracie’s son) the art of judo mainly as his father helped him with business in the country. This was an amazing turn of events as the Japanese tended to hide jiu jitsu and judo from the Western world. From there, Carlos’ youngest and smallest brother, Helio, built up the art that had been taught to Carlos into one that used a lot less strength and more leverage and pivots in order to help his smaller and shorter frame.The result of these events was Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a grappling art that taught practitioners how to use joint locks and choke holds to their advantage on the ground. The Gracie challenge was first challenge made by Carlos Gracie in the 1920s to promote and develop the Gracie’s style of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and as an attempt to show that it was far superior to other styles of martial arts. The matches usually had a smaller Gracie versus a much larger and more athletic opponent (sometimes bodybuilders), and it became increasingly popular as many fans expected the Gracies to be dominated. Carlos and his brother Hélio Gracie, and both of their sons defeated martial artists of many different styles. The UFCHorión Gracie heard there was a tournament in America which would be aired live on Pay Per View. He told his sons about this and they all agreed on having Royce Gracie enter (although his brother Rickson was better) as he was by far the smallest and this would leave a bigger impact, increasing the popularity of BJJ in the Western world. Royce then travelled with his family to the USA to compete in the tournament. Royce then went on to fight a journeyman and he beat him in under 30 seconds. He went on and dominated all his opponents and became the champion of the tournament. This tournament was in fact the UFC, it was planned to be a one off tournament but due to the popularity they gained it was continued. The UFC is now the world’s largest MMA organization and it boasts some of the highest PPV numbers in history. UFC’s biggest stars are what made it today. They are: Jon Jones, Chuck Liddell, Royce Gracie, GSP, Anderson Silva and most noticeably Conor McGregor. Honestly I believe Royce made MMA so popular, it is now the 13th most popular sport in the world and it is rising still.