We are now up to the 1990's. If you missed any of our previous blogs on the Martial Arts that influenced the way we train today, you can go back at read them on our web site.
on November 11th 1993 the Martial Arts world changed forever. On that date the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was held at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver CO.
Prior to that, there was a never ending argument between Martial Artists of all styles as to what Martial Arts would beat the other. Who would win between a boxer or a karate guy, or a wrestler vs a Kung Fu fighter etc? The controversial event featured a mix of many different martial disciplines such as Karate, Kenpo, Kung Fu and one of the game changers in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (more on that later). Even to this day the same questions are asked, while mostly among "new students". However, what was settled was that to be a well rounded Martial Artist you must have knowledge in more then one discipline, especially ground fighting and striking.
The first couple of UFC events were dominated by a slender framed Brazilian named Royce Gracie (pronounced Hoyce and pictured in white). Gracie was from a world famous fighting family who were specialists in fighting on the ground. Royce simply clinched with his opponents and drug them down to the mat. He proceeded to choke or force his opponents to submit due to a joint lock. At that time most Martial Arts ignored ground fighting, thinking that they could strike the grappler on the way in before they had a chance to get close. This was NOT the case. The Martial Arts world was turned upside down by the dominance of grappling. Many of the already well versed "striking artists" instantly began studying ground fighting and the term MIXED MARTIAL ARTS or MMA was born! MMA as a sport is the fastest frowning sport in history. Starting in relative obscurity, to the mega million dollar shows on Pay Per View that are broadcast regularly today.