MMA has taken on a mystique of its own as the newest wave of combative experimentation. This book presents an encompassing perspective of this phenomenon in eight chapters written by experts in the field. They provide analyses of the techniques utilized during many of the leading competitive events, mainly the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), and give practical “how to” instruction.
This book pulls together some of the best writings published in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts regarding modern mixed martial arts. Daniele Bolelli uses a scholarly approach to produce two excellent chapters, as does Rhadi Ferguson with his two chapters. Bolelli provides a superb overview by analyzing 176 matches that took place between 1993 and 1999 under the UFC umbrella. He also highlights the different ways in which grappling techniques are currently used in mixed martial arts competition.
While utilizing a comprehensive approach, Dr. Ferguson zeros in on armbar and chokehold submissions to conclude just how often these were utilized in 1,263 UFC bouts. His works here can assist mixed martial arts professionals with analytical information to help them in training practices and winning strategies. What do the analyses show? Well, one thing is that all the techniques used are found in many old martial traditions. Some techniques are extremely old. Certainly cavemen used chokes. Many are from the previous millennium, as hinted by the numerous Japanese terms used since the samurai sipped sake. Fundamental techniques are discussed by Andew Zerling and Steve Scott.
Four other chapters provide insightful text and the photographic detail to present the theory and practice of the major techniques utilized by mixed martial artists: chokes, armlocks, and leg locks. Zerling offers three chapters with the precious help of his teacher, Renzo Gracie. Scott’s chapter is a highly detailed piece on the cross-body armlock, giving four primary applications all will appreciate as vital to MMA practice.
The eight chapters are filled with analytical text helpful for the pursuit of combat expertise. There is enough here to find of great value. But there is more. In the chapters you’ll also find perspective and insight that illuminate what is occurring in the evolution of MMA competition. Read closely and you’ll see that—beneath the hype—changing competitive rules and dollar amounts play a role in the outcome of championship belts and competitive crowns. We need to factor these aspects into our quest to understand the rich variety of martial traditions.