20 Total Updates since October 28, 2012
20 days ago Article 37 comments
MMA Origins returns to Japan and looks at the mid-90s turmoil that resulted in the birth of one of the most beloved promotions in the history of MMA.
3 months ago Article 64 comments
On this day 96 years ago, massive food shortages forced the populace of Russia to revolt against their monarch. The "February Revolution" would cause shock waves around the world, that are still being felt to this day. There is almost nothing in the modern world that hasn't been affected in some way by this tumultuous moment in history and MMA is no exception. So to mark the anniversary, T.P. Grant examines how this revolution has impacted the growth of Mixed Martial Arts.
3 months ago Article 55 comments
Arguably the oldest Mixed Martial Arts promotion, the Japanese wrestling circuit Shooto was also the home of one of the sport's first truly well rounded fighters. Erik Paulson would become Shooto's first American champion and one of MMA's forgotten greats.
5 months ago Article 18 comments
Just over a year ago I started writing the MMA Origins series and it has currently reached 17 articles in length. It has been a fantastic experience thus far that has taught me a great deal about the sport that I love. So for some holiday reading here is a little summary of what this series has covered during its first year.
5 months ago Article 26 comments
While the UFC experienced success after success in the 1990's, storm clouds had gathered as enemies of the sport sought to shut it down. It would fall mainly to a referee and a commentator to take a stand and help adjust to sport so it could survive to maturity.
7 months ago Article 49 comments
In the mid-90's well rounded fighters started to win titles both in the UFC and in Japan, but Ohio State wrestler Mark Coleman reminded everyone how dangerous a specialist could be in this young sport.
8 months ago Article 23 comments
In this installment of MMA Origins, T.P. Grant looks at the evolution of fighters in the mid-90's and the first fighters to find success by using a variety of skill sets, focusing on Bas Rutten's title run in the Japanese Pancrase promotion.
11 months ago Article 12 comments
The UFC has been growing by leaps and bounds in Brazil. UFC 147, while not well received in the US, was a card that featured almost nothing Brazilian fighters and the atmosphere was in the arena was certainly exciting. It seems only fitting to use that backdrop to look back at the development of Brazilian Vale Tudo in the 1990's when more well-rounded fighters began to emerge in MMA, laying the foundation to fighters like Wanderlei Silva to break out and smash people in new and exciting ways.
11 months ago Article 26 comments
Ken Shamrock "The World's Most Dangerous Man" was once considered the best fighter in the world. After an impressive run in Pancarase, Shamrock returned to the UFC seeking revenge for his loss to Royce Gracie.
about 1 year ago Article 40 comments
The last few articles have focused on the early years of the UFC, and the Gracie influence and dominance during that time. In this article, we will follow Ken Shamrock back to Japan after his UFC 1 loss to Royce Gracie and look at his successful return to the Pancrase promotion and how his fighting style had changed thanks to his encounter with Royce.
about 1 year ago Article 25 comments
The creation of the Ultimate FIghting Championship in November of 1993 marked the true start to American interest in mixed martial arts, known as No Holds Barred fighting at the time. It had been created by Rorion Gracie with the goal of spreading awareness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the American public and Royce Gracie had been selected to represent the Gracies because of his unassuming nature and appearance.
about 1 year ago Article 21 comments
In this series we've tracked the growth of two martial arts central in the creation of modern Mixed Martial Arts. Starting with the empty hand art of Jujitsu practiced by the Samurai and the grappling of European Knights in the Middle Ages to their modern renditions of Judo and Catch Wrestling. We followed the arts as they switched hemispheres to transform into modern fighting styles. Judo, molded in the hands of the Gracies, turned to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a gi based grappling style ideal for no holds barred fighting. And catch wrestling was transported to Japan by Karl Gotch, where it became the jacket-less fighting sport of Shooto. These two styles, unaware of each other, would finally collide in a match up in the making since the 1500s.
about 1 year ago Article 27 comments
In Japan and Brazil, the earliest forms of Mixed Martial Arts were developing. In Brazil the Japanese art of Judo was transformed in the fire of a fighting sport known as Vale Tudo or "No Holds Barred Fighting". While in Japan the influence of European catch wrestling was transforming professional wrestling into an actual fight sport.
about 1 year ago Article 9 comments
In this chapter of MMA Origins, we will return to Brazil. By the 1960s, the rivalry between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the catch wrestling inspired Luta Livre had escalated beyond a simple sporting rivalry. Clashes between the two arts began to resemble a gang war as confrontations occurred inside and out of the Vale Tudo ring.
over 1 year ago Article 17 comments
With the lead up to UFC 144 in Japan, it seems only natural to look at the spark that lead to the MMA explosion on the Japanese isles.
over 1 year ago Article 15 comments
A short aside from the developing lines of Mixed Martial Arts evolving out of the lines of Japanese Judo and the European Catch Wrestling. The United States of the early 1900s was a young nation coming of age, and it had a love for all things sport. At the time the term of "the big three sports" would have referred to baseball, horse racing and boxing.
over 1 year ago Article 34 comments
My recent articles have covered the migration of Judo to Brazil, its transformation to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and its evolution in the face of challenges in Vale Tudo. But we are going to return to Europe to the discipline of catch wrestling, the grappling system that developed in the middle ages.
over 1 year ago Article 20 comments
Entering into the mid-1900s, the Brazilian fighting spectacle known as Vale Tudo was gaining popularity and the first family of Vale Tudo was the Gracie family. Lead by the famous brothers Carlos and Helio Gracie, who won the family fame by taking matches with Judokas and catch wrestlers. While the Gracies didn't always win these matches, they always left an impression.
over 1 year ago Article 25 comments
The last article tracked the parallel growth of Jujitsu in Japan and Catch Wrestling in Europe as inventions of necessity when faced with armored opponents. This article will focus on the emergence of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and it's entry into the fighting sport of Vale Tudo in Brazil.
over 1 year ago Article 35 comments
Last time we discussed the first recorded combat sport, Pankration. While this art was important to note, it does not have an established connection to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. The origins of modern MMA can be traced back to two primary sources, martial arts that developed around the same general time on two different sides of the globe during the Middle Ages.
over 1 year ago Article 163 comments
The sport of Mixed Martial Arts has exploded in the previous twenty years and has attracted countless new fans. And as the sport evolves it is very easy to lose sight of even the recent past of the sport much less its far reaching roots. So this series will bring will recount the history of Mixed Martial Arts, from the earliest forerunners to the modern sport of MMA focusing on pivotal fighters, styles, fights, rivalries and events.
To start off we are going to travel back to Ancient times to give the modern sport proper context. We start with the Ancient Greeks and the sport of Pankration, also called Pancratium.