MMA Fighting Styles

Aikido

Japanese Martial art founded by Morihei Ueshiba in 1942 that specializes in throws and joint manipulations.

Boxing

The skill or sport of fighting with the fists usually with padded leather gloves. Referred to as the “sweet science,” boxers use elaborate foot maneuvers and quick jabs for offense.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

In the mid-1920’s, Carlos Gracie opened the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He taught the skills he learned from Japanese Judo master Esai Maeda. The skills were later modified to use less strength and to be more effective against larger opponents. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s reputation spread due to the success of its practitioners in no holds barred contests.

Capoeira

Brazilian martial art created by African slaves. The maneuvers were disguised as gymnastic and dance-like to avoid persecution during the slaves revolt.

Freestyle

Generic term for martial arts that do not specify a particular style.

Freestyle Wrestling

Possibly the world’s oldest sport. Contestants struggle hand to hand attempting to throw or take down their opponent without striking blows. Some of the many styles of wrestling are Freestyle, Greco-Roman, and catch as catch can.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

In the mid-1920’s, Carlos Gracie opened the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He taught the skills he learned from Japanese Judo master Esai Maeda. The skills were later modified to use less strength and to be more effective against larger opponents. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s reputation spread due to the success of its practitioners in no holds barred contests.

Greco-Roman Wrestling

Possibly the worlds oldest sport. Contestants struggle hand to hand attempting to throw or take down their opponent without striking blows. Some of the many styles of wrestling are Freestyle, Greco-Roman, and catch as catch can.

Gung Fu

Also referred to as Kung Fu, Chinese Boxing, and Wu Shu. There are hundreds of Kung Fu styles. Many are patterned after the movements of animals. Some well known styles of Kung Fu are Wing Chun, Praying Mantis, Pau Kua, Tai-Chi-Ch’uan, and Shuai Chiao.

Hapkido

Korean martial art founded in 1919 by Yong Shul Choi that combines traditional Korean arts with Aikido style techniques.

Hybrid Style

A style that combines two or more pre-existing styles. Strictly speaking, the majority of modern martial arts are hybrid styles. Some of the recent ones to have competed in the UFC are Ruas Vale Tudo, Shootfighting, Moo Yea Do, Pitfighting, Trapfighting, Jo Son Do, ASAX, and SAFTA.

Jeet Kune Do

The martial arts philosophy of Bruce Lee. It stresses simplicity and directness.

Jiu Jutsu

Ancient Japanese martial art that encompasses throwing, joint locks, striking, and weapons training.

Jo Son Do

A style that combines two or more pre-existing styles. Strictly speaking, the majority of modern martial arts are hybrid styles. Some of the recent ones to have competed in the UFC are Ruas Vale Tudo, Shootfighting, Moo Yea Do, Pitfighting, Trapfighting, Jo Son Do, ASAX, and SAFTA.

Judo

Sportive Japanese martial art founded in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Derived from Jujutsu, Judo is now an Olympic sport that emphasizes throws. Striking is not allowed in competition Judo.

Kapu Kuialua

The Hawaiian art of bone breaking. Emphasizes joint locks as well as strikes.

Karate

Name used to identify many Japanese and Okinawan martial arts. While known for powerful, linear techniques, many Karate styles also incorporate softer, circular techniques. Some of the popular styles of Karate are Kyokushinkai, Shotokan, Goju-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, and Kenpo which was the first “Americanized” version of Karate.

Kenpo

Name used to identify many Japanese and Okinawan martial arts. While known for powerful, linear techniques, many Karate styles also incorporate softer, circular techniques. Some of the popular styles of Karate are Kyokushinkai, Shotokan, Goju-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, and Kenpo which was the first “Americanized” version of Karate.

Kickboxing

Sportive martial art combining boxing punches and martial arts kicks. Many different styles with different rules exist such as Muay Thai, Full Contact Karate, and Asian Rules Fighting.

Kuk Sool Wan

Korean martial art founded in 1966 by In Hyuk Su that combines kicking and hand strikes with throws and joint locks.

Kung Fu

Also referred to as Gung Fu, Chinese Boxing, and Wu Shu. There are hundreds of Kung Fu styles. Many are patterned after the movements of animals. Some well known styles of Kung Fu are Wing Chun, Praying Mantis, Pau Kua, Tai-Chi-Ch’uan, and Shuai Chiao.

Moo Yea Do

A style that combines two or more pre-existing styles. Strictly speaking, the majority of modern martial arts are hybrid styles. Some of the recent ones to have competed in the UFC are Ruas Vale Tudo, Shootfighting, Moo Yea Do, Pitfighting, Trapfighting, Jo Son Do, ASAX, and SAFTA.

Muay Thai

Also referred to as Thai Boxing, Muay Thai is Thailand’s most popular spectator sport. This style of kick boxing allows elbows, knees, and low kicks.

Ninjitsu

Feudal Japanese art of the Ninja. Training consists of hand to hand combat, weapons, and stealth.

Pakua-Chan

A style that combines two or more pre-existing styles. Strictly speaking, the majority of modern martial arts are hybrid styles. Some of the recent ones to have competed in the UFC are Ruas Vale Tudo, Shootfighting, Moo Yea Do, Pitfighting, Trapfighting, Jo Son Do, ASAX, and SAFTA.

Pentak Silat

Indonesian martial art that stresses attacks to the body’s weak points.

Pitfighting

A style that combines two or more pre-existing styles. Strictly speaking, the majority of modern martial arts are hybrid styles. Some of the recent ones to have competed in the UFC are Ruas Vale Tudo, Shootfighting, Moo Yea Do, Pitfighting, Trapfighting, Jo Son Do, ASAX, and SAFTA.

Ruas Vale Tudo

A style that combines two or more pre-existing styles. Strictly speaking, the majority of modern martial arts are hybrid styles. Some of the recent ones to have competed in the UFC are Ruas Vale Tudo, Shootfighting, Moo Yea Do, Pitfighting, Trapfighting, Jo Son Do, ASAX, and SAFTA.

Safta

A style that combines two or more pre-existing styles. Strictly speaking, the majority of modern martial arts are hybrid styles. Some of the recent ones to have competed in the UFC are Ruas Vale Tudo, Shootfighting, Moo Yea Do, Pitfighting, Trapfighting, Jo Son Do, ASAX, and SAFTA.

Sambo

Russian sportive martial art that combines wrestling and Judo. Specializes in submission holds. Sambo is an acronym that translates to “self defense without weapons.”

Savate

French style of kick boxing noted for precise kicking techniques and the use of shoes in competition.

Shootfighting

Japanese sport combining wrestling, kick boxing, and Jiu-Jitsu.

Sumo

Ancient Japanese sportive martial art that is steeped in tradition. Sumo wrestlers are unusually large men whose goal is to push their opponent out of the ring or make them touch the floor with any part of the body above the knee.

Tae Kwon Do

One of the most practiced martial arts in the world, Tae Kwon Do is a Korean style known for its flashy kicking techniques.

Trapfighting

A style that combines two or more pre-existing styles. Strictly speaking, the majority of modern martial arts are hybrid styles. Some of the recent ones to have competed in the UFC are Ruas Vale Tudo, Shootfighting, Moo Yea Do, Pitfighting, Trapfighting, Jo Son Do, ASAX, and SAFTA.

Tung Kung Kalan

A style that combines two or more pre-existing styles. Strictly speaking, the majority of modern martial arts are hybrid styles. Some of the recent ones to have competed in the UFC are Ruas Vale Tudo, Shootfighting, Moo Yea Do, Pitfighting, Trapfighting, Jo Son Do, ASAX, and SAFTA.

Wrestling

Possibly the world’s oldest sport. Contestants struggle hand to hand attempting to throw or take down their opponent without striking blows. Some of the many styles of wrestling are Freestyle, Greco-Roman, and catch as catch can.

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