Modern Mixed Martial Arts: A Three Dimensional New Breed of Sport Embraced by Filipinos

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Life of a man is too serious and plain without any activity that can fill in any of the dull hours of everyday life. Every person wants to have an entertaining or relaxing thing while resting and no one wants to be lonely and just spend his/her entire life facing different problems in life and nature. Since the day we were born, the concept of play and leisure already existed in our life. Our parents do different stuffs for us to be happy, and as we mature, we engage in type of leisure that is suitable for our age and gender. For many teenagers and adults, sports is the best way of spending their time for recreation. Since sports became popular in our country, Basketball and Boxing became some of the dominant events participated by the Filipinos and recently, new breed of full contact sport became an emerging trend to Filipinos which is known as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact sport which involves different fighting techniques from the mixture of traditional and non-traditional martial arts. MMA requires lot of strength, good condition and discipline but it doesn’t only tests the strength and ability of the men inside the ring but it also examines which among the discipline like wrestling, boxing, jiu-jitsu, muay thai and wushu, is the most effective in fighting (Jamlang, 2011). Every discipline of martial arts has their own strengths and weaknesses but the ability of the fighter to execute the techniques is the one that counts, which brought up the reason why MMA belongs to the Agon type of game. Leisure and games included in Agon, which was established by French sociologist Roger Caillios, are those games that need the execution of such qualities as speed, endurance, memory, skills, and ingenuity (Kraus, 2001).

History
Fighting is one of exciting forms of entertainment since the precivilized period of the people. One type of martial arts, wrestling is already a common form of amusement of the people in Australia as discovered by Roth (Ibrahim, 1991). Also, during the Roman Age, the thrill and tension that make audience amused came from fighting in the form of the atrocious gladiator match wherein prisoners were forced to fight for their lives against the gladiators. People love to see such intense competition. Mixed Martial Arts was based on those fighting events but unlike a real gladiator match, barbarianism doesn’t exist. The use of weapon was prohibited and bare knuckles were equipped with gloves. Instead of wearing heavy metal armor, fighters just wear light weight clothes. In 1993, MMA caught the attention of the people when a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Rorion Gracie together with his student Art Davie and Semaphore entertainment created a tournament called “Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)” in the United States wherein fighters from different martial arts background face each other and recognize which type of martial art is the best (Cheever, 2010). UFC continued to surge in the US even though many reacted violently about it. In 2001, UFC was purchased by Dana White and improved the rules for the protection of the fighters. It was also legalized in many state athletic commissions allowing MMA competitions to be more successful. UFC became the prime mover of MMA in the world. Many countries adopted MMA including the Philippines. Filipinos admire contact sports because Philippines itself has a rich history in its traditional martial arts. Foreign invasions in the Philippines paved the way for the Filipinos to develop their fighting styles and method of beating an opponent and formed Escrima, Kali and Arnis as traditional martial arts (Foon & Inosanto, 1980). Also, Filipinos appreciate boxing so much but more intense-packed event like MMA attracted many sport enthusiasts. In 2002, Alvin Aguilar brought the concept of UFC in the Philippines and launched Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC). Through URCC, MMA started to bloom in the country and gained so much...
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