In the past few years MMA, otherwise known as Mixed Martial Arts, has seen a huge increase in popularity thanks to the re-creation of the UFC. MMA gyms are opening up everywhere across America, gaining attention from different age groups who are beginning to see this type of martial art as a great way to get in shape and even combat stress.
However Mixed Martial Arts is nothing new to the United States Military, as martial arts of numerous forms have been used to train members in all branches of the service. From simple take down and control techniques I learned while in the Security Forces to Mixed martial Arts such as Boxing , Mauy Tai, & Jujitsu used by MCMAP (Marine Core Martial Arts Program) as seen on the History channel show HUMAN WEAPON. Martial arts training can also be found being used among the Army and Navy special forces, learning everything from Boxing, Brazilian Jujitsu, Muay Tai to the use of small weapons when dealing with close combat.
Not only do the American Forces use martial arts in their training, so do Russian and Israeli military forces. Russia uses a type of martial art in their training regiment known as Sambo. Sambo is used by the number one ranked MMA heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. The Israeli forces use a different type of martial arts technique known as Krav Maga, used by the Israeli Commandoes. Krav Maga combines numerous martial art techniques which is used to control or even kill their enemies on the battle field.
Mixed Martial Arts has gotten so popular among the military community that the U.S. Army has created their own MMA tournament aired on the Military channel called T.o.p Army Fighter. Though rules and regulations are different from those of UFC, Strikeforce and other organizations, these guys still sustain cuts, bruises and knockouts. Here is a You Tube clip of T.O.P Army Fighter, I found it funny when watching this series on tv and hearing the announcers say that a few of the fighters were deploying the very next day.
Mixed Martial Arts cannot only be used by military forces on the battle field to take out their enemy in close combat, but with the popularity of MMA in gyms all over, MMA can be used to help battle stress and depression. Being in shape is well known for helping the body to fight off mental or physical illnesses. An article by Web MD, can help further explain just how staying in shape can help battle symptoms such as stress and depression and what better way to help stay in shape than getting into Mixed Martial Arts, when preparing or returning from the battle field.
I’ve been doing MMA for the past 4 months and started my martial arts training 1 year ago when I began learning Brazilian Jujitsu. Brazilian Jujitsu is a ground combat technique where the object is to gain position on your opponent or enemy to be able to submit or kill the person with different choke techniques. You can also use Brazilian Jujitsu to punish your opponent or enemy even more by breaking bones using different armbar or leg lock techniques while on the ground. I now train in MMA and use it to stay in shape, learn self defense and cause I absolutely love learning it. It has given me a sense mental training as well, as I try to figure out how to defeat my opponent by trying to figure how to gain position, control and then submit him.
In my Mixed Martial Arts program, where I’m being trained by amateur fighter James Funaro at a local gym, I’m learning Wrestling, Boxing, Brazilian Jujitsu and Muay Tai. Today I find myself going to fight events such as Ring of Combat where I have already met UFC fighters, Dante Rivera, Matt Serra, Kurt Pellegrino, Gabriel Gonzaga and this past ROC event, met Rashad Evans (UFC Light Heavyweight Champion).
Today I find myself always looking up MMA news at The Garv.com which not only gives fight fans news about fights on the East Coast, but gives us updated news on all major organizations such as UFC, Strikforce and even overseas leagues. The site is ran by a great friend Dino Kostakio and Kevin Garvey (founder and known as THE GARV) who even give us interviews from the fighters I mentioned before. The Garv.com is gaining even more popularity on the East Coast as a premier resource for MMA news ever since these interview videos have been posted on You Tube. Here is a video of The GARV interviewing the Champ, Rashad Evans at the last Ring of Combat event.
Military Veterans can now be seen on tv fighting in MMA in numerous fight leagues around the world. Some well known Veterans of the U.S. Military are Steve Bruno (ex Air Support), Dale Hartt (ex Navy), Luigi Fioravanti (ex Marine OIF), Brandon Wolff (ex Navy Seal) and Tim Credeur (ex Navy) who all fought for the UFC event FIGHT FOR THE TROOPs.