Because of the multi-faceted, tactical nature of mixed martial arts, athletes must develop a well-rounded skill-set in striking, grappling, and submissions to effectively compete.  Athletes train across a range of disciplines to be able to attack and defend both on their feet and on the ground.



Origin: Greece

Focus: Striking

Description: Boxing is a stand-up fighting contest in which athletes wear leather gloves and are only allowed to strike with their fists. The sport originated in Greece more than 2,700 years ago and was one of the earliest Olympic sports. The modern era of boxing began in England in the 18th century, when new standardized rules were brought into effect. Today, boxing is one of the world’s most widespread combat sports.



Origin Brazil / Japan

Focus Grappling, submissions

Description: Brazilian Jiujitsu (often referred to as BJJ) is a combat sport focused on grappling and ground-fighting. The sport has its origins in Kodokan Judo, which arrived in Brazil in the early 20th century and was ultimately redeveloped and refined by its early Brazilian practitioners. BJJ promotes the idea that a smaller individual can effectively control and submit larger opponents using joint-locks and choke-holds.



Origin: Japan

Focus: Grappling, submissions

Description: Judo is a martial art focused on using grappling to throw or immobilize opponents, or using joint-locks and choke-holds to submit them. Strikes are also a part of judo, but are generally not permitted in competition or sparring. Judo originated in Japan in the late 19th century and has since spread throughout the world. It forms the original basis for other grappling martial arts such as Brazilian Jiujitsu and Sambo.



Origin: Japan

Focus: Striking

Description: Karate is a family of Japanese martial arts characterized by strikes using the hands, feet, elbows, and knees. Grappling and locks also feature in some styles. The origins of karate can be traced to the introduction of Chinese martial arts into Okinawa in the 14th century. The sport made its way into the Japanese mainstream after Okinawa’s 19th century annexation by Japan, and is today one of the world’s most popular martial arts.



Origin: Thailand

Focus: Striking

Description: Also known as Thai Boxing, Muay Thai is a stand-up fighting style focused on striking using the fists, feet, elbows, and knees. Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand, and its roots can be traced back to both Chinese and Cambodian martial arts styles. Today, Muay Thai is one of the most watched martial arts in the world, and it forms the stand-up fighting basis for many mixed martial artists.



Origin: Russia

Focus: Striking, grappling

Description: The word “Sambo” is derived from a Russian acronym that stands for “self-defense without weapons.” Sambo is a fairly new martial art, established in the Soviet Union in the 1930’s. Its roots lie in a combination of judo and traditional Central Asian styles of wrestling. In continuing to develop Sambo, its founders analyzed and borrowed from a further range of European and Asian martial arts, with the goal of creating a more efficient unarmed combat system for the Russian military.



Origin: China

Focus: Striking

Description: Sometimes referred to as Freestyle Kung Fu, Sanda is a combat sport that combines several Chinese martial arts disciplines into a unified fighting style. Sanda borrows the most effective Wushu (commonly known as kung fu) styles and techniques for competition and self-defense. Although Wushu is more than 4,000 years old, modern Sanda originated in the early 20th century, driven largely by the Chinese military and government.



Origin: Korea

Focus: Striking

Description: Tae Kwon Do is a fast-paced martial art focused on striking with hands and feet, with particular emphasis placed on a wide range of rapid, powerful kicks. It is the national sport of South Korea and the most popular martial art in the world in terms of the number of practitioners. The origins of Korean martial arts can be traced back 2,000 years, and modern Tae Kwon Do was born when the various South Korean schools unified under a single system in the 1950’s.



Origin: Greece

Focus: Grappling

Description: Wrestling describes a family of martial arts in which opponents use grappling techniques such as clinches, throws, takedowns, and pins to gain and hold a dominant position. The origins of wrestling can be traced back to 13th century BC Greece, although wrestling also has historical roots in China and Egypt. Today, wrestling is an international sport comprised of several disciplines, the most popular of which are Greco-Roman, Freestyle, and Submission.