Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills, from a mixture of martial arts traditions and non-traditions, to be used in competitions. The rules allow the use of striking and grappling techniques, both while standing and on the ground. This enables martial artists of different backgrounds to compete.
The roots of Mixed Martial Arts can be traced back to various mixed style contests that took place throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim during the early 1900s. Modern MMA competition emerged in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, although professional MMA events had been held in Japan by Shooto starting back in 1989. Originally organized with the intention of finding the most effective martial arts for real unarmed combat situations, competitors were pitted against one another with minimal rules for safety, but later promoters adopted many additional rules to improve the safety of the competitors and to promote mainstream acceptance of the sport.
The Guildford Academy of Martial Arts holds MMA classes on Monday and Wednesdaynights between 8pm-9:30pm and on Saturdays between 1:30-3pm and open mat sparring between 3-4pm.
Classes incorporate a warmup designed to encourage flexibility and free movement, Jujutsu-based grappling drills, conditioning and fitness work and sparring. MMA teaches practical and applicable self-defence techniques; street fights commonly turn to grappling within minutes and MMA teaches holds, throws and submissions, placing emphasis on effectiveness rather than show.