With the rise of popularity in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) over the past decade, there has been an increase in gyms teaching it and people learning it. Due to this however, MMA has evolved into a style of its own where techniques from different arts are integrated and taught as one.

Originally MMA was brought into the mainstream thanks to BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) and the Gracie family. Most notably the first UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) champion, Royce Gracie who in one night defeated three opponents even though he was the smallest fighter in the tournament.

Ever since then and with the evolution of MMA, the foundation martial arts styles that many fighters have adopted as their base have been BJJ and Thai Boxing. This two martial arts have proven time and again how efficient they can be when integrated together. An early problem experienced by MMA fighters was the fact that they had to learn another style to further increase their repertoire of moves.

MMA has borrowed techniques and moves from different martial arts making it a style of its own. It shares a lot of similarities in its ground work with BJJ as well as wrestling and other grappling arts. On the clinch there can be similarities to Thai Boxing and Greco Roman Wrestling. While standing, it uses moves from Western and Thai Boxing as well as Kickboxing. This has made MMA a more versatile style of martial art when compared to BJJ.

However, MMA does not poses the same traditions or depth that BJJ does. There are no belts or Gi’s in MMA and there is no bowing down at the beginning and end of class. MMA ground techniques are not as smooth or detailed as BJJ and its practitioners are martial athletes rather than martial artists. This due to the different goals of each style and the way that they are trained and taught.

Both arts have their own strengths and weaknesses and are great depending on the individual and their needs or goals. MMA will always have its origin with Vale Tudo and BJJ and no matter how it continues to evolve, it will always share similarities.

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