Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA for short, is a full-contact combat sport that allows both striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from other combat sports and martial arts.
Most 'traditional' martial arts have a specific focus and these arts may be trained to improve in that area. Popular disciplines of each type include:
- Stand-up: Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Sambo Wrestling, Savate and Sanshou are trained to improve stand-up striking.
- Clinch: Amateur Wrestling, Judo, JuJutsu, Sambo Wrestling, and Sanshou are trained to improve clinching, takedowns and throws, while Muay Thai is trained to improve the striking aspect of the clinch.
- Ground: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, JuJutsu, Sambo Wrestling, Catch Wrestling, Lucha Libre and submission grappling are trained to improve ground control and position, as well as to achieve submission holds, and defend against them.
Most styles have been adapted from their traditional form, such as boxing stances which lack effective counters to leg kicks and the muay thai stance which is poor for defending against takedowns due to the static nature, or Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, techniques which must be adapted for No Gi competition. It is common for a fighter to train with multiple coaches of different styles or an organized fight team to improve various aspects of their game at once. Cardiovascular conditioning, speed drills, strength training and flexibility are also important aspects of a fighter's training. Some schools advertise their styles as simply "mixed martial arts", which has become a style in itself, but the training will still often be split into different sections.