Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a relatively new but very realistic martial arts sport. It has very few rules and is as close as you can get to a real fight.
MMA, as the name suggests is a combination of various martial arts. In particular it is a blend of stand-up striking (boxing, karate, kickboxing, Thai boxing etc.) and ground fighting (wrestling, ju-jitsu, judo etc). MMA is sometimes referred to as "total fighting", "ultimate fighting", "no holds barred" or "vale tudo".
The fighting techniques in our MMA class are adopted from kickboxing, ju-jitsu, judo and wrestling and adapted to suit MMA. You will learn footwork & movement, blocks & evasion, kicks, boxing, knee & elbow strikes, clinch work, throws, takedowns and takedown defence, pins and escapes from pins along with submission techniques, in a very hands-on class.
Each range is isolated and dealt with separately. This is absolutely necessary when perfecting a particular technique within a range, so that it can be drilled and/or sparred without distractions or problems that may be caused by another range.
Ranges are then put together so students can learn to merge and blend the ranges. For example, kicking & boxing range become kickboxing. Kickboxing could then include "dirty boxing". Kickboxing or just dirty boxing could be added to takedown sparring. Takedown sparring could continue on the ground past the initial pin into full grappling. Ground grappling could include strikes to become "ground fighting".
Ultimately though, free sparring needs to be practiced, where all ranges are included. However, this can still be strategically managed. For example, if you are predominantly from a stand up, striking based background, you could attempt to keep the sparring on your feet thus denying a ground fighter the range to apply his strengths against you. OR (and I believe this to be a far more productive strategy while in the gym) if you are a stand up fighter, sparring against a competent ground guy you could try to take him down and attempt to beat him at his own game.
You probably won't enjoy too much success (at first) but you will be gaining much needed experience of working on your weaker range. This ultimately will give you more balance in your capabilities.
Sparring is the practice of fighting technique but it is NOT a fight. Sparring is a controlled exercise of skill, speed and timing. Your levels of contact should be controlled in every range (specially "ground & pound") to reduce the risk of injury and to ensure that everyone enjoys the training while growing in confidence & ability.
To the competitor, MMA is extremely physical, immensely challenging and highly technical. Recreationally, it is a highly enjoyable "chess match" and a first rate method of self defence. Whatever your personal views are of MMA, it is more then just a brutal fight in a cage…. It is a complete science!