It is no huge secret that the popularity and interest in the martial arts has really come a long way over the past 20 years. Back in the 1970s, Bruce Lee helped M.A. become even more popular, when he developed his own style of martial arts which he named Jeet Kune Do.
Bruce starred in several movies, showing the world his speed and expertise in the martial arts. From that time, movies have been a popular way to showcase martial arts techniques.
Beginning in the early 1990s, a sport known as the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) appeared to take things one step further.
In spite of the fact that there have been other competitions similar to the UFC, none of them had the style and the professionalism as the UFC possesses. At the beginning, the UFC paired different styles and different weight classes.
The end result were exciting fights with differing results. The 1st ever champion was a man from Brazil named Royce Gracie. Gracie was the 1st to introduce Brazilian Jui-Jitsu in this way, opening up the eyes of everyone who witness him fight. After the 1st UFC tournament, Brazilian Jui-Jitsu was instantly viewed as the best martial art. Royce weighed under 200 pounds, and he was completely dominating people nearly 3 times his size.
Gracie would go on to win UFC 2 and 4 as well. He was the most dominating in the sport, and opened the eyes of everyone across the world. In UFC 3, he didn’t lose, although he ran into a very tough fighter who nearly beat him. Gracie came back in UFC 5 for a superfight match up with Ken Shamrock, which would go the distance and end in a draw.
Other fighters have done exceptionally well in the UFC, although none of them had the impact as Royce Gracie. Fighters like Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Oleg Taktarov, Matt Hughes, and Matt Sylivia have also done very well. Matt Hughes is also regarded as one of the best, as he fights in the Welterweight class and is considered pound for pound to be the best fighter in the world.
Within the realm of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), the UFC has made a big impact. In the beginning, there were no rules and no judges, just one on one fights until someone either tapped out, got knocked out, or the ref through in the towel. Fighters also fought in a tournament style as well, which took 3 fights to win the championship.
With the passing of time, there were several changes. The UFC would start with judges after a few years, along with eliminating the tournaments. The fights would eventually go to one on one, which was great for the fans. Although the fights didn’t have time limits in the beginning, they do now. The non title fights are three 5 minute rounds, while the title fights are five 5 minute rounds.
In the event a fight goes to the judges, the judges will decide the winner. There are 3 judges, which normally change with each different UFC event. Their task is to determine the winner if there is no knockout or submission, while the ref is there to protect the fighters. The referee can stop a fight as well, if a fighter is unable to defend himself or herself.
Because of all the changes in the rules of the UFC, it is only a matter of time before the UFC gains a lot more popularity. It is more popular today than it ever has been, which shows you that martial arts have come a long way. Martial arts are very popular currently, and competitive matches like the UFC now among the most viewed on the entire globe.