Institute of Martial Arts  - Cooper's Gym® Since 1972
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History of MMA The roots of MMA date back to the ancient Greeks and the early Olympic sport of Pankration, in which combatants faced each other with very few rules. Similar sports evolved in many different places over time, often with the goal of pitting one traditional martial arts style against another. Many legendary martial artists, such as Jeet Kune Do founder and practitioner Bruce Lee, have advocated the use of these hybridized, non-traditional forms to most closely resemble real world scenarios. Even legendary boxer Muhammad Ali took part in a cross-sport match-up when he agreed to face Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki. These kinds of contests were the early foundation for the sport of MMA, which has grown tremendously in scope and practice since then. The modern era of MMA is thought to have arisen from the “anything goes” fighting contests (sometimes referred to as “Vale Tudo”) held in Brazil throughout the later half of the twentieth century. These first reached North America when the Gracie family helped create the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Royce Gracie surprised fans by winning three of the first four editions. The early American MMA events were often bloody, rule-less brawls, and they quickly drew the ire of notable politicians like Senator John McCain, who decried the bouts as “human cockfighting”. The sport was almost outlawed completely in the U.S., but survived by altering its “no-holds-barred” strategy and embracing governmental regulation. Since then, MMA has incorporated a more stringent set of rules and weight classes, and has moved toward mainstream acceptance. Though specific rules vary depending on the organization, MMA usually refers to a sport that combines striking and grappling arts, while outlawing groin strikes, eye-gouging, small joint manipulation, biting, hair-pulling, and strikes to the spine or throat. MMA has been vilified in the past by media and politicians, though there has never been a death or serious injury in a sanctioned MMA event. Early indications suggest that the sport is actually safer than boxing, thanks to the variety of techniques and the smaller gloves, which prohibit a fighter from absorbing repeated blows to the head, thus minimizing long-term damage.
We hope to see you again! Check back later for new updates to our website. There's much more to come!
History of MMA The roots of MMA date back to the ancient Greeks and the early Olympic sport of Pankration, in which combatants faced each other with very few rules. Similar sports evolved in many different places over time, often with the goal of pitting one traditional martial arts style against another. Many legendary martial artists, such as Jeet Kune Do founder and practitioner Bruce Lee, have advocated the use of these hybridized, non-traditional forms to most closely resemble real world scenarios. Even legendary boxer Muhammad Ali took part in a cross-sport match-up when he agreed to face Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki. These kinds of contests were the early foundation for the sport of MMA, which has grown tremendously in scope and practice since then. The modern era of MMA is thought to have arisen from the “anything goes” fighting contests (sometimes referred to as “Vale Tudo”) held in Brazil throughout the later half of the twentieth century. These first reached North America when the Gracie family helped create the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Royce Gracie surprised fans by winning three of the first four editions. The early American MMA events were often bloody, rule-less brawls, and they quickly drew the ire of notable politicians like Senator John McCain, who decried the bouts as “human cockfighting”. The sport was almost outlawed completely in the U.S., but survived by altering its “no-holds-barred” strategy and embracing governmental regulation. Since then, MMA has incorporated a more stringent set of rules and weight classes, and has moved toward mainstream acceptance. Though specific rules vary depending on the organization, MMA usually refers to a sport that combines striking and grappling arts, while outlawing groin strikes, eye-gouging, small joint manipulation, biting, hair-pulling, and strikes to the spine or throat. MMA has been vilified in the past by media and politicians, though there has never been a death or serious injury in a sanctioned MMA event. Early indications suggest that the sport is actually safer than boxing, thanks to the variety of techniques and the smaller gloves, which prohibit a fighter from absorbing repeated blows to the head, thus minimizing long-term damage.
We hope to see you again! Check back later for new updates to our website. There's much more to come!
 
History of MMA The roots of MMA date back to the ancient Greeks and the early Olympic sport of Pankration, in which combatants faced each other with very few rules. Similar sports evolved in many different places over time, often with the goal of pitting one traditional martial arts style against another.
Many legendary martial artists, such as Jeet Kune Do founder and practitioner Bruce Lee, have advocated the use of these hybridized, non-traditional forms to most closely resemble real world scenarios. Even legendary boxer Muhammad Ali took part in a cross-sport match-up when he agreed to face Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki. These kinds of contests were the early foundation for the sport of MMA, which has grown tremendously in scope and practice since then.
The modern era of MMA is thought to have arisen from the “anything goes” fighting contests (sometimes referred to as “Vale Tudo”) held in Brazil throughout the later half of the twentieth century. These first reached North America when the Gracie family helped create the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Royce Gracie surprised fans by winning three of the first four editions.
The early American MMA events were often bloody, rule-less brawls, and they quickly drew the ire of notable politicians like Senator John McCain, who decried the bouts as “human cockfighting”. The sport was almost outlawed completely in the U.S., but survived by altering its “no-holds-barred” strategy and embracing governmental regulation.
Since then, MMA has incorporated a more stringent set of rules and weight classes, and has moved toward mainstream acceptance. Though specific rules vary depending on the organization, MMA usually refers to a sport that combines striking and grappling arts, while outlawing groin strikes, eye-gouging, small joint manipulation, biting, hair-pulling, and strikes to the spine or throat.
MMA has been vilified in the past by media and politicians, though there has never been a death or serious injury in a sanctioned MMA event. Early indications suggest that the sport is actually safer than boxing, thanks to the variety of techniques and the smaller gloves, which prohibit a fighter from absorbing repeated blows to the head, thus minimizing long-term damage.
 
We hope to see you again! Check back later for new updates to our website. There's much more to come!