MMA: The Origins (Part 1)
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is gaining recognition and popularity throughout Singapore. The entertainment industry is cashing in big bucks (cough Okto cough) just by broadcasting fighting championships such as the One Championship and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). People aren’t just only interested in watching other people bash each other’s faces in on live television anymore. Sure, it’s entertaining to watch two fit individuals throwing kicks, punches, knees, elbows and what not in the octagon while their faces covered in blood (and sometimes even faeces in their pants). If they die, they die. Amiright?
Let’s face it. Humans are sadistic creatures. But that isn’t just it. The demands of gyms that specializes in teaching MMA is also evidently seen to be on the rise. The popularity to equip oneself with the necessary MMA skills and knowledge to fight is also on the rise. Corporate gyms such as Virgin Active and Anytime Fitness are also joining the bandwagon by conducting MMA classes for their members in their own studios.
Interestingly, over the years MMA is getting more and more recognized throughout all genders and even ages. Women, young children and even elderlies (taking the insult ‘my grandma can fight better than you’ to a whole new level) are showing more interests to learn MMA. Mixed gender gyms that specializes in teaching MMA, such as The Jungle - MMA, Muay Thai, BJJ, Boxing, Fitness, Strength & Conditioning Gym located at 35B Boat Quay, have seen an increasing trend of females joining the gym.
According to Mr Alex Leung, the Co-founder and the Head Coach of The Jungle, the demographic age distribution of the members is getting more wide spread, ranging from as young as 12 and as old as 69 (hehehe).
“The percentage of female and male members in the gym as of the year 2019 is currently at 50% each. We are seeing more women joining our martial art classes such as Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) over the years, when initially most of the women were only interested in going for the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes when we first opened up the gym in 2017”, according to Mr Alex.
So is MMA basically just a rojak of all the different types of martial arts known to mankind? Well, in layman terms, yeah. However, the origins of the combat sport is not as recent as most people tend to think it is. Over the recent years it has gained more global recognition and popularity, but the history of it actually dates waaayyy back.
Although the first documented use of the term mixed martial arts was in a review of UFC 1 by television critic Howard Rosenberg in 1993, it actually dates all the way back to the Olympics of ancient Greece. It initially originated as hand-to-hand combat performed as a sport called pankration, from the Greek words pan and kratos, meaning “all powers”.
The one who started the ripple of MMA knowledge to spread all over the world and not only confined within Greece, was none other than Alexander the Great. Thanks to him, the teaching of Greek pankration spread to India while he was recruiting soldiers and from then on wards monks and martial artists who travel out of their birth home to learn different techniques from all over the world. At the same time, they too share their knowledge to others of their own discipline. The rest is history.
But what actually caused the ever growing popularity of MMA in Singapore? What makes women in Singapore (and also globally) to suddenly show interest in this brutal combat sport? Stay tuned for the next post to find out!
In the meantime, it’s time for YOU to write your own history with us at The Jungle Gym! Don’t worry. The coaches don’t bite.
They have other ways to make sure you feel a whole different kind of pain.
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For any enquiries on the gym classes or memberships, you can contact the big man himself via phone: +65 9328 6002 or his email: firstname.lastname@example.org.