Key Differences Between Boxing And MMA

Hand-to-hand combat has been around since time immemorial. Our ancestors used this to establish dominance, resolve disputes, promote competition, and so on. Over time, the practice has taken on many forms and have been turned into sporting disciplines. Boxing has become the premier example of this for a very long time but mixed martial arts is making a surge in the public sphere. There are plenty of enthusiasts following both sports, enjoying them for the unique things that each of them offers. They are certainly both entertaining if you are a fight fan but there are several key differences between them.

Striking and Grappling Rules

The first is the striking rules. Boxing only allows fighters to use their hands when hitting their opponents. They cannot use their feet, their elbows, their knees, or any other body part. They must strike with their gloved fists using a variety of punches. The legal target is limited as well to the area above the belt. Hit anything below and you can suffer a point deduction. Punches must come from the front or sides, never from the back. MMA is a lot more liberal when it comes to attacks with kicks being part of the arsenal. So are elbows and knees. Fighters don’t need to stand up the whole way as grappling on the ground is legal. Several grapplers & MMA fighters have been incredibly successful on the octagon.

Gear, Uniform, and Equipment

Since boxers use their fists to strike for the whole fight, it is quite common for them to sustain hand injuries such as broken bones. This is one of the reasons why both amateurs and pros need to wear cushioned gloves. These protect them while enabling them to last for longer on the ring. The cushion can take some sting out of the punches but clever boxers can still accumulate points with carefully placed shots. Knockout artists aren’t bothered as they can put their opponents to sleep even with heavy gloves.

Since MMA fighters usually train for boxing as well as other disciplines, they are familiar with all of the gear used in the gym including mitts, pads, punching bags, and so on. Check out Best Boxing Gear – 2017 reviews if you plan on making some purchases.

Prize Purse

There is no shortage of articles predicting the death of boxing but it remains, for the time being, the premier combat sport in terms of revenues generated. The prize purse for the top tier matchups is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The leading names have tremendous star power and can take control of much of the negotiations. MMA stars are not yet of the same level but there are indications that they are getting there if recent blockbuster crossover matchups are to be used as a basis. Even purely MMA events can generate commendable PPV numbers.

Household Reach

A big reason for the higher purse in boxing is that it has deeply established roots and far-reaching branches. There are millions of dedicated fans who have been following the sport since the days of Ali and the other greats. The rich history of boxing is well-publicized and is part of pop culture. Although MMA has a long history as well, it hasn’t been in the mainstream consciousness for very long. Its roots are still getting established in countries around the world.

Sports Organization

Indeed, boxing is a sport that enjoys strong organization from the grassroots around the globe. The amateur ranks are highly active with every country having its own national governing body taking care of the development at all levels. National, regional, and global tournaments are held on a regular basis. On the other hand, MMA can boast of a strong presence in some countries but not so much in others. Gyms are still being established in many locations, especially outside of the hotspots, and it will take time for these to reach a critical mass of students to sustain the sport in these areas.

Olympic Recognition

There have been talks of MMA potentially becoming an Olympic event but this has not yet come to fruition. Recognition by the IOC is elusive. Some quarters are pushing for it while others don’t like the idea. This is fair since the move will have both pros and cons. An ancient form of mixed martial arts was actually part of the early Olympic games but it has since been dropped in favor of the separate disciplines. Boxing, on the other hand, has long been part of the festivities with medalists often having successful careers in the pro ranks.

The Growing Popularity Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is also called mixed martial arts (MMA). This sport has an interesting history because it has Japanese and Brazilian connections. This sport is connected to Kodokan judo and many of the masters connected to the sport were Japanese. These people include Mitsuyo Maeda, Takeo Yano, and Soshihiro Satake. Later on, Brazilian masters like Luiz Franca, Carlos Gracie, and Helio Gracie played pivotal roles in the development of the sport. In its present form, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not restricted to Japan or Brazil. It is a global sport with millions of passionate fans across the globe.

The philosophy of BJJ
Mixed martial arts is a combat sport but it is more of a grappling sport than a striking sport. A cardinal principle of this sport is that a much smaller opponent can defeat a bigger opponent using superior skill and fighting techniques. This is why the sport does not focus on brute force and large muscles. Instead, the emphasis is on technique, effective grappling skills, devastating holds, and chokes. BJJ promotes discipline, hard work, self-defense and honor. Some people describe BJJ as kick-boxing but this is not an accurate description of the sport. While you are allowed to use both your hands and your feet in BJJ, most successful fighters are technically sound professionals with grappling skills and devastating chokes and holds.

The Branches of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
There are four major branches of Jiu-Jitsu from the Brazilian sub-continent. These are the Gracie Humaita, Alliance Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Barra and the Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu branch. The idea of the four branches is not a universally accepted concept in the BJJ world. This is because different training organizations try to identify their own brand of the sport with their names. This is why fans of BJJ hear names like Machado Jiu-Jitsu (MJJ), Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (GJJ) Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Rules of BJJ
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has many rules. There are general rules as well as Gi rules. This sport also has submission grappling (no Gi) rules. Now, there is no point in going into all the detailed rules of the game. Below are some of the basic rules of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

  • Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated. The result is instant disqualification by the referee.
  • Slamming is not allowed in BJJ.
  • All combatants must show utmost respect to the referee.
  • Combatants must wear the right uniform for BJJ fights.
  • Fighters must compete in their approved divisions.

Scoring Rules
Below are some of the scoring rules in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The takedown or throw gets you 2 points while the body triangle from the back earns 4 points. If you pass the opponent’s guard, you get 3 points, the sweep nets 2 points and the back mount with hook gets you 4 points. Note that you can only gain points for a position if you show clear control for three seconds. The “no stalling” rule is very clear in BJJ. The combatant gets a warning for the first offense. For the second offense, the referee will give the advantage to the other opponent. A third offense attracts a 2-point deduction while the fourth offense leads to disqualification.

Fighting Techniques 
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is unique in the sense that fighting techniques usually lead to success. A fighter on the ground may win the match by applying a devastating hold or lock on the opponent. In addition, a fighter may appear to be in a losing position to people watching the fight. However, this fighter can easily turn things around by executing a strong move. Some of the most popular moves employed by BJJ practitioners are the full mount, the side control, and the back mount. Others are the open guard, the half guard, and the closed guard.

Submissions
In many cases, a BJJ match ends with a submission. This happens when a combatant taps out. The coach can also end the match if his or her ward appears to be in bad shape. In this case, the coach simply throws in the towel and the referee ends the match. In some instances, the referee may end the match if one of the fighters can no longer continue or if a fighter is in danger of serious injury.

Safety Concerns
BJJ Grappling Dummy – reviews of grappling dummies and other concerned stakeholders express fears over the safety of fighters in BJJ matches. However, these fears are largely unfounded. Mixed martial arts is not as dangerous as boxing or wrestling. In any case, some chokes and holds are banned in MMA competitions to protect the fighters.

Crossover Fights
One evidence of the growing popularity of MMA is the fact that big name fighters in this sport have crossed over fights with professional boxers. Recently, Conor McGregor took on the great Floyd Mayweather in a boxing title fight. Mayweather won the fight but McGregor gave him a tough fight before he lost the fight in round 10.

Final Word
Mixed martial arts may not be as popular as soccer or basketball but its popularity is growing by the day. Grappling Dummies 2018 project that in future, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will be a sport to reckon with in most parts of the globe.

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