Ultimate fighters ready to rumble
Mixed martial arts knocks down state barriers

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Now that the state of California has sanctioned it, a popular form of fighting that began as no-rules cage brawls in smoke-filled rooms is about to hit the big time.

It didn't take long after the State Athletic Commission in December legalized mixed martial arts fighting -- a blend of boxing, karate, wrestling and jujitsu with just a touch of street brawling thrown in -- for a promoter to organize the first major show, a knock-down, drag-out card called "Strikeforce" that is expected to draw thousands of fans to San Jose in March.

Mixed martial arts has been wildly popular for several years, with bouts held in Las Vegas and carried on cable television and a host of Web sites offering everything from a history of the sport to a rundown on the best techniques. Now that California has sanctioned the sport, the Golden State could displace Las Vegas as the center of its universe, with more bouts than anywhere else -- another event is scheduled for April in Anaheim -- and a network of gyms cranking out professional and amateur fighters.

"We're going to host more MMA events than any other state," predicted Athletic Board Executive Officer Armando Garcia.

Despite its image as a sport of blood, pain, spin-kick knockouts and punishing submission holds, mixed martial arts fighting draws top-caliber athletes who include former collegiate wrestlers, champion martial artists and boxers.

Gone are the days when being a skilled fighter meant little more than simply unleashing a fierce barrage on one's opponent. Top fighters say the sport demands equal parts strength, agility and thinking three or four moves ahead of your opponent.

"It's a demanding sport," said Cung Le, a San Shou -- Chinese kickboxing -- fighter who has represented the United States in world championship competition. "It's many different styles, and you have to put it all together."

Full article and many pictures at

Very good article, worth the full read.
I have a feeling that the author does not have the deepest understanding of the techniques but still presents it in a professional manner.