Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is an international phenomenon, with a fascinatingly diverse and complex history that stems from fighting sports around the world.
In Mixed Martial Arts: A History from Ancient Fighting Sports to the UFC, L.A. Jennings explores the vast global history of martial arts—including Asian martial arts, African fighting sports, European pugilism and wrestling, and the fighting styles of North, Central, and South Americas—and how they gave rise to the modern sport of MMA. Jennings shares some of the most famous moments in fighting history alongside stories of the fighters themselves, such as the infamous 1976 fight between Muhammad Ali and Antonio Inoki.
When the Ultimate Fighting Championship premiered in 1993, it introduced the world to the controversial “cage fighting” at a scale never seen before. With the assistance of technological innovations and globalization, MMA has become the fastest growing sport on earth, the culmination of thousands of years of fighting for sport. Featuring fascinating stories and photographs of fighters from around the world, Mixed Martial Arts reveals the long and captivating history of this often-misunderstood sport.
L.A. Jennings is the owner of Train.Fight.Win., a Mixed Martial Arts gym in Denver, Colorado, where she teaches kickboxing, submission wrestling, and MMA. She is a regular contributor to VICE on fighting sports history and has been interviewed by NPR, The Economist, Cosmopolitan, and the HISTORY channel as an expert on the history and culture of MMA. Jennings teaches in the Media and Communications department at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado.
Introduction: For the Love of Fighting
Chapter 1: Ancient Fighting Sports
Chapter 2: Putting the “Martial” in Martial Arts
Chapter 3: Colonizing Martial Arts
Chapter 4: Fighting Around the World
Chapter 5: Globalization, Media, and MMA
Conclusion: The Future of Fighting Sports
About the Author
L.A. Jennings has created a fascinating and remarkably thorough history of unarmed combat, tracing the evolution of the martial arts from its earliest recorded examples in ancient civilization and documenting the historical forces that shaped it into what we see today. Her passion for the subject matter and dedication to research make this a must read for any Mixed Martial Arts fan interested in learning more about the origins of fighting as sport.
You don't have to be interested in history or sports to lose yourself in this fascinating read. I happen to be interested in both, and I was hooked from the first word. LA Jennings is one of the most knowledgeable and intelligent writers of mixed martial arts working today.