MIXED MARTIAL ARTS & GRAPPLING
Three of the most popular Combat Sports throughout GB are Sombo, MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu BJJ yet out of the three there is only one of them that has a governing body, that is recognised by UKSport and has an International Body recognised by Sport Accord and that is the British Sombo Federation. This I believe will changing in the very near future as the very well respected F.I.L.A has included the two on their list of Wrestling Sports and they call it Amateur MMA and Grappling.
F.I.L.A have been responsible for Free Style and Greco Roman since the Olympics began so they are the obvious choice for running these sports. It is important that we put some legitimisation into MMA as there are so many unqualified, inexperience clubs teaching these Combat Skills. I recently heard of a karate Club who numbers had been dwindling changing there name to an MMA club and their membership quadrupled, when they were questioned they said they had mixed several Karate Styles together hence MMA Mixed Martial Arts. Although those in the know realise that is not what MMA is, but the Public do not know.
I have strong doubts that you would be able to register MMA Mixed Martial Arts as a “Service Mark” because of the nature of the name Mixed Martial Arts can mean anything it is not specific. Maybe MMA could have been registered but now because it has been widely used I doubt it. When I registered “CombatSombo” a Grappling Self Defence System in 1988 as a service mark no one had used a combination on the name in any other form, since then the International body has come with a very successful Full Contact Jacket Strike and Grapple called Combat Sambo. In Some countries many use the same words for a self-defence system. The main advantage of registering COMBATSOMBO is I have total control of the name in this country and only Grades certificates with my signature or my authorisation can justify you saying you do COMBATSOMBO. Sadly at the time I did not get it registered World Wide but because everyone knows that CombatSombo is my style that they can still check to see if the Coach is registered with me.
A Couple of years ago I was invited along with others to a meeting with the British Wrestling Association at the Wrestling Academy in Salford to discuss MMA and they came up with two very useful and unique names. For MMA Grappling and Submission Wrestling with or with out Jackets they would use the name FILA Grappling for MMA strike and grapple they would use the words FILA Combat. These two name are easily defined and can be easily regulated, I believe this is the way forward, I for one have no objections affiliating to the BWA in fact our Warriors Grappling Academy is a member
Those who enjoy true MMA need to break away from the name because the name is slowing become ridiculed
Amateur Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that incorporates striking (both standing and on the ground) and wrestling/grappling techniques. As governed by FILA, it is practiced within a safe and regulated environment, which relies on a fair and objective scoring system and competition procedures similar to those in force in Olympic wrestling.
Despite its tremendous popularity, MMA is facing various legitimacy issues due to the lack of sanctioning by the national sports authorities and the lack of universal rules that would protect the athletes' physical and psychological integrity. FILA considers that the implementation of an amateur variant that could guarantee a safe training environment and a competition systems complying with the Olympic standards has become an urgent necessity for all athletes wishing to engage in a professional career. Through the mandatory use of protection gear and limited impact rules (especially regarding ground and pound), FILA intends to offer a safe and educational sport that can satisfy athletes with both recreational or professional goals.
With its combination of stand up and ground techniques, amateur MMA represents a great form of self-defense, which is particularly recommended for the training of police, security, and military forces. Amateur MMA is practiced with board shorts and an optional rashguard along with approved protection gear that includes head gear, shin protectors, and gloves that allow grabbing and holding the opponent for a comfortable application of grappling techniques.
Amateur MMA counts 7 weight categories for men and 5 weight categories for women. No absolute category is considered in order to avoid potentially harmful situations.
· Men: 60-65-70-75-80-90-110kg
· Women: 50-55-60-65-75kg
Licence and insurance: The FILA licence is mandatory for all international amateur MMA competitions with more than two participating countries. Every international competition shall be anounced to FILA and added to its official calendar. The FILA insurance will only apply to competitions which appear in its calendar. The FILA licence allows its holder to take part in all wrestling styles ruled by FILA.
Grappling is a non-striking hybrid sport formed of wrestling, jiu jitsu, sambo, and many other submission fighting styles which consists in applying submission holds and choking techniques in order to make the opponent abandon the fight. Grappling plays an important role in the practice of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and is considered an effective form of self-defense.
When including grappling into its field of activities, FILA had the vision to unite the grappling community under standard international rules and offer a generic discipline that would go beyond the specificities of each submission fighting discipline. Straight forward and easy to understand rules were thus created to facilitate the participation of athletes coming from different fighting backgrounds in international competitions.
The FILA grappling regulations are based on a progressive point system that encourages submissions over technical points. Points are awarded for takedowns and dominant control positions according to the following progression: side mount > full mount > back mount. Once having reached a position and secured it for 3 seconds, additional points can only be scored if a higher position is achieved. The progression is reset if the opponent manages to bring the fight back to neutral (be it standing or on the ground) or to score a dominant control position in his/her turn.
Since submission fighting is traditionally practiced with and without kimono (Gi), FILA has decided to implement both trends in order to cover the full spectrum of techniques associated to each particular style. If some athletes prefer one style over the other, most of them enjoy practicing and competing in both. Therefore, the FILA tournaments generally take place in Gi and No-Gi divisions to enable all submission fighters to compete to their highest ability no matter what their fighting background might be.
In order to unify the rules and participation in Grappling, Pankration, and Combat Grappling competitions, FILA has adopted common weight categories for all three styles. The lighter categories have a smaller increase in weight due to the the bigger effect weight differences have on lighter athletes' performances. An absolute category open to competitors of all weight classes has also been added to allow heavier athletes to compete and to demonstrate that grappling techniques can sometimes overcome weight and strength, creating an exciting and spectator-friendly addition to the sport.
· Men: 60-65-70-75-80-90-110kg and Absolute
· Women: 50-55-60-65-75kg and Absolute
Licence and insurance: The FILA licence is mandatory for all international grappling competitions with more than two participating countries. Every international competition shall be anounced to FILA and added to its official calendar. The FILA insurance will only apply to competitions which appear in its calendar. The FILA licence allows its holder to take part in all wrestling styles ruled by FILA.