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MMA History and Evolution

The history of mixed martial arts

“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet”

-Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings

Hand to hand combat has roots in prehistoric times, influencing every culture since the dawn of mankind. Ancient inscriptions reveal that some type of fighting has always existed, seemingly embedded in our DNA.  Be it a “fight” or “flight” response from the threat of imminent danger, aggression and survival are basic instincts. Building a better warrior was and continues to be a natural progression (self-defense against oppression and/or predatory warfare).

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MMA History Books

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Bill Viola Jr.’s Perspective

I have studied a full spectrum of martial arts, most notably Shotokan Karate, since birth. As the son of a karate master, no memories seem to exist before the dojo. I guess you could say it was preordained that I would become a black belt.  My father instilled the importance of cross-training from an early age: kickboxing—jujutsu—practical self-defense.

bill viola jr mma historian
mma history best seller
History Of MMA


Indigenous forms of martial arts were prevalent in pre-colonial times among Native American tribes, while later immigrants indirectly spread fighting arts unique to their respective cultures.  Since the establishment of the New World, our forefathers have experimented with various forms of grappling, a favorite pastime that even included President George Washington (a student of collar-and-elbow wrestling).



Who invented the modern sport of MMA Mixed Martial Arts?