Shooto is a combat sport and mixed martial arts organization that is governed by the Shooto Association and the International Shooto Commission. Shooto was originally formed in 1985, first as a particular fighting system and then in 1989 as a mixed martial arts promotion. It is considered one of the first true mixed martial arts competitions, with its Vale Tudo Japan events being essential to the rise of PRIDE Fighting Championships and the development of modern MMA. Many Japanese MMA fighters had their start at Shooto and the organization still holds both professional and amateur tournaments.
As a fighting system, Shooto is considered a hybrid martial art derived from Shoot wrestling. It is focused on all aspects of fighting: striking, stand-up grappling and ground fighting. Practitioners are referred to as shooters or shootists. Shooto rules have evolved with time, are different depending on the class, Class C and D are amateur and have more restricted rules more similar to their first events, while professional classes are now true mixed martial arts competitions. Shooto weight classes are different from those of the United States Association of Boxing Commissions, which are used by most MMA promotions