The sport of MMA, through the advent of cross-disciplinary training, has fundamentally and forever changed the martial arts as we know them.
Before MMA, there were strikers, wrestlers and submission stylists. Each of these disciplines had specific goals. Strikers looked to end the fight by beating opponents with a variety of knees, kicks and punches; submission artists entwined their opponents to finish the fight, snaking their limbs around them and twisting or constricting like a python.
Wrestling alone, while holding the key skill in MMA, controlling where the fight takes place, had no built-in method to finish the fight. Wrestlers excel in taking the fight to the ground—no discipline is better for this skill. Wrestlers are used to having fights go to ground, then stand up, then go to ground again; all very useful in MMA.
The Couturian work ethic is borne of wrestling training and the conditioning of the sport's elite wrestlers is peerless.
Then early pioneers like Mark Coleman began developing and using a technique known today as ground-and-pound. This technique, which has become the bane of many strikers in the sport, combines wrestling with striking to horrifying and oft-gruesome effect, while immobilizing the victim.
Let’s peruse some of the more fearsome ground-and-pounders in the sport today.