Mixed Martial Arts is exactly what the name implies. Competitors combine the knowledge and techniques of many different Martial Arts into one fluid style that works for them.
There are many styles of martial arts used by fighters. Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Boxing, Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Kickboxing, Sambo and many more.
But I want to talk about one that has been thrust into the spotlight recently. A martial art that is vastly underrated in MMA today.
I'm talking about Judo.
Judo has been in the spotlight recently because of Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. An Olympic Bronze medalist in judo, she has used her skills to finish six straight fights, all by first-round armbar. That is an incredible feat.
Judo is not as popular as other martial arts in MMA. When you think of MMA you think Muay Thai, or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Judo in MMA can be extremely effective, if you know what you are doing.
Knowing Judo gives you some excellent moves to use in the cage. It improves your clinch work exponentially. Judoka do their best work while in the clinch. It can also be translated into excellent takedown defence.
Judo is no slouch on offense either. There are many explosive throws and tosses that can put your opponent on the mat in a bad position, or even at times a throw can stun your opponent while you swarm for the finish.
A perfect example of this is Bellator lightweight Rick Hawn's victory over Levon Maynard at Bellator 33. It's embedded in this article. Check it out it won't disappoint.
And of course there are the submissions. Chokes are popular, as are joint locks, such as the dreaded armbar.
Judo is finally starting to represent in MMA. Many fighters are using it to great effect in their careers. Ronda Rousey is a Strikeforce champion. Rick Hawn is the No. 1 lightweight contender in Bellator. Jimy Hettes is a rising UFC featherweight prospect. There are a variety of other names including Kazuhiro Nakamura, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Karo Parisyan.
Judo is gaining popularity rapidly on the MMA scene. Hopefully with Ronda Rousey leading the way this underrated martial art can finally get the respect it deserves in the cage.
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