Vase painting of a Pankratios (left) countering a front kick with a single leg takedown. 

History- The original "mixing" of martial arts is impossible to pinpoint as styles having taken techniques from each other for as long as there have been martial arts. The Greek combat sport of pankration is the first well known art to combine two established styles of fighting when they brought together the strikes of boxing and the throws of wrestling. Pankration went a step further by also including kicks and submissions. Modern pankration stands alongside sambo (Russia) and vale tudo (Brazil) as the forerunners to the modern mixed martial arts phenomenon. While the most famous MMA organization, the UFC, was formed in 1993 style versus style bouts have been showcased for over a century. One of the earliest examples of this was when world heavyweight boxing champion, John L. Sullivan, took on world Greco-Roman wrestling champion, William Muldoon. This was followed in 1890 and 1901 with two more matchups between world boxing and Greco-Roman champions, the wrestlers won 2 of these 3 forays into MMA. In 1899 the first merging of Japanese and European martial arts occured when bartitsu was born. 

The Sport- The modern sport of MMA is governed under the unified rules of the country you are fighting in. Fights start standing, in a boxing ring or a cage, and competitors have the option of striking, clinching, takedowns, submissions, grappling, and ground-and-pound (striking while on the ground). The primary styles that are learned for MMA are wrestling, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and muay thai. In addition karate, judo, tae kwon do, and sambo are popular styles. 

MMA Philosophy at The Ludus- At the Ludus we encourage everyone interested in MMA to practice in as many styles separately as they can. We have the classes and coaches to bring your skills together as your experience grows. The most valuable way to learn any style that can benefit your overall game is to learn that style in its entirety.

MMA and Sambo legend Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko. 11 International Combat Sambo Golds, 5 Bronze. MMA World Champion in 4 leagues, record of 34-4 (1) (26 KO/Sub), 8 year undefeated streak, 7 years number one in the world, top 3 all time pound-for-pound. 

Notable Practitioners- Bruce Lee, Gene LeBell, Fedor Emelianenko, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, Antonio Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop, Dan Henderson, Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Royce Gracie, Bas Rutten, Frank Shamrock, Matt Hughes, Pat Miletich, Rickson Gracie, Kazushi Sakuraba, Chuck Liddell, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Jon Jones, Takanori Gomi, BJ Penn, Forest Griffin, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio Rua

MMA legend Georges "Rush" St. Pierre. 2 league, and 3 time UFC Welterweight Champion, record of 25-2 (13 KO/Sub). Holds black belts in 4 different martial arts. 3 time ESPY "Fighter of the Year", 3 time "Canadian Athlete of the Year", set 9 UFC records. Consensus most well-rounded MMA fighter of all time, top 3 all time pound-for-pound.