The History of MMA III

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

The Modern Times 1985/93

Wrestler Tiger Mask
Satoru Sayama

So in 1985 Shooto in Japan was born, from an idea of Satoru Sayama Japanese Wrestling Champion better known as "Tiger Mask", with the intention of creating a new sport that could become an effective martial art. Initially called "New Martial Art" the name was changed to "Shooting" from the word "shoot" which meant in Wrestling "Serious Match". Often confused the name Shooting with Shooting Sports the name was definitely changed to Shooto. In 1986 there was the first amateur tournament and in 1989 the First Professional Event. Since 1994 the Shooto hosted the first event in Vale Tudo Japan where for the first time in Shooto matches the fighters were allowed to hit the face from a grappling position, which was forbidden until then. 1996 saw the creation of the World Shooto, the Shooto Assosiaciton and the International Shooto Commission from that moment on through these governmental bodies the Shooto became a fighting sport and its champions officially "World Champions".

The Shooto disembarked in America through a student of Sayama, Nakamura who went to Dan Inosanto's gym in the late 80's, in South America instead Shooto Brasil is managed by Andre Pederneiras founder of Nova Uniao in Rio De Janeiro one of the legendary schools of MMA. The Rules of this sport ancestor of MMA included grips, chokes, joint locks, kicks, knees, punches, takedowns and throws. While the techniques of elbows, head butt, hair pulling, groin strikes , fingers and small joints finishing, eye poke , forearms and throat strikes , bite, and on the ground knees or kicks are banned, only since 2008 was introduced the rule not to hit the back of the head. In Class A Shooto was introduced the rule of 5 minutes x 3 rounds.

In Brazil a crucial event in the Rivalry between the growing styles of BJJ and Luta Livre, more than a simple rivalry, the two styles, one with kimono and the other with nothing but shorts, also imposed a clash of classes, the rich with the poor and for this reason touched the spectators of all kinds. The boiling of rivalry began in the 80's and grew in 1991 with the Desafio event in Rio de Janeiro. The show saw three Jiu-Jitsu Fighters against Luta Livre in an attempt to determine the superior style once and for all. The competitors were: Wallid Ismail (Jiu-Jitsu) against Eugenio Tadeu (Luta Livre), Murilo Bustamante (Jiu-Jitsu) against Marcelo Mendes (Luta Livre) and Fabio Gurgel (Jiu-Jitsu) against Denilson Maia (Luta Livre). With a net 3 to 0 for Jiu-Jitsu, until 2008 the Desafio continued in its Mixed Events, but these results together with the landing in America with UFC 1 and the Gracie Family made Luta Livre almost disappear.

In 1993 Pancrase was born in Japan, from two of Antonio Inoki's students, Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki, inspired by his interstyle matches in the 70’s. Based on the name of the ancient Pancration, the rules were those of professional wrestling, moreover, closed-fist blows were allowed, with the exception of blows to the face where you hit only with the palm of the hand, no elbows, kicks or knees on the ground, there was a count of 10 seconds in case of knock down as in boxing, if the opponent was able to continue a point was subtracted, if a submission came to the ropes you had to let go, But if an adversary explicitly touched the ropes to escape the submission he was subtracted one point, if he continued to do so up to 5 times he was awarded the defeat, in untitled matches there was only one round of 15 minutes while in title matches there was only one round of 30 minutes, in case that none of the fighter won after the time the count was calculated by the judges from the lowest number of points lost, if none of the fighters had lost points the match was declared as a Draw . The Promotion Champion became "King of Pancrase". It was only in 1999 that the rules were adapted to those of Mixed Martial Arts similar to those of Pride FC but without knees to the head in the ground game. In 1993 the First event took place in Tokyo and all the machts ended by submission or KO. In 2014 the "Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts" were adopted and in 2015 Pancrase signed a partnership agreement with UFC Fight Pass remaining one of the most important acronyms in Japan and Asia.

In 1993 the UFC was born! Learn more in our next article!

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