There are a great number of martial arts; jiu-jitsu, Thai boxing, karate, Kung fu are but a few. All these disciplines take years of dedicated training and practice before one is ready to take on an opponent in a no-holds barred match. When this happens the experience practitioner of a specific martial art can enter a MMA ring where he will be involved in a combat sport which mixes techniques from all the various martial arts.
MMA, although it was not called that, has been around for many years, it was Bruce Lee who made the sport popular by creating a style that combined many different martial arts, everything from stand up boxing to fencing was involved. In 1992 the sport became recognized in the US and at that time the organization got serious about rules and protective gear, it was then that the fighters first started using MMA hand wraps and gloves.
Although there are still few rules for this sport; there are certainly rules to provide certain protections for the combatants. Prior to recognition of MMA as a sport, it was a brutal where the well being of the fighter was always in jeopardy. The current rules put a stop to such tactics as head butts, eye gouging and biting. Head on attacks to certain areas of the body are also prohibited; the groin, kidneys and trachea are off limits to the combatants. Protective equipment such as mouth guards, mitts and MMA hand wraps also add element of protection for the fighters.
During any mixed martial arts fight you will see the three methods being used; stand-up, clinch and floor fighting. When the fighters are standing up they will kick, knee and elbow as well as punch. Once the opponent has been grounded, the fighters use grappling holds and in clinch fighting the fighter attempts to hold the opponent which either allows him to gain dominance or to avoid being hit.
During the fight combatants wear MMA hand wraps and small gloves which are often open fingered but not always. These gloves have a padded back similar to boxing gloves but are lighter and less padded. The gloves that they wear are different depending on the type of fight they are engaged in and the weight category the fight in.