You probably have a general idea of what Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is. It has surged in popularity in recent years, spawning mixed martial arts stars as a result. But what exactly is MMA and is it for you? Empire Self Defense and Fitness in Albany, NY, will answer these questions in this blog post.


Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) a full-contact combat sport with the goal of overcoming your opponent. Like its name implies, it is a mix of various other martial arts forms using three general tactics: striking, holds, and control. Grappling is allowed as well as common other martial arts techniques, such as punches, kicks, joint-locks, chokes, takedowns, and throws. Winners are usually determined by knockout, concession, or a referee stops the match. MMA used to be known as NHB, or No Holds Barred, which is fitting, but no longer in use.


As a discipline and a sport, Mixed Martial Arts is in its infancy. The origins are in the early 1990s when wrestlers took an interest in Jiu-Jitsu. This was the first step in cross-training as wrestlers had no experience from a standing position and Jiu-Jitsu had to learn ground techniques. Elements of Muay Thai were thrown in and the result harkened back to the ancient Greeks and the Olympics and a sport called Pankration. Pankration was an event with basically no rules and no fighting instruments involved. A fighter could not bite and could not gouge out his opponent’s eyes.


  • Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training is the complete package. Kickboxing teaches you how to kick. Boxing teaches you how to punch, but is useless with ground fighting. Kickboxing teaches you how to kick, but is useless in ground fighting as well. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches you how to grapple someone to the ground, but if they fight standing, you’ll be overpowered. Wrestling builds strength, but has too many rules to ever win a fight. Mixed Martial Arts covers all the skills you’ll need to win a fight.
  • MMA will teach you self-defense. Equipped with the ability to handle anything an opponent throws at you, MMA will equip you for real-life attackers who attempt to use everything to subdue you and often fight with no rules.
  • Mixed Martial Arts is a huge stress reliever. We are all human. There are times in our lives (sometimes daily) when we feel angered, and we fight the urge to do physical harm to others. MMA is your outlet that allows you to use all your effort to hone your skills and fight in a controlled environment, affording you the release your body and mind need.
  • MMA is an amazing, total-body workout. Mixed Martial Arts will aid in weight loss with its cardio intensity as well as muscle tone as you build strength.

Empire Self Defense and Fitness in Albany, NY, offers mixed martial arts classes for everyone. The ultimate in athletic training, MMA classes will challenge you in mind and body. You’ll gain discipline and confidence during classes that will translate to all areas of your mind. You’ll feel better and look better. You’ll be less stressed, have restful sleep, and energized for your day. MMA classes will encourage your desire to compete and give you the opportunity to win. Plus, here at Empire Self Defense and Fitness in Albany we’re a family. You’ll form friendships that will last a lifetime. Contact us today for our MMA class schedule and try a free introductory class now!