A Guide to Combat and Fighting Sports

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Pankration was a sporting event first chronicled in the 648 BC Olympic Games; a form of wrestling and boxing with barely any rules (except biting and eye-gouging). Such sporting events continued and progressed to arenas with the Roman style Gladiators often using weapons in single or group combats, even using wild animals or recreating famous battles. While various forms of fighting developed in different regions, many areas had similar types of wrestling as a sport. As time went on rules emerged for each particular brand leading to the diverse and energizing mix of sports we have today.

Punching or using fists had always been a part of combat with perhaps the earliest reference around 5,000 years ago. Through the Middle Ages bare-knuckle fighting developed as a sport known as Prizefighting. The modern age of boxing began with the Marquess of Queensberry Rules in 1867, including 3-minute rounds and use of gloves. Today amateur boxing is popular in colleges and clubs around the world and success at the Olympic Games is seen by some as a route to becoming professional. Professional boxing has seen its status fluctuate throughout the Twentieth and now Twenty-first Century. After steadily increasing in popularity from the 1920s, fighters such as Jack Dempsey, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson are still world-famous names today. Claims of corruption, multiple governing bodies and often a lack of talent has led to a decline in recent years. The prevalence of PPV title fights with little meaning further damaged credibility. But fear not as you can see all title fights and more at vipbox. Four main bodies today sanction World Title fights: IBF (International Boxing Federation); WBA ((World Boxing Association); WBC (World Boxing Council) and WBO (World Boxing Organization).

Wrestling is perhaps the oldest form of combat. From Egypt to Ancient Greece, Europe to Asia, there are depictions of wrestling everywhere often with similar rules. Today those rules have been codified into disciplines including: Greco-Roman; Freestyle and Pankration, all Olympic events. Modern Professional wrestling as organised by the WWE, for example, is highly theatrical with moves, holds and outcomes usually planned in advance. Incredibly popular, shows such as Raw and Smackdown have made superstars of their wrestlers. Be sure not to miss them by watching on vipleague.

Although martial arts can apply to any form of codified combat, when we think of Martial Arts today we usually think of Eastern Asian fighting styles. From India to China to Japan, various forms or fighting forms emerged: Shaolin Wushu; Kung Fu; Jujitsu, and the more modern Judo and Karate are some of the most famous. Today there are no rampaging monks, crafty ninjas or revenging samurai and while the pure forms of specific arts remain with various competitions and exhibitions, modern fighters have, perhaps become more ambitious. Two examples of this could be the amazing recent success and popularity of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Watch live and free streams on vip.

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