Boxing is a common combat sport
|Mixed gender||Yes, but primarily men|
A Combat sport, also known as a Combative sport, is a competitive contact sport where two combatants fight against each other using certain rules of engagement (usually significantly different from the rules in simulated combats meant for practice or challenge in martial arts), typically with the aim of simulating parts of real hand to hand combat. Boxing, kickboxing, amateur wrestling, mixed martial arts and fencing are examples of combat sports.
Sports related to combat skills have been a part of human culture for thousands of years. Some form of wrestling exists in almost every culture. The Ancient Olympic Games were largely composed of sports that tested skills related to combat, such as armored foot races, boxing, wrestling, pankration and chariot racing, amongst others. This tradition of combat sports was taken even further by the Romans with gladiators who would fight with weapons, sometimes to the death.
Combat sports are first recorded during the Olympic games of 648 B.C. with pankration. Pankration allowed competitors to use all striking and grappling techniques. The only rules for this sport in its origin were no biting and no eye gouging. A winner was decided by submission, unconsciousness, or even death of an opponent. It is a common occurrence for matches to last for hours. Pankration grew in popularity during the Hellenic Period. Matches were in small square arenas to promote engagement.
Through the Middle ages and Renaissance the tournament became popular, with jousting as a main event. While the tournament was popular amongst aristocrats, combative sports where practiced by all levels of society. Folk wrestling exists in many forms and in most cultures.
The creation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is attributed to the Gracie family of Brazil in 1925 after Asian martial arts were introduced to Brazil. Vale-tudo, wrestling, muay thai kickboxing and luta livre gained popularity.
Today athletes usually fight one-on-one, but may still use various skill sets such as strikes in boxing that only allows punching, taekwondo where kicks are the focus or muay thai and burmese boxing that also allow the use of elbows and knees. There are also grappling based sports that may concentrate on obtaining a superior position as in freestyle or Collegiate wrestling using throws such as in judo and Greco-Roman wrestling the use of submissions as in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Modern mixed martial arts competitions are similar to the historic Greek Olympic sport of pankration and allow a wide range of both striking and grappling techniques.
Combat sports may also be armed and the athletes compete using weapons, such as types of sword in western fencing (the foil, épée and saber) and kendo (shinai). Modern combat sports may also wear complex armour, like SCA Heavy Combat and kendo. In Modern Arnis sticks are used, sometimes representing knives, this concept has been expanded by the Dog Brothers.
List of Combat sports
- Pugilism (boxing)
- Beach wrestling
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
- Catch wrestling (Western Submission Wrestling)
- Freestyle wrestling
- Folk wrestling (numerous regional styles)
- Greco-Roman wrestling
- Luta Livre Esportiva (Brazilian Submission Wrestling)
- Mixed Martial Arts (Freestyle Fighting)
- Pankration (Ancient Greek Freestyle Fighting)
- Sanshou (Wushu)
- Shoot boxing
- Vale Tudo (No Rules Freestyle Fighting)
"A Brief History of Combat Sports - KocoSports.com." Kocosports.com: MMA NEWS, BOXING NEWS, WRESTLING NEWS, WWE, UFC, TNA, Kurt Angle, John Cena, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon, Randy Orton, DX. Web. 09 Nov. 2010. <http://www.kocosports.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=4742>.</ref>