Nearly 30 years ago, martial arts forever changed.
UFC 1 was a catalyst to forever reshape the ideology, foundation, education, approach and very make up of self-defense and the martial arts.
Simply put, the Gracie family changed the game.
Without neglecting the history of Shoot Boxing, Catch Wrestling, Pancrase, Vale Tudo and even the philosophies of individuals like Bruce Lee and other multi-martial art disciplines pre-UFC, the practice of “cross-training” wasn’t mainstream among western practitioners, nor was it thought of as something integral to becoming a successful or even competent martial artist. Historical nuances aside, this event in 1993 can be seen as a defining marker in martial arts and how the culture shifted to where it is now.
In that span of three decades, we’ve seen martial arts grow from traditional based systems, rigid, linear and structured, to the basics of mixed martial arts. Slowly dipping their toes into what it means to train in multiple disciplines, before fast forwarding only a few years, where the practice starts to culminate in the ultimate form of cross training found in the “complete martial artists” like George St. Pierre or Jon Jones.
And as mixed martial arts continued to grow and adapt, traditional styles began to die in the early years of internet forums.
The Bullshido days of MMA.