3 Main MMA Styles

The value of being an MMA fighter is the diverse tool box of moves, styles, and ideologies you have at your disposal to dominate and defeat your opponent. When you watch a master fighter at his craft, he will blend different styles together seamlessly into one continuous and powerful movement, making it look effortless and unexpectedly graceful. Yet understanding the three main MMA fighting styles are the building blocks that every fighter needs to grasp completely in order to reach this level of artistry. Read on to learn more about striking, jiu jitsu, and wrestling to elevate your game and continue to reach for mastery of this incredible sport.


When it comes to striking, you really should watch Lyoto Machida versus Rashad Evans at UFC 98 to witness this style at its best. Machida’s precision and combinations reached a level of achievement that appeared so perfect as to be closer to something you would see in a video game, not in real life. Striking combines two goals during a fight: to wear your opponent down and to knock them out. The good news is that striking is fairly easy to integrate into your current technique because the stance and posture required are the ones that you come out of your corner with: head low, hands up, and feet shoulder width apart. The variety of jabs available to the striker, from the cross to the always dramatic uppercut, give you a wide range of choices to keep your opponent guessing and help you surprise him when he isn’t looking with a carefully placed fake. Striking is a must for all serious MMA fighters, and something we teach heavily in our Mixed Martial Arts San Diego classes.

Jiu Jitsu

Since the first Gracie stepped into the ring and whipped out their
unparalleled jiu jitsu technique, this fighting style has been a staple of all successful mixed martial artist’s playbook. Focusing on grappling and ground fighting, jiu jitsu techniques provide fail-proof ways to dominate and submit your opponent. From a variety of full control mounts to chokeholds, the skilled jiu jitsu fighter has a dangerous skill set at his disposal to claim victory over the largest and most intimidating opponent.


Just about every big name in MMA has a solid wrestling background. Why? Because the unique combination of throws, takedowns, mounts, pins, and clinches makes it a veritable Cliff’s Notes on how to earn a victory, by skill or by brute force. Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans, and Brandon Vera use wrestling as a cornerstone of their ground game, just to name a few. And of course, the man who built his MMA career on his wrestling skills, Matt Hughes, provides great examples of how integral wrestling is to a successful game strategy.

Yet while all of these styles individually have their strengths and benefits to a fighter’s game, overall success and victory only comes from integrating all three together to create a strategy that is multifaceted and technically strong. Truly great mixed martial artists, like Anderson Silva, prove time and time that the only way to ensure a fool-proof victory strategy and a reputation as a feared opponent is to be well rounded in all of these incredible fighting styles. Identify which you need to polish, and then use it to up your game and take it to the next level.

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