Created: Wed, 22 May 2013 04:34:24 EST
Updated: Fri, 31 May 2013 10:02:06 EST
Mixed Martial Arts is a sport that has eclipsed both wrestling and boxing in popularity and participation in its 20 years of existence.
What started as a spectator sport, became embraced by people who wanted to know how to fight, now is becoming recreational.
"It's on and off the mat, in and out of the cage, it's a new age of fighting," said Bubby Mitchell
, owner of Rush MMA
Mitchell is a professional mixed martial arts fighter and now coach. His gym is one of a very few Mixed Martial Arts gyms in central Georgia.
The relatively new sport is a mixture of multiple styles of fighting, like Wrestling, Kickboxing, and Jiu-Jitsu.
"It's also a strategy of who can mesh everything together and game plan," he describes. "It connects to a lot of people from different martial arts, now they are all being attracted to one area."
The sport is now attracting more than just fighters.
"99% of a lot of gyms clientele, they're not actual fighters, they're members," said Mitchell.
From young kids to family men and women to college students all coming with a their own personal goal in mind. Some train to compete others come for self defense and physical fitness.
"You have people from all different backgrounds that all come here and train with one common ground," said Mitchell. "They just want to better themselves."
In a sport where it seems important to study the tendencies of your opponent, participants also understand their own capabilities.
"Rather than learning about an opponent you learn about yourself," said Mitchell.
Mitchell says people interested in mixed martial arts should approach the sport through an accredited gym.
Rush MMA will host the Rush Cup BBJ Tournament at Tatnall Academy on June 8.