Mixed Martial Arts: History, Physiology and Training Aspects

Tácito P. Souza-Junior1, *, Bernardo N. Ide2, Jeffer E. Sasaki3, Rafael F. Lima1, Cesar C. C. Abad4, Richard D. Leite5, Marcelo P. Barros1, 6, Allan C. Utter7
1 Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, P.R. Brazil
2 Department of Biochemistry, State University of Campinas, Campinas, SP, Brazil
3 Department of Sport Sciences, Federal University of Triangulo Mineiro, Uberaba, MG, Brazil
4 InCor, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
5 Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Maranhão, São Luís, MA, Brazil
6 Institute of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Cruzeiro do Sul, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
7 Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, USA

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Creative Commons License
© 2015 K. Souza-Junior et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Universidade Federal do Paraná – UFPR, Centro de Pesquisa em Exercício e Esporte – CEPEE, Grupo de Pesquisa em Metabolismo, Nutrição e Treinamento de Força – GPMENUTF, Rua Coração de Maria, 92 - Curitiba/PR, BR 116, km 95 - Campus Jardim Botânico, CEP: 80210-132, Brazil; Tel: (41) 3360-4325; E-mails:,



The purpose of this study was to review current knowledge on exercise physiology and sports training that can be applied to develop training programs for Mixed Martial Arts.


A non-systematic literature review was conducted to search for articles related to history, physiology and training of Mixed Martial Arts and other Martial Arts such as Judo, Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, and Karate. A review on aerobic, anaerobic, strength and power training was also conducted and directly related to Mixed Martial Arts training.


There is scarce scientific information about training methods and physiological responses to specific efforts in Mixed Martial Arts. Many studies were reviewed and meaningful information on physiology and training were summarized for application in Mixed Martial Arts.


The present study provides a review on important physiology and training aspects for successful preparation of Mixed Martial Arts athletes.

Keywords: Combat sports, Mixed Martial Arts training, Mixed Martial Arts Physiology.