A Historical Overview of Mixed Martial Arts in China


  • William Acevedo Independent scholar
  • Mei Cheung Independent scholar




Chinese martial arts, kung-fu, combat sports, Ultimate Fighting Championship


Mixed martial arts (MMA) has become one of the fastest-growing combat sports in the twenty-first century, drawing millions of Pay-Per-View spectators since the inception of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993. Popular conceptions have credited the creation of MMA to Bruce Lee, a Chinese-American actor and martial artist who became an icon in the 1970s and who is still considered by many as a revolutionary figure in the field. This paper will present, in chronological order, examples of ancient Chinese martial arts concepts preceding the creation of modern MMA.


Download data is not yet available.

Métricas alternativas


Acevedo, W., Cheung, M., & Hood, B. (2008, noviembre/diciembre). A lifetime dedicated to martial traditions: An interview with Professor Ma. Consulta 04/02/2010 de Kung Fu Magazine.com: http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/magazine/article.php?article=794

Birrell, A. (1993). Chinese mythology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Brownell, S. (1995). Training the body for China. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Brundage, G. (2008, enero/febrero). Beijing’s mixed martial arts. Kung Fu Taichi Magazine, pp. 14–15.

Burroughs, J. (2006, agosto). Threading a needle in the flash of lightning. Kung Fu Taichi Magazine, 48–52.

Chong, Y. (1996). Zhongyang Guoshuguan shi (La historia de la Academia Central de Artes Nacionales). Hefei, Anhui: Huangshan Press.

Henning, S. (1999, otoño). Academic encounters the Chinese martial arts. China Review International, 6(2), 319–332.

Henning, S. (2001). What’s in a name? The etymology of Chinese boxing. Journal of Asian Martial Arts, 10(4): 8–17.

Hsu, A., & Chang, B. (2010, abril). Summary of sifu Han Ching-Tan’s martial Art: Pt. 1. Consulta 02/04/2010 de Adam Hsu Kung Fu Traditional Martial Arts: http://www.adamhsu.com/articles/taiwanblog_HanChingTan. htm

Kang, G. (1995). Spring and autumn of Chinese martial arts—5000 years. Santa Cruz: Plum Publishing.

Lee, B. (1975). Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Santa Clarita, CA: Ohara Publications.

Lee, B., & Uyehara, M. (1977). Bruce Lee’s fighting method: Skill in techniques. Santa Clarita: Ohara Publications.

Lin, B. (1996). Zhongguo wushu shi (Historia de las artes marciales chinas). Taipei: Wu Zhou Publishing House.

Little, J. (1999). Bruce Lee: Artist of life. North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing.

Liu, J., Zhao, J. & Cartmell, T. (2007). Chin na fa traditional Chinese submission grappling. Berkeley, CA: Blue Snakes Books.

Ma, M. (2009, verano). Reconstructing China’s indigenous physical culture. Journal of Chinese Martial Studies, 1: 8–31.

Ma, M. (2000). Shuo jian cong gao (Discursos de la espada). Lanzhou: Lanzhou University Publishing House.

Machida, L. (2009). Machida-do karate for mixed martial arts. DVDs. Auberry, CA: Victory Belt.

McCarthy, P. (1995). The bible of karate Bubishi. North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing.

Miller, D. (1992, mayo-junio). Jiang Hao-quan and Ch’uan Shih Pa Kua Chang. Pa Kua Chang Newsletter, 2(4): 1–10.

Miller, M. (2008, 5 de mayo). Ultimate cash machine. Consulta 30/06/2010, de Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/0505/080.html

Miysaki, I. (1976). China’s examination hell. New Haven: Yale University Press. Qi, J. & Ma, M. (1560, 1980). Jixiao xinshu (Nuevo libro de la disciplina efectiva). Beijing: People’s Sports Publishing House.

Ruggieri, D. (2009, marzo). Twenty methods fighting form. Consulta 22/05/2010, de China Hand Kung Fu Academy: http://www.chinahand.com/shaolin/sl_ history/20_methods.htm

Shahar, M. (2008). The Shaolin Monastery, history, religion and the martial arts. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Shapiro, S., Shi, N., y Luo, G. (1980). Outlaws of the marsh. Beijing: Foreign Language Press.

Svinth, J. (1999, diciembre). Strenuous athletics in China, including pre-Japanese jiu-jutsu. Consulta 21/04/2010, de Journal of Non-lethal Combatives : http://ejmas.com/jnc/jncart_LitDigest_1299.htm.

Trembow, I. (2007, 1 de marzo). UFC PPV revenue tops $200 million in 2006. Consultado 30/07/2010, de MMA Weekly: http://www.mmaweekly.co/absolutenm/templates/dailynews.asp?articleid=3520&zoneid=3

Wan, L. (1984). Wushu huizong (Las bases comunes de las artes marciales). Beijing: Beijing Book Store Press.

Wan, L. (2010). Resources: articles. Consultado el 11/04/2010, de Ziranmen Natural

Style Kung Fu School: http://www.naturalstylekungfu.com/resources_fightdance.html

Webb, S. (dir.). (2009). How Bruce Lee changed the world [DVD, película]. A&E Home Video.

Wikipedia. (2010). Book of songs (chino). Consulta 26/04/2010, de http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shi_jing.

Wikipedia. (2010). Kito-ryu. Consultado el 16/05/2010, de http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kit%C5%8D-ry%C5%AB.

Wile, D. (1999). T’ai chi’s ancestors: The making of an internal martial art. Brooklyn, NY: Sweet Ch’i Press.

Ying, L., & Yan, H. (dir.). (2008). Chinese kung fu. CCTV International, New Frontiers.



How to Cite

Acevedo, W., & Cheung, M. (2012). A Historical Overview of Mixed Martial Arts in China. Revista De Artes Marciales Asiáticas, 6(2), 29–44. https://doi.org/10.18002/rama.v6i2.6