If you’re thinking about taking up martial arts, it’s a decision that could change your life. Martial arts is one of the greatest fitness and lifestyle programs available and will not only get you in the best shape possible but also empower you with the knowledge of self-defense.
- The benefits of martial arts training are boundless.
- From rapid and dramatic weight loss, to increases in focus and sharpness, to acquiring leadership skills and developing social interaction, martial arts is a holistic approach to health and fitness — one that will impact your existence far beyond the reaches of the gym.
To truly unlock its power, however, you must first make the decision to step onto the mats and discover your true capabilities as a human being. But sometimes, it can be daunting to begin a new fitness program. What Martial Art Should I Learn? With so much ground to cover in martial arts, people often find it difficult to identify a starting point.
Where do we begin? Of course, not all martial arts are created equal. Each discipline has its own unique characteristics and philosophies, and different methodologies of hand-to-hand combat. If you are into striking, you should definitely start with boxing and Muay Thai. If you are more of a grappler, then Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling would be what you are looking for.5 Of The Best Martial Arts Disciplines: 1) Boxing Also known as ‘The Sweet Science’, boxing is one of the oldest and most efficient combat sports in existence.
Tracing its origins from as early as 1600 B.C., boxing utilizes punches, footwork, and head movement, encompassing the basic principles of self-defense. The name of the game in boxing is to hit without getting hit (as a beginner you will train the basic fundamentals first before later advancing to live sparring).
- This means that practitioners are taught to deliver their strongest punches with the intent of incapacitating opponents through knockouts,
- Through proper body mechanics, boxing is an efficient way to work the upper body and the legs.
- Although most of the movements involve the arms, the shoulders, and the upper torso, a lot of focus is placed on good footwork as well, allowing boxers to move fluidly across an enclosed space.
Furthermore, boxing is both an aerobic and an anaerobic exercise, training your cardiovascular strength while increasing your lung capacity. Those who are looking at really rapid weight-loss can begin training in boxing because the sheer amount and intensity of training is guaranteed to burn copious amounts of calories.
In a safe, controlled environment, you can study the art of pugilism with a focus on technique and proper movement.2) Muay Thai Also known as Thai boxing, Muay Thai was developed over thousands of years and was well-incorporated in Thailand’s military forces as a means to provide the army with invaluable hand-to-hand and close quarters combat skills.
It is one of the most powerful and effective martial arts in the world. Muay Thai is known for its tremendous power, maximum efficiency, and raw simplicity. Muay Thai utilizes a beautiful symphony of kicks, punches, knees, and elbows with fluidity and grace.
It is often referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” because it uses nearly the entire body as weapons, all eight limbs. Furthermore, Muay Thai is an incredibly popular sport and has been for years, A great emphasis is placed on proper kicking technique, utilizing the full weight of the body to generate power from the base of the legs and delivered with swiftness and accuracy.
It is also immensely popular as a fitness program because it makes use of virtually every muscle group, maximizing the efficiency of energy expenditure. If you’re looking to lose a significant amount of weight and gain lean muscle, then Muay Thai could be for you.
A single one-hour Muay Thai session can burn up to a whopping 1,000 calories, making it one of the fastest and safest ways to get in shape.3) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu If striking isn’t your cup of tea, why not explore the art of grappling? Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that focuses primarily on grappling and ground fighting.
It is one of the most effective self-defense disciplines to be used in one-on-one combat. Born from Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was developed by founders Carlos and Helio Gracie of the world-renowned Gracie fighting family, The discipline uses leverage and body weight to gain advantageous positions while ” rolling ” on the mat.
- Through careful execution of techniques, the arms and legs are used to source submission maneuvers with the goal of forcing opponents into disadvantaged positions where they are rendered defenseless and incapacitated.
- A variety of different styles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu exist, but in its purest form consists of various chokehold and joint lock submissions, as well as positional techniques and ground control.
The objective of training is to obtain mastery of ground control and submissions. If you desire to learn a scientific and highly-technical form of martial arts, give Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a try, Those who love to study and learn new things could get hooked on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
- Even more, it is a great workout that also helps strengthen the muscles and develop the core.4) Wrestling Wrestling is one of the oldest martial arts that has existed since the time of ancient France, first making an appearance in cave drawings some 15,000 years ago.
- Babylonian and Egyptian artifacts have shown ancient wrestlers performing techniques that modern-day practitioners use in the present-day sport.
Wrestling involves various types of grappling techniques, clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, and pins. It is the art of gaining superior position on an opponent and rendering them incapacitated by using one’s own body weight as leverage.
- Wrestling is so effective, that it is one of the most widely-practiced martial arts today, with different martial arts also incorporating many of its methodologies.
- Similar to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, those who are looking to focus more on the technical aspect of ground fighting should give wrestling a try.
Learn how to use and position your body to gain a tactical advantage over any opponent with superior positioning. Understand how to close the distance on a rangy opponent, bring them down to the ground, and utilize your techniques to claim victory. Wrestling requires incredible full-body strength and will develop all the major muscle groups while melting away lots of fat to give you a lean, chiseled physique.5) Mixed Martial Arts If you’re not sure which martial art to take up, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gives you a taste of every single one of them.
- From striking to grappling, MMA trains all methodologies of combat disciplines, bringing together Muay Thai, boxing, Brazilian-Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, and many others into a fluid and seamless fighting style that merges the best of all worlds.
- Learning the fundamentals of various martial arts disciplines through the practice of MMA is challenging yet exhilarating.
MMA first came to mainstream prominence nearly two decades ago, and today has become the fastest growing sport in the world. Many people choose to practice MMA because it is believed to be the purest form of unarmed combat known to man. It will provide you with the best techniques in self-defense, equipping you with the ability to protect yourself in both stand-up and ground skirmishes.
- Because it also encompasses the strength and conditioning of various disciplines, combining the fast-paced striking techniques of boxing and Muay Thai with the art of grappling in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling, MMA training will get you in shape quickly and efficiently.
- Those looking for the ultimate full-body workout experience need to look no further.
So, no matter what type of workout you’re looking for or what type of self-defense system interests you, there’s a martial art for you. Give martial arts a go and begin your journey by booking a complimentary trial class today! Book your complimentary trial class with our World Champions below! If you have any other questions regarding Evolve MMA and the programs we offer, you can get in touch with our membership executives at the following locations: Evolve MMA (Far East Square) 26 China Street Far East Square #01-01 Singapore 049568 Phone: (65) 6536 4525 Evolve MMA (Orchard Central) 181 Orchard Road #06-01 Orchard Central Singapore 238896 Phone: (65) 6536 4556 Evolve MMA (KINEX) 11 Tanjong Katong Road #02-52 KINEX Singapore 437157 Phone: (65) 6288 2293 Evolve MMA (Clarke Quay Central) 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #04-18 Clarke Quay Central Singapore 059817 Phone: (65) 6226 2150
What is the easiest fighting sport?
Muay Thai – Muay Thai (Kickboxing) is arguably one of the easiest to learn and a great starting point for beginners. Muay Thai focuses on the clinch technique this is also useful for judo and wrestling. Techniques that are integral to Muay Thai are knee strikes, punches and kicks.
- With practice, they will become a weapon in your arsenal to use as self-defence, unless you’re in a competitive fight or sparing situation.
- Sparring is an integral part of MMA having a willing partner to engage is a necessity.
- I said easy, but in MMA, months of practice is required with any of the combat styles.
You’ll need several months, multiple sessions a week, and a lot of patience to grasp this fine art.
What sport is good for street fighting?
1. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) – MMA is often seen as a sport closest to legal street fighting. It is a mix of only the most effective grappling and striking techniques from various martial arts that works really well in real life. Compared with other arts, it is an all-around system that prepares you to fight in any place and against any style. Source With MMA training, you won’t learn just a single martial art style. Instead, MMA consists of various grappling and striking techniques mixed into one combat system. These techniques have been battle-proven in MMA matches and they all work in real life as well. Here is the list of martial arts you will learn:
Muay ThaiWrestlingBoxingBrazilian jiu-jitsu
This mix of four different styles prepares you for any type of scenario you may encounter on the streets. Whether you must defend yourself in a bar, parking lot, or a room, as a trained MMA fighter, you will have plenty of weapons to apply. MMA might be the perfect choice for street fighting.
But we have to point out it is limited in certain areas. Training MMA won’t prepare you for some dirty techniques like eye-gouging or how to defend against multiple assailants. We go more into how to fight against multiple opponents here, But in one on one scenarios, it is by far the most useful fighting style on the planet.
Pros: – MMA techniques are versatile enught to prepare you for most fighting scenarios – It teaches a person to fight standing up, in the clinch and on the ground – You will become an expert in multiple fighting styles which is great for street fighting – MMA sparring and matches are very similar to fighting on the street Cons: – MMA doesn’t teach you how to fight against weapons, multiple assailants or dirty techniques – Even though it covers all areas of fighting, it won’t help you in all street settings We have a chat room! (We use Discord) join here
What is the hardest fight sport?
Chosen by ESPN as the hardest sport in the world—and routinely landing on the top 10 lists of the toughest sports in the world by other prominent rankings— boxing is universally recognized as a crazy-hard sport.
What is the highest paying fighting sport?
Wrestling – Wrestling is one of the oldest combat sports ever since ancient times. Two wrestlers grapple each other to force their opponent to surrender, touch the ground, or get pinned. Wrestling is physically demanding and requires a lot of strength, technique, and energy.
What sport is harder UFC or boxing?
Ken Hackman/MSgt. Ed Boyce via Wikimedia Commons Mixed martial arts (MMA) has a reputation for being vicious and violent that has been tough to shake. Fighters often leave the ring with blood dripping from their faces; last year, celebrity and champion Ronda Rousey told a radio host that, “the pretty girls are the ones you need to look out for,” because they’re the ones that don’t get hit.
- But according to a recent study from researchers at the University of Alberta and published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, boxing is the tougher sport.
- That’s because of the types of injuries that are most common in each, based on post-fight medical examinations.
- The data in the study was compiled with data collected from medical examinations of 1,181 MMA fighters and 550 boxers who fought matches in Edmonton, Canada between 2003 and 2013.
The researchers found that while MMA fighters were more likely to get injured—about 60 percent of them had injuries after matches, compared to about 50 percent of boxers—boxers were the worse for the wear because of the kinds of injuries they received.
Boxers had more severe injuries—broken bones, serious eye injuries—and lots of head injuries, such as a concussion or losing consciousness during a match. And while some MMA fighters also had head injuries or lost consciousness, most of their injuries were cuts or contusions. “Most of the blood you see in mixed martial arts is from bloody noses or facial cuts; it doesn’t tend to be as severe but looks a lot worse than it actually is,” said Shelby Karpman, a sports medicine physician and an author of the study, in a press release,
The researchers didn’t speculate as to why the injuries varied, but the types of gloves that fighters wear (boxing gloves are thick and padded, MMA gloves are thinner with the fingers exposed) might affect the types of injuries that are most common–a topic of some debate among officials.
- Because of the severity of their injuries, boxers were more likely to receive a suspension due to injuries from previous matches.
- But, interestingly, the study authors point out that MMA fighters don’t receive enough medical attention because of their reputation as overly violent athletes.
- That might mean that some MMA injuries have gone unreported, or their severity underplayed, even though the study looked at twice as many MMA fighters than boxers.
With any mention of head injuries these days comes the discussion of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease that researchers have connected to the repeated head trauma experienced by professional football players. There’s little long-term data on the frequency of CTE in boxers ; there are a few more studies done on MMA fighters, and the brain trauma does appear to be fairly common in both boxing and MMA.
How can I learn to fight?
Download Article Download Article Whether you want to fight in the ring or just stay prepared in case of a street fight, training and staying fit will better your chances at winning. When you want to train for a fight, you’ll first need to build your muscles and strength to take down your opponents.
- 1 Try interval training to get the most out of your workouts. Interval training involves alternating between short high-intensity and long low-intensity activities to make your workouts more effective. When you develop your workout routine, look for activities that push your limits and are difficult to complete and plan to do them in 30-second bursts.
- For example, you may incorporate 30 seconds of jogging or sprinting followed by 3-4 minutes of brisk walking. Continue alternating between them until you finish your workout.
- Aim to exercise at least 4-5 days each week with interval training.
- Interval training also allows you to burn more calories than a regular workout.
- 2 Practice cardio exercises to increase your endurance. Doing frequent cardio workouts prevents you from getting winded during a fight and boosts how long you last against your opponent. Incorporate exercises such as running, swimming, or cycling into your weekly routine so you can stay fit.
- Aim to do cardio for 45-60 minutes at least 2-3 times per week.
- If you’re at a gym or have the equipment, you can also include using a treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, or stepping machine for your cardio workout.
- 3 Build your arm muscles by doing curls with low weights. Strengthening your arms allows you to throw more powerful punches and block hits better. Keep your arms straight down at your sides and hold dumbbells in each hand. Make sure the weight of the dumbbells is easy for you to lift repeatedly without getting tired.
- Aim to do 3 sets of 15-20 reps for your workout.
Tip: Using heavy weights will increase your muscle mass more, but using light weights help you build up your speed and get more power from your hits.
- 4 Exercise your legs and core by doing lunges, Stand up straight with your arms at your side and take a large step forward with one foot. As you step forward, bend your knees until your front leg forms a 90-degree angle. Pause for 1 count before standing upright again. Alternate which leg you use after each lunge to get a balanced workout.
- Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 lunges.
- You can choose to do lunges with your bodyweight or you can hold dumbbells to make them more difficult.
- 5 Do push-ups to develop your arms and core. Lay in a plank position on the floor and plant your palms are slightly wider than your shoulders. Straighten your arms to raise yourself off the ground so your back stays straight. Lower yourself slowly toward the ground until your elbows form a 90-degree angle and hold the position for 1 count.
- Aim to do 2-3 sets of 15-20 push-ups for your workout.
- If standard push-ups are too hard, put your knees on the ground to make them easier.
- If you want to make your push-ups more difficult, move your body in a circular motion as you lower yourself to the ground to activate your core even more.
- 6 Incorporate jump squats into your routine to exercise your legs. Stand so your back is straight and your feet are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees until they form a 90-degree angle to lower your body closer to the ground while you keep your back straight.
- Do 2-3 sets of 15-20 jump squats to get a good leg workout.
- Building up your leg strength allows you to move more quickly and throw more powerful kicks.
- Squat using 1 leg at a time if you want to make them more difficult.
- You can choose to do bodyweight squats or hold dumbbells if you want to increase the weight.
- 7 Practice doing burpees to get a full-body workout. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your side. Keep your back straight as you bend your knees until they’re at a 90-degree angle. Plant your palms on the ground in front of you and move your feet behind you to get into a plank position.
- Aim to do 2-3 sets of 10-15 burpees.
- 8 Do dips to work out your arms, chest, and back. Hold your body up on parallel bars so your arms are fully extended and your feet are off the ground. Bend your elbows until they’re at a 90-degree angle to lower your body and activate your chest, back, and tricep muscles. Hold the pose for 1 count before lifting yourself back up again.
- Try doing 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps when you do dips.
- Wear a weighted belt or ankle weights if you want to make the exercise more difficult.
- If you don’t have access to parallel bars, you can also do dips using a bench instead.
- 1 Take self-defense or martial arts classes if you want to learn a specific style. Studying a specific form of self-defense or martial arts allows you to focus on a single method of fighting so you can master the techniques. Taking a class also lets you have a coach or trainer that can help you with your form and give you additional tips.
- Pick boxing if you want to focus on footwork and punches.
- Try Muay Thai, or kickboxing, to incorporate punches and kicks into your fights.
- Practice Brazilian jiu jitsu if you want to try takedowns and grappling.
- Choose karate if you want to practice a more traditional martial art.
- 2 Practice throwing punches on a punching bag. Punching is one of the most common techniques in fighting and is used in all forms of martial arts. Stand within arm’s reach of the punching bag, and make your hands into tight fists in front of your face.
- When you’re in a fight, aim for your opponent’s face or stomach since these are vulnerable areas.
- If you want to try throwing a hook, lock your wrist and swing at your opponent from the side.
- Alternate which arms you punch with to practice putting them together into different combinations.
Tip: If you don’t have a punching bag, practice shadow boxing to improve your form and technique. You can try shadow boxing with weights as well if you want to make it more of a workout.
- 3 Work on body kicks so you’re more versatile in a fight. Stand with your nondominant leg in front of you and your body turned to the side. Twist your nondominant foot away from your other leg to spin your body toward your opponent. As you spin, lift your dominant leg and aim your kick with your knee. Just as you’re about to make contact, extend your dominant leg straight to get the most power.
- Practice kicking at different heights on a punching bag or dummy so you can land kicks on your opponent’s chest or head.
- 4 Learn how to block hits so you don’t get hurt as much. Protect your head from punches and kicks by keeping your arms up in front of your face. When you see your opponent coming for a hit, tuck your head down closer to your chest and use your forearms to deflect the hit. Make sure you always keep your eyes on your opponent so you can watch their next movement and prepare for the attack.
- Alternatively, if your opponent swings at you, you can try pushing your forearm into the crook of their elbow to prevent the blow from hitting you. This works well if your opponent is attacking you with a weapon.
- 5 Find a sparring partner if you want to practice fighting with another person. While practicing with a punching bag or a dummy works well for developing technique, fighting against a human opponent can help you get real experience. Ask other people that you train with or a coach to spar with you so you can work on blocking hits and protecting yourself.
- Don’t use your full power while you’re sparring with someone since you could seriously injure them.
- 1 Include protein in your diet to promote healthy muscle growth. Protein is an important nutrient that supports your bone and muscle health so you stay strong. Look for lean sources of protein, such as fish, chicken, eggs, and beans, to include in your diet so your muscles continue to grow. When you choose to snack, look for high protein options, such as Greek yogurt, jerky, or nuts.
- To determine how many grams of protein to include in your diet, multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.36. For example, a person that weighs 130 pounds (59 kg) needs 46.8 grams of protein.
- 2 Eat dark leafy greens and vegetables to get the nutrients you need. Dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and arugula, all provide you with vitamins and minerals that are important for promoting heart health so you can last longer in a fight. You can also include other vegetables, such as onions, tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots into your diet for additional vitamins and minerals.
- Try other vegetables in your diet, like brussel sprouts, asparagus, and peppers for additional nutrients.
- Vegetables can also give you more energy so your endurance is higher while you’re fighting.
- 3 Choose complex carbs instead of simple carbs. Complex carbs haven’t been stripped of nutrients or vitamins and offer a healthier option than refined carbs. Look for whole grains, such as wheat bread, wild rice, or quinoa and include at least 2-3 servings of them in your diet each day. You can also get carbs from fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and nuts.
- Avoid processed foods and sugars since they aren’t as nutritious as other meals.
- 4 Incorporate healthy fats into your diet. Healthy fats give you more energy and help reduce your hunger and help you lose weight if you’re trying to get fit. Healthy fats include peanut butter, avocados, salmon, beans, and nuts, so you can incorporate them into any meal throughout the day.
- Avoid having food high in trans fat or saturated fat, such as fried foods, butter, red meat, and salty snack foods.
- 5 Drink water so you stay hydrated. Training for a fight can cause you to sweat and lose water, so it’s important to replenish your body so you don’t get dehydrated. Aim to have at least 12 cups (2.8 L) of water a day to maintain a healthy level in your body. You may need to have more water each day depending on the weather and how intense you’re training.
- Avoid having sugary or caffeinated drinks since they can dehydrate you more.
Add New Question
- Question How do you train yourself to fight at home? Ross Cascio is a Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense, fitness, and fight instructor. He has been training and teaching Krav Maga self-defense, fitness, and fight classes at the Krav Maga Worldwide HQ Training Centers in Los Angeles, CA for over 15 years. He helps people become stronger, safer, and healthier through Krav Maga Worldwide training. Self Defense Trainer Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. You could try watching some YouTube tutorials or something, but you really aren’t going to make a ton of progress without a teacher guiding and correcting you. You have to take classes if you really want to learn how to fight effectively.
- Question What’s the best martial art for self-defense? Ross Cascio is a Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense, fitness, and fight instructor. He has been training and teaching Krav Maga self-defense, fitness, and fight classes at the Krav Maga Worldwide HQ Training Centers in Los Angeles, CA for over 15 years. He helps people become stronger, safer, and healthier through Krav Maga Worldwide training. Self Defense Trainer Expert Answer
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Always stretch when you’re finished working out so you can stay flexible and prevent muscle damage.
Don’t start or get into fights if you don’t need to. Only fight if you need to protect yourself or if you’re in a competition.
Advertisement Article Summary X The best way to train for a fight is to develop a workout regimen that combines cardio, weightlifting, and core exercises. Eat foods heavy in protein to develop your muscle. Practice throwing a punch and develop jabbing, hooking, and uppercutting techniques.
What is the 2 highest paying sport?
Highest Paying Sports in the World Basketball is the highest paid sport in the world, with the average annual salary in the NBA in 2023 being nearly $10.5 million. This is more than double the average salary in the NFL, which sits in second place at $4.5 million.
Who is the richest athlete in the world?
Highest-Paid Athletes of All Time: Michael Jordan Leads Star-Studded List Last month, passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time, It marked another notch in his resume in the ongoing debate on whether he or is the league’s G.O.A.T. But on the financial scoreboard, MJ is still the clear champ—and the gap is growing.
- Since he was drafted in 1984, Jordan has earned an estimated $3.3 billion when adjusted for inflation, more than any other athlete in the history of sports; the tally is $2.37 billion unadjusted.
- James ranks sixth overall at $1.53 billion after factoring inflation—he is fourth on a nominal level at $1.23 billion, by Sportico ’s count.
(Click for the full list of 50.) James was the world’s in 2022 after bringing in $127 million, but that list only reflects active athletes. Jordan out-earned all of them with an estimated $180 million, almost entirely from Nike. The Nike-Jordan partnership was born in 1984 and helped turn the Swoosh from a barely profitable enterprise with $920 million in revenue, to a $49 billion sportswear giant with a market value of $187 billion. Jordan has grossed roughly $1.8 billion from Nike, not factoring inflation, since that first contract, negotiated by David Falk for $500,000 a year plus royalties.
It represents 75% of MJ’s career earnings, and the annual check has ballooned with the growth of the brand over the past decade. Jordan also has maintained endorsement relationships in retirement with Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck and 2K Sports. Interest in the Nike-Jordan origin story is such that four decades later—and 20 years after Jordan put away his high tops for good—it has been retold in a feature-length film called that will reach theaters in April.
Ben Affleck stars as Nike co-founder Phil Knight, while Matt Damon is Sonny Vaccaro, a legend in the basketball sneaker game and the person who recruited a reluctant MJ to Nike. “The deal was a gamechanger for Nike and sports in general,” Henry Schafer, an executive at the Q Scores Company, said in a phone interview.
- It opened up doors for athletes to generate significant income and brought to life the value of celebrity endorsers.
- Jordan was a trendsetter.” Schafer’s polling shows 20% of Americans six and older still tab MJ as one of their favorite personalities, producing a Q Score of 26, tied for No.1 among all athletes.
Only has a higher awareness level than Jordan’s 77%, but Woods’ negative ratings push his Q Score to a below-average 10. The Jordan Brand is a separate division of Nike and generated $5.1 billion in revenue for the fiscal year ending May 2022. It was a 7% increase compared to 2021, versus 1% growth for the company overall.
- Jordan sales are up 79% over the past four years.
- Jordan is the only former player to become the majority owner of an NBA franchise, a path that James and Kevin Durant have both said they want to follow.
- In addition to the Hornets, MJ has also built up his equity portfolio with stakes in his 23XI Racing team, Cincoro tequila, eponymous steak houses and companies such as DraftKings, Sportradar and Dapper Labs.
Jordan’s net worth is $1.7 billion, according to Forbes, Like Jordan, LeBron has maximized his off-court game to join the three-comma club. James has made roughly $415 million in player salary over 20 NBA seasons, but he has been the league’s highest-paid player only once during that time.
Jordan had the top salary only twice and made a combined $90 million during 15 seasons. His NBA salaries represent 4% of his career earnings. James shills for a deep roster of companies, including Nike, AT&T, GMC and PepsiCo, but his net worth has also soared with his investments. He and longtime business manager Maverick Carter built SpringHill Company—which includes production company SpringHill Entertainment, media platform Uninterrupted and brand consultancy Robot—into a thriving business that enticed a consortium led by RedBird Capital Partners to a minority stake in 2021 at a $725 million valuation.
The four-time NBA MVP holds stakes in Calm, Blaze Pizza, Ladder/Openfit, Lobos 1707 tequila and Fenway Sports Group. Jordan and James lead a group of 13 NBA players in the top 50 earners of all time, more than any sport. Basketball players benefit from skyrocketing salaries and rich sneaker deals that dwarf what an NFL or MLB player can earn.
- Eight golfers landed in the top 50, including the three athletes ranked directly behind Jordan: Woods ($2.5 billion inflation-adjusted), Arnold Palmer ($1.7 billion) and Jack Nicklaus ($1.63 billion).
- Golfers benefit from decades-long careers, and the sport’s biggest stars remain popular pitchmen long after their biggest victories.
Palmer was earning nearly $40 million a year from endorsements and licensing his name when he died in 2016 at 87 years old. It was 43 years after his last PGA Tour win and 28 years from his final title on the PGA Tour Champions, formerly Senior PGA Tour. Another advantage for elite golfers: diverse revenue streams, including prize money, endorsements, appearance fees and course design work. Nicklaus Design has been the architect for 425 courses around the world. Boxing landed seven entries, thanks to the massive pay-per-view scores for the sport’s biggest attractions.
- Floyd Mayweather ($1.41 billion) claimed the top spot for boxers in large part because he kept a bigger slice of the pie as both promotor and fighter for his bouts during the second half of his career.
- Racing—including F1, NASCAR, and MotoGP—landed six athletes, led by Michael Schumacher at No.11 with $1.31 billion.
All together, the Top 50 have earned a combined $45.9 billion when adjusted for inflation and $33.2 billion on a nominal basis. They represent nine different sports and 17 countries. Americans make up 62% of the list. Fifteen athletes have reached $1 billion on an inflation-adjusted basis, with Greg Norman at $1 billion even.
The Shark’s business empire involved apparel, wine, restaurants, turf, course design and more, before he became CEO of LIV Golf. Eight athletes earned 10-figures without adjusting for inflation. The latest is Phil Mickelson, who hit the mark after his reported $200 million signing bonus for joining LIV.
Serena Williams is the only woman to make the cut, coming in at No.38 and $600 million in 2023 dollars. The recently retired 23-time Grand Slam champion is the WTA’s all-time prize money leader with $95 million but has earned the bulk of her income off the court through dozens of endorsements deals, including those with Nike, AT&T, Beats, Ford Motor, Gatorade and Subway.
Not included in the estimate are earnings from Serena Ventures, which she founded in 2014 and which has made more than 60 investments. Williams ranked second among the world’s last year at $35 million, behind Naomi Osaka ($53 million). Our earnings estimates are based on conversations with industry insiders, Sportico research and historical estimates in media outlets, such as Forbes and Sports Illustrated,
Earnings include salaries, bonuses, prize money, purses, endorsements, licensing, royalties, memorabilia, book deals, media, appearances and golf course design fees. We included cash earned from equity stakes in sponsor companies, like James’ stake in Beats Electronics, Durant’s share of Postmates and James Harden’s piece of BodyArmor.
- We did not factor in traditional investment income.
- Sportico included earnings during playing careers and retirement through 2022 and adjusted them for inflation.
- Earnings are calculated up until the time of death for Palmer and Kobe Bryant.
- All earnings are pre-tax and before any fees for agents and lawyers.
: Highest-Paid Athletes of All Time: Michael Jordan Leads Star-Studded List
What is the most paying job?
|OCCUPATION||2021 MEDIAN PAY|
|Physicians, pathologists||Equal to or greater than $208,000 per year|
|Psychiatrists||Equal to or greater than $208,000 per year|
|Radiologists||Equal to or greater than $208,000 per year|
|Surgeons, all other||Equal to or greater than $208,000 per year|
What is the most primal sport?
The Bloody, Deadly, Heavy Fights of Ancient Greece Fighting sports have long been considered primitive, and to a certain extent, that belief is true. Fighting may be one of the most primal of human activities after eating, sleeping, and sex. It is easy to imagine the earliest species of hominids swinging at each other over left-over meat or a closer proximity to the fire.
But although we can only speculate as to the validity of this scenario, historical evidence exists that proves fighting was indeed considered sport in the ancient world. Wall paintings in Egypt from 2000 B.C.E. depict groups of men practicing various wrestling techniques. Artwork and pottery provide some of the earliest accounts of boxing and wrestling: a beautifully preserved sixteenth century B.C.E.
fresco dubbed “Boxing Boys” from the island of Santorini shows two young men with long dreaded hair and a small loin cloth punching each other at very close quarters. A fragment of a Mycenaenan pot circa 1300-1200 B.C.E. found in Cypress features two stylized male figures striking at each other with extended arms.
Nearly every society, existing and extinct, has a martial art or a folk fighting style practiced by certain portions of its citizenry. The ancient Greeks are most often trotted out in reference to historical fighting sports, not necessarily because they practiced it more than other nations or dynasties, but because the Greeks were prolific writers, obsessed with their own history, and their place in the world.
Ancient Greece, in particular, celebrated the combat sports practiced by their athletes as the embodiment of their most cherished cultural codes. Combat sports demonstrated athletic prowess, bravery, power, determination—they did not shy away from violence, or capitulate to an enemy.
Wrestling, boxing, and the Pankration were called barea athla, the ‘heavy events,’ because the sports were dominated by large, strong men, for there were no weight-classes in antiquity. The combat triad were also heavy in that participants were engaging in the most violent form of athletics at the time.
Death was not unheard of and in fact, the ancient Olympic Games held that an athlete was free of legal responsibility were he to kill his opponent during a match. Boxing, wrestling, and the Pankration were three distinct sports, each with their own stable of fighters and fans.
Numerous fighters, however, were multi-disciplinary, competing in boxing one day and Pankration the following day. That is, if he were able to compete. For all three were, again, heavy, and demonstrated the cultural concept of karteria, meaning toughness or perseverance. The Greeks loved all their sports, but they revered the barea athla, the heavy events.
The fighters in the heavy events competed in today’s version of Absolute. There were no weight classes, and other than dividing the competitors between men and boys, athletes could face any opponent in their sport, regardless of size. While larger, stronger men typically dominated, the agility, speed, and precision of a smaller fighter could prevail over a bigger opponent.
- In addition to the lack of weight classes, none of the three sports had rounds or time-limits.
- There was no a point system, which meant that contests were won by knockout or submission, or when a fighter could not continue due to fatigue or injury.
- Since admitting to either one would have been shameful, the matches for all three sports typically lasted a very long time.
An excruciating long time by today’s standards. Because the fights could only end by death, knockout, or submission, fighters were strategic in every aspect of their match. The three heavy events shared an arena, the skamma, which was part of the running track in the event stadium.
- According to sports historian Nigel B.
- Crowther, extra sand would be laid down upon the track in order to provide an extra bit of cushion for the fighters.
- There was no ring to restrict the fighting space, which was apparently would have been the size of a modern football field, but at times, officials would cordon off an area of the skamma in order to bring the fighters closer together and diminish the amount of rest.
While judges did not call fights based on a combatant’s ability to continue, the judges used sticks to poke, prod, or beat fighters who stalled, committed fouls, or just seemed tired. Fighters from all three disciplines trained indoors, in the palaestra, a special training academy for top Greek athletes.
But during competitions, whether the Olympics, local tournaments, or funeral games, athletes competed outside, in the sunlight. Therefore, fighters worked hard to ensure that they were not staring into the sun. Good footwork was imperative, even more than strength, in this particular strategy. The ‘heavy events’ of ancient Greece had much in common, from their venue in the skamma to the lack of weight-classes, points, time-limit, and rounds, but each also had their own rules and rituals that made them unique.
And of course, all of them have their stories, the tales of athleticism, of horror, and of triumph, that establish boxing, wrestling, and the Pankration in ancient Greece as one of the originators of today’s combat sports. Boxing was considered the ‘heaviest’ of the heavy sports because the fighters generally landed very hard punches from a distance, rather than the shorter strikes common the Pankration. One of the earliest written accounts of an organized boxing match occurs in Homer’s The Iliad, a text considered a historical reference by Ancient Greeks rather than our current classification as a literary masterpiece.
The funeral games for the recently slain Patroclus included a prize fight in “the painful art of boxing.” The first contender, Epeus, took up the challenge, the prize of which was a mule, with a loquacious dispersion, setting a precedent for the type of bravado that is now standard for any fighter. The man swaggered and declared: Let the man who is to have the cup come hither, for none but myself will take the mule.
I am the best boxer of all here present, and none can beat me. Is it not enough that I should fall short of you in actual fighting? Still, no man can be good at everything. I tell you plainly, and it shall come true; if any man will box with me I will bruise his body and break his bones; therefore let his friends stay here in a body and be at hand to take him away when I have done with him.
Epeus’ boasting scared all the soldiers except for Euryalus and the two prepared for the fight. Homer described the match in this way: the two men being now girt went into the middle of the ring, and immediately fell to; heavily indeed did they punish one another and lay about them with their brawny fists.
One could hear the horrid crashing of their jaws, and they sweated from every pore of their skin. Presently Epeus came on and gave Euryalus a blow on the jaw as he was looking round; Euryalus could not keep his legs; they gave way under him in a moment and he sprang up with a bound, as a fish leaps into the air near some shore that is all bestrewn with sea-wrack, when Boreas furs the top of the waves, and then falls back into deep water.
But noble Epeus caught hold of him and raised him up; his comrades also came round him and led him from the ring, unsteady in his gait, his head hanging on one side, and spitting great clots of gore. In 688 B.C.E., boxing became an official Olympic sport. Boxing matches were not judged on points or style, nor did a fight ever go to decision.
Instead, the boxers fought until one of them could not continue due to exhaustion or knockout—or if a fighter raised his right hand in defeat, essentially throwing in the towel. There is conjecture that this is why Sparta never sent their athletes to the Olympic games—the risk that a fighter might have to admit defeat went against their code.
- Boxing in ancient Greece was a bloody sport, made bloodier and more brutal by the thin leather wraps that boxers wore as gloves.
- The himantes meilichai were intended to protect the hands (although not the fingers), not the head or face of the opponent.
- There has long been a misconception that the Greek’s used caestus, a leather glove studded with bits of metal and glass, apparently adopted from the Romans.
But historians now challenge that the caestus were ever truly in use. Roman historian Hugh Lee argues that neither Greeks nor Romans sewed bits of metal into their gloves, and that other historians “misread the evidence to push the notion of Roman decadence.” Donald G.
Yle points out in his book, Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World that there is no need to adhere to this false mythology: Greek and Roman boxing was violent enough without prescribing to the false idea that they intentionally made it even bloodier with the caestus, Boxers in antiquity were athletes, highly trained and valued by the culture.
While injury and death absolutely occurred in boxing, wrestling, and Pankration, the sporting community would not want to add unnecessary maiming with metal-studded-gloves. After all, they wanted the men to go on to fight another day. While boxers and Pankration fighters wrapped their hands in leather, they wore nothing while competing in the Olympics and other games.
- Additionally, athletes of all sorts covered their bodies in olive oil.
- There were oiling rooms specially designed to apply the goodly substance.
- Scholars have long argued about the purpose of the olive oil, assuming the intent to be everything from hygene, protection from the sun or the cold.
- Interestingly, most scholars today assume that the oil was used simply to make the body glisten and look more attractive.
Training and competing in the nude is anecdotally attributed to Orsippus, a runner who, in 720 B.C.E. apparently lost his loincloth, yet went on to the win the event. His competitors thereafter ran in the nude, thinking that Orsippus may have simply been more aerodynamic while in the nude.
- Another story claims that a runner tripped on his loincloth while in the race, and officials declared the end to all clothing Ancient boxing matches had no ring, no rounds, no rests and few rules.
- Boxers could strike while their opponent was down and fought until one of the fighters could not continue.
Emperor Augustus apparently loved boxing matches over all other gladiatorial events featured in the Colliseum. Seutonius claimed that while the emperor’s “chief delight was to watching boxing” he especially loved amateur bouts, “slogging matches between untrained roughs in narrow city alleys.” Amateur ‘street fights’ may have delighted Augustus, but most men preferred to watch the trained boxers compete because they demonstrated the concept of karteria in a way that would horrify many of us today.
- Fighters did not show that they were injured, and reportedly made no noise when they were struck or knocked the ground.
- In a particularly brutal example of perseverance, Euraydamas of Kyrene famously won a match through a war of attrition.
- When his opponent his him hard enough to break his teeth, Eurydamas swallowed them, rather than giving his opponent the satisfaction of seeing him spit them into the dirt.
Like boxing, wrestling makes an appearance in The Iliad, This seminal match was between two very famous characters, Ajax and Ulysses. Forthwith uprose great Ajax the son of Telamon, and crafty Ulysses, full of wiles, rose also. The two girded themselves and went into the middle of the ring.
They gripped each other in their strong hands like the rafters which some master-builder frames for the roof of a high house to keep the wind out. Their backbones cracked as they tugged at one another with their mighty arms—and sweat rained from them in torrents. Many a bloody weal sprang up on their sides and shoulders, but they kept on striving with might and main for victory and to win the tripod.
Ulysses could not throw Ajax, nor Ajax him; Ulysses was too strong for him; but when the Achaeans began to tire of watching them, Ajax said to Ulysses, “Ulysses, noble son of Laertes, you shall either lift me, or I you, and let Jove settle it between us.” He lifted him from the ground as he spoke, but Ulysses did not forget his cunning.
He hit Ajax in the hollow at back of his knee, so that he could not keep his feet, but fell on his back with Ulysses lying upon his chest, and all who saw it marvelled. Then Ulysses in turn lifted Ajax and stirred him a little from the ground but could not lift him right off it, his knee sank under him, and the two fell side by side on the ground and were all begrimed with dust.
They now sprang towards one another and were for wrestling yet a third time, but Achilles rose and stayed them. “Put not each other further,” said he, “to such cruel suffering; the victory is with both alike, take each of you an equal prize, and let the other Achaeans now compete.
- Thus did he speak and they did even as he had said, and put on their shirts again after wiping the dust from off their bodies.
- Ajax was a famously huge man, and Ulysses’s failure to lift his larger opponent was par for the course in ancient wrestling.
- Great wrestlers were typically already large men who trained, and ate, to be even stronger.
Milo the wrestler famously ate twenty pounds of meat, twenty pounds of bread, and drank eighteen pints of wine every day. It is said that one time, in a particularly unique of training, he carried a four-year-old bull around the stadium of Olympia for his cardio and strength workout, then sat down and ate the entire bull.
- Like boxing, wrestling also had no rounds, weight-classes, or time-limits.
- Many matches would end in a draw after seemingly hours of protracted combat.
- In order to win a wrestling match, a fighter had to throw his opponent to the ground three times.
- A successful fall was typically constituted when the wrestler’s shoulders hit the ground—throwing your opponent merely to his knees would not count.
Additionally, pinning was not practiced by the ancient Greeks. However, submissions, including chokes, were legal and encouraged. Although the matches were not as bloody as boxing or Pankration, wrestlers still sustained injuries from submissions and before it was banned, a wrestler dubbed “Mr.
Fingertips” systematically broke his opponent’s fingers in order to win a match. With the exception of Mr. Fingertips, wrestling was the least violent of the ‘heavy events,’ yet the most popular, given its prominence in antique art and sculpture. Wrestling was part of the pentathlon in antiquity as well as its own event.
The pentathlon in Ancient Greece consisted of javelin, discus, jumping, running, and wrestling. It is fascinating to imagine a modern athlete proficient in all these forms, especially the widely distinct sport of wrestling. Wrestling, more than boxing or the Pankration, was practiced by some of the ancient gentry, probably because the risk of injury was relatively low.
Socrates was an avid wrestler, training with two of his most famous students, Alcibiades and Aristocles, both of whom, in addition to being accomplished rhetoricians, were purportedly skilled wrestlers. Aristocles is best known for his nickname, given to him by a wrestling coach. He is more commonly known as Plato, which means ‘broad-shouldered.’ The Greeks competed in the Pankration, which translates to “complete strength” or “complete victory.” The Pankration was an amalgamation of boxing and wrestling, with the added techniques of leg sweeps, kicks and knees; the only prohibited techniques were biting and eye-gauging.
Pankration fighters had to be proficient at all forms of fighting, but the preferred strike was a kick to the stomach. Attacking the genitals was not off-limits, and supposedly many of the Pankrationists learned to cover their genitals in certain positions to prevent grabbing or twisting.
- The Pankration joined the Olympic Games in 648 B.C.E.
- And quickly became the most popular of nearly all of the sports.
- According to Thomas Green’s incredible encyclopedia, Martial Arts of the World, Pankration champions were elevated to instant celebrity status, and some of them were even worshipped as demi-gods.
Many boxers and wrestlers were also Pankration fighters, although since the Pankration event took place on the day after boxing at the Olympic Games, many of the boxers never made it to their Pankration competition due to injury. Alexander the Great was a Pankration enthusiastic, and his trips across Asia, where he apparently continued to practice the sport, has led to speculation as to whether the Macedonian spread the art to Asia or if he picked up the techniques there.
- Because the athletes had to be well-rounded, Pankration fighters were typically large and powerful.
- They were allowed to employ a wide range of techniques, and breaking fingers and toes was an accepted and popular way to submit one’s opponent.
- The art had four primary areas of fighting—arm techniques, such as punches, slaps, and elbow strikes, leg techniques such as kicks and knees, throws and takedowns, and grappling, which includes holds, joint locks, and chokes.
Fighters trained in a gym, the korykeions, where there were heavy bags called korykos, suspended in the air for the students to kick and punch. There were wrestling and grappling classes, as well as gymnastics and calisthenics. Schools even included masseuses, dieticians, and coaches, many of whom were former Pankration champions themselves, ready to pass on their knowledge to the next generation.
- The Pankration was not included in Homer’s Illiad, but there are still numerous tales of fighters winning, and losing, on the field.
- There were men noted for their strength, like Polydamus of Skotoussa, who, according to Nigel Crowther, was so tremendously strong that he could stop a moving chariot by grabbing the wheel.
There was Sostratos of Sikyon who, in the fourth century B.C.E. won dozens of Pankration events by bending back the fingers of his opponents. And then there was Arrichion of Phigelia, an accomplished fighter who literally died in order to win his match.
When his opponent jumped on his back in 564 B.C.E. and applied a choke, Arrichion tried to fight off the apparently sunk-in attack by falling to the ground on top of his opponent. The man released the hold and cried defeat, because in falling, Arrichion had dislocated his opponent’s ankle. But it was too late for the intrepid Arricihion, who was already dead from strangulation.
He was named champion posthumously. Arrichion’s story may be epitome of the concept of karteria, of perseverance in spite of pain or even death. The heavy events were indeed heavy—heavy in size, bloodshed, and risk. But the risk, at the time, may have seemed nominal in light of the reality of war and the brutalities of ancient Greece as a society.
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