... since any technique is free to be used ?
Logically each teacher could teach any martial art he wants ! but there couldn't be a federation, instructors and diplomas this way.
There are very few martial arts that are complete, in the sense that they are suited for all situations.
So which is it going to be ?

3 Answers 3


'Free Fighting' is an old term meaning MMA basically. Before the UFC had come to dominate all that was mixed martial arts, people called it by all kinds of names. Shootfighting, Mixfighting, Free fighting, etc.

I would expect MMA techniques, and other self-defense techniques. e.g. you will likely (hopefully) get a mixture of boxing, wrestling, submissions and conditioning.

  • Does it have a name ? Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 9:23
  • Free Fighting? I think it is called MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) mostly around the world. Every MMA teacher will teach things differently; some will focus on clinching, others on boxing, others on ground fighting, it will depend where their skills lay. Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 5:23
  • No, what they are teaching. Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 8:31
  • Whichever name the instructor uses to call it? There is no 'official' single style called 'free fighting' that has an umbrella organization or something like that like for example Karate or Brazillian Jiu Jitsu or Boxing. It's kind of a generic catch-all name that basically stands for Mixed Martial Arts (e.g. techniques from all kinds of fighting arts). Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 17:58

As far as I can tell, there is no generally accepted definition of what "free fighting" means. It's definitely not a style in and of itself.

In some cases, the "free" in "free fighting" can refer to the part of the fight where you and your opponent are free to move around each other and are not holding onto one another at all. So you're free. That would imply that whatever is taught there is everything excluding grappling of any kind. Lots of kicking, punching, knees, elbows, foot movement, head movement, etc.

In other cases, "free fighting" means "free style". This means it's kind of like MMA, where you can pick and choose what you want to use from any style or no style. There's no guarantee what you'll get from this. Someone may be combining Taekwondo with Sumo wrestling! Who knows.

In still other cases, "free fighting" refers to the real world, as opposed to sport fighting. They may still be seen as doing "MMA", but they just want to make people know that their form of MMA is not optimized for sport rules.

And actually, there can be federations which accredit teachers of free fighting. That just means this is an organization of people who teach free fighting tactics and authorize teachers to teach it. Whether that means each instructor is obligated to teach the same stuff the same way, it depends on the heads of those federations. But even that is acceptable, and they still get to call what they do "free fighting" or "freestyle".

As for completeness in martial arts, you're not going to find any school that prepares you for every possible scenario on earth. But there are systems that focus on the things they believe will give you the biggest chance of success in most real world situations. And it's up to you whether you agree with them or not.

Keep in mind, however, that each school generally believes they're the best. So it's very confusing. It's hard to know who to go with. I would just say go out and look at lots of different schools. See what they do. Ask questions. Talk with students and teachers. Go onto the internet and see what pops up when you look for their school or style. Ask questions on internet forums, etc.

Especially check out BJJ and MMA schools, so you have something to compare against.


At my gym, we have multiple specialist take coaches in specific areas that they excel at such as striking, kicking, wrestling , ground submission and etc etc. We usually focus on specific each day.

We have 2 scheduled free fights, one halfway through the training and one at the end. During this, our free fight couch will usually be an experience / veteran maa/freefight fighter. He basically does not teach us how to strike or kick but instead coaches us what to do in the ring.

I'll hear things like 'hands up', 'move move move', or 'don't stop don't stop'. At the end of the session he would give a summary of my performance and what area to focus on.

For me my freefight coach is basically the person who teaches me how to put everything together and make use of it.

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