I think the answer depends entirely on where and how it is taught Agreed. Depending on the school, "MMA" could be a training philosophy, a system of techniques, a specific sport education, whatever the instructor knows done in boxing shorts inside an octagon, pure marketing, or a traditional approach to learning a system of fighting in multiple ranges Just for the record, I've never seen any form of Mixed Martial Arts with a philosophy attached. What constitutes what is and isn't a martial art? These kind of distinctions are abritrary anyway. In 1993 when the gracie family brought into the question which was the better Martial Art and therefore started UFC, was that abritary, in your opinino? We're all learning violence, what we call it is more a matter of personal preference. Agreed, but violence has several distinctions, such as violence in sport, violence in life or death combat or self defense, violence in behavior, psychological, neurological, etc. MMA practitioners may learn to fight if they a have a good instructor teaching quality material and they are diligent students. That's enough for me. But I also consider Western Boxing and Olympic Taekwondo martial arts. For me, "martial arts" means studying fighting. If they did that in an MMA school, they'd pass my standard. I'd agree/disagree, from my own personal experience, I've witnessed several so called MMA Coaches or Instructors teach MMA, however none of their students could barely fight! Now was it the students or the Instructors talent? I dunno! If the material is quality high and the students are diligent, I could see how that may happen or occur.
I do personally consider 'boxing' and 'Tae Kwon Do' both Martial Arts, same as 'wrestling' and 'fencing'. I will however disagree to some extent with Olympic Tae Kwon Do, although it uses Tae Kwon Do Philosophy, and Other aspects of TKD training, the flashy kicks, acrobatic kicks, and spectator stunts, I don't consider 'Martial' and therefore I (in my own opinion) do not consider those techniques practical for Martial use. (I've been involved with Olympic style TKD- for over 23 years, on and off!) But again, that's my own opinion!
I will add this, I believe (again in my own opinion) that in order for Martial Arts to be called Martial Arts, it needs to have three elements attached, the physical, mental (philosophy), and spiritual components. When you break down 'Martial Arts' you have literally translating into "The ART of Combat". Therefore Art, meaning some form of expression, or belief, with Martial being forms of military components, I.E. Combat.
Mixed Martial Arts (and I've rarely seen it) with the exception of a few fighting systems (combat systems) does not have in general any form of philosophy, or spiritual component. But then again, I haven't seen any sport MMA program or system with the other two elements attached!
Just my two cents: