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The sport of MMA exploded onto the world scene in the early 1990s in the form of the UFC. And has since gone on to be one of the most popular of all combat sports on the planet. This has left a lot of burgeoning athletes wondering how to know if MMA is the right sport for them?
When taking up and new sport it’s crucial that you consider what over the long term it will give you and it’s the same with MMA. Are you looking to get fit, to protect yourself or to perhaps become a fighter? The truth is you can do all the above with MMA if you dedicate yourself.
But one of the main overarching differences to me when it comes to MMA is its diversity and its practicality. And by this, I mean the array of elements from different disciplines. Which are in turn moulded together to form the sport.
So we take the best elements from these disciplines, chain them together into one seamless discipline. To create what I personally believe is the best combat sport you could learn.
How Did MMA Get So Popular?
Fighting has been around since the dawn of time. And for better or worse, humans enjoy watching two skilled athletes compete to see who is the best. No matter what the sport, we love competition and for combat sports fans, our sports are the definitive manifestation of this desire.
And amongst many combat sports fans, mixed martial arts is the pinnacle of pure combat. Taking elements from boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and more. MMA has managed to position itself at the very centre.
Putting on display the very best parts and throwing away what is not needed. To create a beautiful combination of skill and violence. And this for many fans is the Mecca, the golden fleece, the Da Vinci code of combat sports.
Where Should I Train MMA
This really depends on your given location. If you are in any of the major cities across the western world, then you will most likely have an MMA gym somewhere in your locality. But that is the easy part.
As there can be huge disparities in terms of quality, the question you should be asking is should I train MMA at this gym? Because one of the main issues I have seen happen myself is that people choose the nearest gym to their home, then later pay the consequences.
Take, for example, you are training for several months and you get much better. The next thing you know, you decide to take a fight. Confident in your abilities, you have been kicking butt in the gym and you are now ready to show the world.
You take the fight, you get in no uncertain terms destroyed by someone you think you should have easily beaten. Here’s the thing, how good are your coaches? What standards are being achieved in your gym under their tutelage?
You may have all the talent in the world, but if it’s not applied correctly, it may not matter. But that other gym another few kilometres down the road, well their team seems to clean up at competitions. While your teammates take a beating on a regular. I think it’s time to reconsider where you are, right?
But now you have built a relationship in the gym. With your coach, with your teammates, in a sport that often demands loyalty. So you make a decision to up sticks and move to that other gym can and does leave a very bad taste in peoples mouths.
MMA like many combat sport is very tribal, with very often a gym vs gym type of mentality. And now not only have you managed to upset your gym. You may very well have to face one of them inside the cage in the not too distant future. So before you choose a gym, do some research, you’ll be glad you did.
What Are Average Costs For MMA Training?
You can get by with some limited equipment, but there are some things you will need. Adding to those are the actual fees for classes. That can range anywhere from $150 – $300 per month. Which for me personally is far better than any regular gym you could join.
Why pay the same amount to lift weights and look at yourself in the mirror? When you can instead learn how to defend yourself, your loved ones. And at the same time get into great condition, it’s a no brainer.
So In Terms Of Equipment You Will Need
- Boxing gloves for sparring
- Hand wraps for use in both MMA and boxing gloves
- Mouthguard for mouth protection
- Shin guards to keep your shins safe
- Groin guards to protect those sensitive parts
Aside from this, some recommended additions would be;
- Good flexible shorts. A decent sports T-shirt, as regular clothing retains too much sweat and will weigh you down.
- You should bring a water bottle, although I have gone plenty a session without, waiting until I get home to knock back a few pints.
- If you are going to be doing a lot of groundwork, you may want to consider getting some grappling ear guards. Unless of course, you like the look and feel of cauliflower ear? Everyone to their own.
- And please don’t forget a towel, you may have showers or will need it to wipe the sweat between rounds.
Will I Have To Spar With Anyone In MMA
The short answer to this is Yes and No. And what I mean by that is generally speaking there are sparring days. So these are days where there will be live sparring or more than on a regular night. Depending on the gym in question, you may spar more than one day per week.
But generally speaking, you will be light rolling and working techniques one on one throughout the week. So it’s not like four days a week you do stuff on your own, then Friday you fight someone.
No, you will be working out with people doing the moves all week. Then when sparring day comes, you will be mixing those techniques together in live sessions. Going at says 70%, again depending on the training partner and the gym.
How Fit Do You Have To Be To Train In MMA
I’m going to recommend that you have some level of fitness. As while you will make it through the class, you will feel horrible. And feeling really bad can lead you to believe the sport is not for you. So if you come to training and have some level of physical fitness it will be of benefit.
Now of course you will have very overweight people who want to do MMA to lose weight and get fit. That is great and the very best of luck to them. It’s going to be a long and tough road, but if you stick with it you will see the benefits.
MMA training, especially sparring and drilling can be extremely physical. People may end up puking, some may simply quit due to how tough it is. Deciding instead to sit out some of the class. So it’s really how you want to approach it, how much you can commit and how much you are willing to take. And I wish you nothing but the very best of luck on your journey.
Wrapping This Up
So it’s obvious that a lot of thought should go into whether or not you should take up MMA as your sport of choice. It offers any amount of benefits, but will also test you to your limits.
True it is not for the faint-hearted, but more than anything it’s about growing as a person, knowing your limits and then pushing past them. So should you take up the sport? I would say personally speaking yes. At least give it a try and see how it feels and if it is not for you, what have you lost?
Hi, I’m Ross, at 40 years plus, I have been involved in the Martial arts for most of my life. Along with my first pet Collie dog named Tyson, RIP. My journey in the world of Martial Arts is something I want to share. So that others too can learn from my experiences.