MMA History and Fundamentals
MMA, or mixed atrial arts began its humble beginnings as a competitive sport in Japan and quickly grew in popularity across Brazil and the United states pay per view events from top fight leagues fetch millions and fighter fight purses approach seven figures or more for some large high profile events, attention on the industry grows by the day. It’s simple to understand that all over the world, more aspiring future fighters are walking through the doorway of their local MMA gym to gain the skills for fighting. Some for personal self-defence or as a hobby, some others with strong determination and intention of competing with hope of landing a fight on a main event with a big fight league. Any way you decide to do it, you will want to start training for MMA, here’s a few things to think about before you just wander on over to your local gym and sign up.
MMA has its roots in three sub sets of fighting styles, which are; Striking (punching, kicking, elbows and knees) stand up wrestling, (takedown strategies from the feet and grappling) and what we call ‘ground game’, (JiuJitsu or wrestling). These styles of fighting, when mastered, produce the finest fighters in MMA. You need to be proficient in all three areas to be effective in the cage but unfortunately, not every gym will offer classes or instruction in all three areas. So you may need to find two or more gyms and a variety of instructors in each department.
The gym owner is the key centre of finding a great MMA gym. Your instructor should have walked the walk and competed in one of the styles of MMA, or in MMA itself. He should also have had some sort of success in his career and be recommended by top fighters. While top coaches cost a lot to train with, they ae worth the extra fees as you know you are getting top quality instruction from the best in the game, and like teacher like student as they say.
Your new MMA gym should also have excellent training facilities with top class equipment. Equipment can be costly, so by joining a gym, you benefit not only from the professional instruction, but from the savings on not having to purchase the equipment yourself. The best equipment you will need will be free weights like dumb-bells and barbells, as well as machines and other pieces of equipment like the prowler or ropes and chains.
Training on the right sports surface is critical as well, mats are often the most underrated part of the training environment and the most crucial, nobody wants to drop a knee and cop an injury in training. So make sure your prospective gym is well equipped and well-staffed with top instructors led by an owner that is the real deal in the sport.
After you’ve decided on the right training environment, the last step of your journey and the longest is left up to you and you alone. Your dedication and commitment to the time you spend on the mats, in the gym, at sparing and pad sessions and all the hours spent with your coaches and team mates will determine your success in the sport. That’s right, MMA is an individual sport, but it’s the people you meet and build your support team with over the coming years that really matter and will determine the heights you can achieve in the sport. Some of them may end up being the best friends you ever make in your life. Good luck out there, stay safe, stay committed, stay focused on what you want.