MMA for Beginners: All That You Need to Know Before You Start

by Engage Team November 01, 2019 7 min read

MMA for Beginners: All That You Need to Know Before You Start

Deciding to get into shape may be one of the best things you can do for your health. A physical regimen that involves strength training and conditioning not only reduces chronic disease but also improves your balance and coordination. If you’re unsure where to begin, consider joining MMA for beginners. As a new hobby, it is one of the most rewarding and exciting things to do.

In this guide, we set you up on everything that you need to know before starting an MMA training.

What is MMA?

Whether you watch UFC fights or heard about the famous fighter "Conor McGregor" in the news or on your social media feed, it doesn't matter, we are here to tell you exactly what does Mixed Martial Arts (or MMA) stands for? MMA is a fairly common word with an audience of 300+ million fans across the globe, it is one of the fastest-growing combat sport that involves striking, punching, and using various holds and throws to strike down a competitor to the floor. In a Mixed Martial Arts for beginners class, techniques of attack and defense are taught, including a variety of punches, kicks, chokes, takedowns, and joint-locks to help gain control over the opponent. This game of thrill and sport continues until one of the contenders is knocked-out, submits, or is declared over by the referee.

How To Get Into Mixed Martial Arts

Choosing a form of martial art that aligns with your goals and needs can be overwhelming. Many kinds of Mixed Martial Arts may leave you wondering whether to choose one over the next. Obviously, the sport itself is not for the light-hearted. There is a great amount of adrenalin rush and physical stamina, which pushes your limits. To be able to select on a form, you need to consider the three core areas that make up all of Mixed Martial Arts fighting.

One form involves stand-up fighting where you fight with your hands, feet, elbows, and knees. Boxing, Muay Thai, Karate, and Taekwondo are examples of stand-up fighting.

The second involves clinch techniques where opponents grapple one another to get leverage, such as in Judo and Jiu-Jitsu.

The last and final is on the ground, which is commonly witnessed in wrestling. As a beginner, Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling could be your priority to learn as you begin to gain more strength and form.

MMA Components

There are three core components of MMA which lead you to master or excel at the sport.

  • Striking: involves attacking your opponent with any part of your body. Since MMA combines various arts, everything from punches to kicks to elbow strikes is acceptable.
  • Grappling: involves holding your opponent and trying to take him or her down. It requires less strength and more technique.
  • Submission: involves using body joint locks or chokes. These tactics get your opponent to submit and teach you how to free yourself from such positions.

Why You Should Train MMA

Pick any MMA for beginners classes you like, and you will still get a few skills common to all. On the one hand, you are vigorously training your body to handle extreme situations, and on the other hand, you are training your mind to think and act like it won’t in standard cases. On the physical side, self-defense and fitness are reasons that should attract you to this popular sport. Simultaneously, you will see a drastic difference in your mental focus and confidence.

MMA Beginners’ Tips

Before beginning MMA for beginners training, you must consider these five aspects:

Research your location

Look up the gyms that offer MMA, visit them, and assess them with the outcomes that you're looking at.

Prepare yourself

MMA isn't for someone who isn't used to physical activity, so you must have a keen interest or base in strength and conditioning before you venture into the sport.

Give yourself time

Yes, we get it, you’re excited! But you have to form a routine by mixing MMA with cross-training along with a day allotted to recover.

Sparring at the right time

Once you start learning MMA techniques, undertake some grappling-based sparring or technical sparring to put your training into practice.

Keep fighting

MMA isn't all fun. It requires determination, grit, and perseverance. The reward lies in not giving up.

MMA Benefits

There are several benefits to learning MMA that you may not know before you undertake training. It’s an outlet for you to release your frustration. Rather than be violent in any other circumstance, fighting gives you the chance to challenge yourself with a competitive spirit physically. It also allows little room for stress to creep in. Consider also the fact that you will meet people from several backgrounds but all with the shared love to excel in MMA.

Is Mixed Martial Arts Safe?

Mixed Martial Arts sports are combative. Along with the kind of freedom allowed in attacking your opponent, the level of injury tends to be high and can even be termed as dangerous at times. Nevertheless, research suggests that Mixed Martial Arts is safer than boxing (where much of the strikes are directly aimed at the head) and is even one of the safest full-contact sports. However, you must have a physically prepared body before venturing into it.

What Should You Focus On?

The quality that makes MMA so popular can also be something that confuses beginners – deciding what to focus on. The right approach would be to master the components by learning various art forms associated with them rather than learning entire disciplines. For example, a combination of Muay Thai for striking, Judo for clinching, and Jiu-Jitsu for ground fighting.

Martial Arts vs. Self-Defense

Self-defense could be one of the reasons you took up MMA in the first place, but they aren’t synonymous. Self-defense is inclined towards teaching individuals to fend off common dangers, while Mixed Martial Arts is a competitive sport. The other differentiating factor is that while self-defense doesn’t necessarily give your body a workout, Mixed Martial Arts also provides you fitness.

The ABCs of Mixed Martial Arts training

Before you start, you must learn the basics of MMA training – endurance, grappling and striking. Your body must build a high endurance level to survive even a few minutes of Mixed Martial Arts. You can't call yourself a strong Mixed Martial Arts fighter unless you understand the nuances of grappling. With striking, you must also master speed, force, and flexibility for the highest impact.

What Gear Do You Need to Start Mixed Martial Arts?

MMA being a combat sport, will require specialized gear to protect from injuries. Your equipment will depend on the kind of form you pick. Here is a list of items you may need:

- Boxing Gloves

- Shin Guards

- Head Guard

- Mouth Guard

- MMA Gloves

- MMA Shorts

- Compression Rash Guards

- Groin Guard

Read: Essential MMA Gear for beginners

How to Find a Gym to Train Mixed Martial Arts

Picking the right gym is probably one of the most crucial aspects of MMA training, and you must get it right. First, decide whether you want a specialized gym or one that offers a variety of disciplines. Beware of gyms that are just looking to cash in on the Mixed Martial Arts craze. Visit your neighborhood gyms and do background checks of the trainers’ careers. Find out their track record. Check how many classes the gym offers in a day. Also, you may take a complimentary session and talk to other students about their experience.

How Much does Mixed Martial Arts Training Cost?

Estimating the cost of MMA training depends on factors such as your area, the number of times you plan to train, etc. Just the gym membership could cost anywhere from $70 to $220 a month. You also have to factor in additional costs for gear and food supplements.

Can I Learn Martial Mix Arts Without Equipment?

There could be many reasons why you can’t attend a gym to learn Mixed Martial Arts. In such cases, there is the option of practicing at home by watching credible YouTube videos or online programs. However, the downside is that you won’t have anyone to correct you if you’re going wrong, and you can only learn grappling with a dummy rather than with a real opponent.

If you still want to learn at home, there are four principles to cover. The first is shadowboxing. The second is to get a heavy bag to practice striking and kicking. The third is to work on your conditioning, which is essential for every MMA fighter. The last is to videotape yourself and analyze your moves.

How Much Time Do I Have to Invest in Learning Mixed Martial Arts

The time you need to learn MMA will depend on the amount of experience you have had in the past. If you’ve already trained in some martial art, you will be able to learn in two to three years. If you haven’t received any experience, you shouldn’t expect anything less than five years.

What Is the Best Age to Start MMA Training

The myth is that Mixed Martial Arts is only for adults. However, there is no age limit to someone who wants to improve their fitness or wishes to learn a combat sport. You could be 18 or 40, and you could still be the best MMA fighter in your area. One of the advantages of starting Mixed Martial Arts at the age of 15 to 17 is that your body is almost developed by then, and you have time to get into some amateur fights before full collisions.

Nutrition Tips for Mixed Martial Arts Fighters

Once you’re training in Mixed Martial Arts, you have to watch what you’re eating carefully. Before a fight or workout, you need to ensure you are stocked up on essentials like carbohydrates and fluids that are rich in nitrates.

There must be a gap of four hours between mealtime and the session. Half an hour after the fight, you need to ensure your body gains what it lost. Finally, complete your nutrition with proteins during supper. Don’t forget to include the right supplements, as suggested by your trainer. Your discipline in eating will also ensure your future!

Now that you’ve covered the groundwork, you’re all set to begin your Mixed Martial Arts for beginners' training. Make sure to keep our suggestions in mind!

 


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