How to Get into MMA – A Beginner’s Guide

12 Jun 2018
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Mixed Martial Arts is the fastest growing sport worldwide, with more people getting into it with every passing day. If you are one of those people but are not sure where to begin, there is no need for concern. Of course, you will need to work hard, but it is not impossible to become a part of the revolution. Once you have made up your mind, and are ready to outdo yourself, read on to learn more about how you can get into MMA, despite the fact you are a beginner.

Decide what to Focus on

Even though MMA incorporates a variety of different fighting styles, you have to decide what discipline you need to focus on. Previously, people would only focus on disciplines like Taekwondo or Karate, but things have changed. Nowadays, people learn as many disciplines as they can to be the best there is.

Now the thing is, you can’t just go about learning multiple disciplines simultaneously. You will need to focus on a certain aspect before you can move to the next one. This means you will have to learn how to strike for a couple of months before you can learn to grapple.

If you wish to have an aggressive approach when it comes to MMA, you will need to indulge in disciplines like Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Boxing etc. MMA pros tend to focus on boxing and Muay Thai in particular, largely because said styles focus on actual combat, which is not the case with the other fighting styles you can choose from.

Find a Good Gym

Once you have decided what fighting style (s) you want to focus on, the next step would be to find an MMA school. Not just any institute will do since most people are just trying to cash in on the growing popularity of the sport.

When looking for a good gym, look for one which does more than just focus on cardio workouts. You need to find a gym where you are trained to actually fight. Cardio is never a bad thing, but it will hardly make a difference when you come face to face with your opponent. You need to equipped with the right techniques and training to be able to stand your ground and fight back, no matter what comes your way.

Enough emphasis cannot be placed on the fact that you will need to find a good school, with an experienced instructor. You will have to do your homework, which means you can’t take this lightly unless you are not serious about the sport itself.

If you are still having difficulties finding a good school, check out MMA forums online, ask around for recommendations from experienced MMA fighters, or simply go through reviews online to make an informed decision with ease.

Get the Right Gear

You need to have a lot of gear when it comes to MMA. Some of these are required for safety purposes while others are needed for functionality. Additionally, the gear you will need will vary depending on what fighting styles you focus to train for. For instance, the gear needed for Karate will be completely different from what you will need for Boxing.

That being said, here are a few general gear recommendations for you to consider:

  • Athletic Cup – To avoid getting hit in the groin, it is better to be safe than sorry with an athletic cup.
  • Mouth guard – The last thing you need is to lose your teeth, or severely damage your jaw. For this reason, invest in a good mouth guard to keep your mouth protected at all times.
  • Knee Pads – Apart from keeping your knees protected, kneepads will make it easier for you to train and spar.
  • Athletic Tape – Athletic tape comes handy in different ways i.e. supports an injury, wraps around your hands, keeps your gloves shut and so on.
  • Headgear – There is no point in risking a head injury, especially in a sport where you are prone to get one.
  • Rash guard – Even though they are not essential, they make training a breeze, since they don’t tear easily nor do they absorb a lot of sweat.
  • Fight Shorts – These shorts have been specifically designed for fighting. They ensure you have enhanced mobility whether you or on your feet or the ground.
  • Hand Wraps – With hand wraps, you will not have to worry about injuring your wrists.
  • Shin Guards – It takes a long time before you get anywhere close to MMA pros with their rock hard shins. Seeing how you are starting, it is wise to get shin guards in order to protect your shins, so you can concentrate on your fighting techniques first and foremost.

Training and Nutrition Equals Improved Performance

Just like any other workout routine, you need to pay close attention to your training and your diet at the same time. Remember, training and nutrition equals improved performance, which in turn results in being the best fighter there is.

The trick here is to find a balance between your regular training and MMA training. If you are lifting weights most days on the week, you will have to make it work with your MMA training. The good news is that lifting weights is encouraged with MMA training, but you can’t concentrate on traditional bodybuilding workouts alone.

On the other hand, you have to give equal importance to nutrition, if you wish to progress. Your diet needs to consist of foods that are anti-inflammatory.  Taking into account how demanding MMA really is, you need to consume enough calories to keep up with your training and fights, but not too much that it slows you down. To be more specific, consume whole foods with carbohydrates to acquire the energy needed to fight, and heal quickly without permanent damage. And yes, this most definitely means you can’t indulge in junk food anymore.

When starting with MMA, there is a lot to look forward to. The more effort you put in, the better you will become. However, what is most important is to remain determined no matter what. There will be days when you will not know why you are putting yourself through pain and agony, but if you manage to pull through, you will achieve the success you always wanted, which once again is only possible if you stay ahead of the curve.

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