MMA is one of the most engaging and accessible contact sports on the planet, maybe the most. People of all ages and different skill levels are getting together to compete or just train and spar aggressively and develop their real world combative skills. And anyone who is interested in trying it can look for a school in their area and try it out, see if it is for them. Here are a few things you might keep in mind when you get started in your MMA training.
Start getting in shape. Even if you think you are already in shape you are probably not as finely tuned as you could be. Running and swimming are good for building up the lungs and heart and of course some weight training. But you also want to use a lot of dynamic exercise that use multiple muscle systems and push for developing coordination and a full range of functional muscle. Circuit training is great way to do this. One MMA coach I know, also develops training programs for police and fire fighters. He coaches a warm up where you do short sets of 5 or 6 aggressive exercises like jumping, twisting with a weight, walking with a modified gate, push-ups, supermans and things like that. It looks ridiculous and each exercise on its own may seem easy, but 10 minutes of quick sets of these exercises will have you feeling like you just carried a car up a staircase.
Spar as much as possible. If you are interested in MMA you’re interested in sparring. That’s what it is, hard sparring. If you want to have fun with MMA you need to spar at least twice a week, but even that really isn’t enough. A lot of people get involved with MMA and just spar and train every now and then, but they eventually get bored and stop training at all. If you really want to feel the experience 4 days a week is a good number for a person with a job and family.
Pick a good school. Schools like Peak Martial Arts in Keller, Texas, provide well equipped gyms with practice rings, heavy bags, light bags, speed bags and every other bag in between and highly qualified coaches and instructors. They also provide a healthy and comfortable environment in which to train and enjoy MMA.
Because MMA is not about hurting people or inflicting pain, well it kind of is but no REALLY hurting people. We’re not here to gouge eyes or break bones, that’s not very much fun at all and it would keep any one from ever developing their skill to its fullest, all the time spent in casts.
And not everyone who wants to join an MMA club and spar and train is interested in competing. Competing really isn’t for everyone. A lot of MMA lovers, myself included, prefer to keep it in the gym and use it as way to release stress and aggression, no need for recognition. The gym you choose should not try to push you to compete if it’s not your thing.