“How can a normal person get into MMA?”, this is something that I asked myself while I was watching the UFC finals. To find answers, I trained in a gym to become a fighter.
MMA has become one of the most sought-after sports. Loving the game is one thing but trying to participate in a match is an entirely different story.
You will need to select the area of discipline followed by a good trainer. Then soon after you have your trainer, you will need a combat gym to train in, and you will need all the gears necessary in the sport.
I will discuss everything I learned in the following article.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
MMA has become one of the most sought-after sports in recent times. Even two decades ago, MMA was not that popular, but nowadays, everyone wants a piece of the pie.
The raw and brutal fighting among two very skilled gets everyone’s adrenaline flowing like no other sport.
UFC is the most popular league in the business, and their fighters are considered as real-life superheroes.
Who doesn't want to be a superhero right? It is that thinking that is making many to try learning MMA.
In the business world, there is a saying "If there is demand, there will be supply," and MMA business is no exception.
Gyms are opening all over places which left the people confused. This got people thinking, “Where should we join?”
On top of this confusion, there are so many disciplines to choose from. This frightens some and confuses some at the same time.
Should they try to master one discipline? Should they decide to learn multiple control? Or, should they even try MMA in general?
And then, there are the health issues. MMA is a sport in which getting beat up or beating someone up is the end goal. This scares a lot of people trying to get into MMA. Now tell me, have you ever been punched in the jaw?
Just imagine going through that every day during training. MMA is not all fun and games now.
This article is for those who are willing to go through all these hardships just to get into the thrill of being an MMA fighter.
The violence is what makes MMA so real, without, it would have just been WWE. The hard fight in MMA will give you the kind of thrill felt nowhere else.
Why Should You Try To Become An MMA Fighter?
Gaining any knowledge is sure to come in use in some part of life. Martial arts are the knowledge which was highly practiced back in the days, and it is seeing its former glory again now.
But is it really safe to always depend on someone else for self-defense?
You should always try to solve a situation nonviolently, but if push comes to shove, you will be prepared for what is going to happen next.
One more side to this is your mental health. A fighter is trained so that they can tackle their inner fear. They are taught not to fear anyone or any situation no matter how big the opponent might be, he/she will always have a weak point.
MMA gyms also built friendship and trust among their students so that they can trust each other and can help each other like family when needed.
Which Discipline To Focus On?
The contributing factor that has made MMA so popular nowadays is the fact that MMA contains multiple varieties of technics.
Before the era of MMA, people would only learn one discipline and spend their entire life polishing that particular technique.
But now people are trying to balance the weakness of one discipline with the strength of another.
I started with striking martial arts for a few months and then moved onto grappling. Trying to learn two disciplines together can be confusing and difficult for some, so try doing it one after the other.
Sticking martial arts is a category of martial arts which has smaller subcategories in it. For example, Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Karate, Taekwondo and so on.
Karate and Taekwondo are less popular with pro-MMA fighters as this discipline doesn’t involve much actual combat. On the contrary, Muay Thai and Boxing are more popular as they train from the beginning in the arts of “How to knock out someone?”.
The base of many MMA fighter is formed by "Clinch" form of martial arts. Clinch form of discipline involves any wrestling involving both Greco-Roman and Freestyle. Judo and Jujitsu are also a part of “Clinch’ MMA.
Becoming an MMA Fighter
Now that you have mentally prepared for becoming an MMA fighter, let us talk about how we can train ourselves to prepare physically.
1.Finding a Gym
Gyms which specializes in certain forms of discipline is ordinary this day, although finding the right one for you might not be that easy.
As people all over are opening gyms and people are entering those gymnasiums as well. Amongst all the gym that is opening, some of them may not be that good compared to the others.
Some MMA gyms focus on a lot of cardio workouts which doesn't involve actual fighting.
Cardio, freehand boxing or kickboxing has become very popular for sure, but will this help you in the future?
NO! Do not enter a gym which has no combat exercises.
Next, you will have to be on the lookout for a good quality gym. This is because fakes are everywhere.
The guy teaching you in the gym can be a real hot shot at the MMA community, but then again, he can be another guy bluffing to get more gym members. So, do your research on the lead instructor before you join any gym.
Then comes selecting a particular type of gym.
Some gyms specialize in single martial arts, whereas other will give you general classes of MMA teaching you all kind of basics.
The choice depends on what you will be doing in the future. If you plan on learning MMA for defense or the rush, the general course is good enough, but if you want to get in the ring and chase the UFC title, then you will have to find a specialized gym.
2.Getting a Trainer
You will need to find a proper trainer for you now. Generally, in most high-end MMA gym, the chief instructor in the gym will guide you in your journey. Low-end gyms tend to have a guide who himself is not well trained.
If your gym is not providing you with a trainer, try to have one personally. Try to get a trainer who can match with your routine and train you into the kind of fighter you want to be.
It would be best though if you register in a high-end gym as you will get a better-quality instructor. I took admission in a high end one, and the support from the gym I got was terrific.
3.Buying Training Gears
Opening the day of registration in a gym, you will be assigned a list of equipment's to begin with. And those equipment are the ones you have to carry every day to the gym.Some of these types of equipment will be for safety, and the others will be for improving your training.
The list of training gears goes as such:
4.Getting Used to A Training Routine
Once you are all geared up, you are ready to begin your training. MMA training is one of the hardest forms of exercise you will face, so be prepared for it.
To achieve an optimum result, you will have to work both at the gym and at home whenever you are free. Your training should involve MMA training exercises and other forms of additional activities.
Core building, weight lifting, traditional bodybuilding is some of the many exercises that you will have to do. These exercises will increase your body’s overall strength drastically.
If you do not prefer bodybuilding exercises or dislike lifting the weight training, you should ask your trainer to train you in free body exercises like pushups, pull-ups, etc.
Free body exercises will increase your strength without making you too buff which is a plus side, as in MMA, you will have to be lightning fast to stick your opponent.
Take the training slowly, this is because our body is limited to a certain amount of exercise that it can take in a single day.
Gradually increase the intensity of your training which will give time to your body to adjust. This makes your muscle growth better and will make you a better fighter.
Nutrition is essential it is as vital as the training itself. You will have to take in enough calories. A healthy diet will help you take in less fat.
This kind of diet will lead to you having more carbohydrates and protein which will give you the desired energy to fight.
MMA fighting takes a lot of energy from your body, so it is very important to consume enough calories and failing to do so will make you collapse during training or even during a battle.
Anti-inflammatory food is advised. This is advised because this kind of food will help you heal faster and prevent some of the long-term injuries.
MMA is a sport where getting hurt or beaten up is part of the job description so you should prepare your body to heal itself better as well.
5.Stepping into Tournaments
A tournament is where you get to fight other fighters from different gyms. The fight is not going to be a practice match; this is going to be the real deal.
6.Joining Local Tournaments
You will know when you are becoming ready to take part in local tournaments. If your trainer agrees with you, then ask him to make you enter at a regional MMA tournament.
These tournaments will give you practical experiences about MMA. It's a lot harder in a real fight than it is in a friendly battle.
There is no other way to gain experience other than involving yourself in battles.
Do not worry about being matched with someone who is very superior regarding strength to you in the match.
This is because your trainer will only match you up with some who is almost an equal match to you.
Try participating in as many matches as possible as doing so will polish your skills as a fighter and will get closer to becoming a renown one.
7.Getting a Yourself A Promoter
Continuing to fight in local tournaments will let people know your name. This will make you an amateur fighter. Once you have reached that point, it will be time to promote yourself.
Promotion is always crucial for anything; this will let more people know about your skills and you.
Never opt for a not known management company as they do not have great ties whereas a known management firm has a lot of tie in the MMA industry and they will make your life as a struggling fighter easier.
Make sure you are entering local tournaments with the thought of winning. As a well-known management firm won't take your contract if you have lost more fights than you have won.
8.Doing UFC Tryouts
This is the end goal for all the training and years that you will be investing in MMA. UFC is the platform where fighters get recognized as a superhero by the general citizen.
If your past battle records are extraordinary, your manager will be able to pull some strings and get you in the tryouts for the UFC championship.
UFC tournament is where fighters from all over the world gather in one stage to prove who is the best in the arena.
There is a reality show called the "Ultimate Fighter." You could apply here to get recognized by the UFC board if your manager weren't able to pull anything off.
Hope this article was informative enough for you to get the rough idea of how to become an MMA fighter. I tried to share everything I learned on my attempt to become one.
Quick brief, get an idea about all the fighting styles to know which one will be the best for you. Never try to learn more than one discipline at a time, as this will lead to a situation where you won’t be mastering any of the disciplines.
A good trainer is the most important key in becoming a pro-MMA fighter. Without a good trainer, you won’t be able to perfect your skills and would survive a proper battle.
Do keep this in mind that becoming a pro in MMA takes years of hard work and dedication. You are going to fail a lot in the process, therefore, do not get your hold down just because you lost a couple of times.