The name for this combat sport, Mixed Martial Arts, sounds so cool and maybe part of the reason why you’ve decided to step into this world of combat sport. It may be you want to use the martial art to train for your health and fitness, or you have dreams of going pro. You want to be part of the fame and fortune of all those UFC players you admire so much.
Whatever your motivation may be, you better have thought through what you’re about to venture into. This decision will change the rest of your life. It’ll have an impact on every aspect of your being too. MMA as a sport has grown in popularity on a global scale and daily beginners are venturing into it both children and adults.
The MMA lifestyle is fast being adopted as the preferred way of life and more people are starting training for their children at very your ages. Walk around your city and you won’t lack one, two, or even three gyms that are involved in combat sports specializing in MMA. It’s grown so popular that it has a thriving unregulated underground movement too.
But there is nothing dreamy about getting kicked and punched repeatedly just for the heck of it in a cage. It takes resilience to be part of this world. You have to be ready to push your body in ways you never thought possible. The risk factor too in terms of injuries is quite high too. You’ll come out of a match with an injury or worse even a broken bone now and then. That is the peril of the sport.
Apart from injury, the sport itself is still growing and those that earn a good living from it once they decide to go pro are very few. Much more needs to be done in terms of growing the sport and getting more lucrative deals and matches for fighters in the coming future.
When to Start
Combat sports have no beginning age, maybe just a suggested one. Walk into many gyms and you’ll see all ages from young children to seniors taking part in different martial arts. Some gyms offer specialized MMA training and due to the demand, they have classes for all ages available.
Many more young children are getting involved in MMA, some as young as 6/7 years old. They may be training for fun or with ambitions of becoming world-renowned UFC fighters. The most ideal age though maybe when they’re teenagers and can understand the demands of the sport more.
The most ideal age may be mid-teen years when the body is better able to handle the rigors of getting kicked and punched on a constant. It can be risky for little children to take part in MMA due to the injuries involved which can be as serious as multiple broken bones. That can be tough for a child to handle.
Mid-teen years can take part in organized fights in different competitions before they get a chance to become professionals after turning 18. This is the age at which UFC accepts recruits into their group. Early youth years after 18 are also ideal to start training. It’s not yet too late though many professional fighters started their journeys earlier.
Not all people have dreams of going pro and hence may even start training much later in life just for fitness purposes. MMA is one combat sport with the highest growth potential and there is still much more room for new fighters. You can start where you are. There is a lot that remains to be done to make the sport even bigger to the levels of others like boxing.
MMA is a great way to get fit and has a rigorous training schedule. Join an MMA gym and get started in your fitness journey by doing something different than just the usual gym training. Some people get involved in MMA not to go pro, but to learn self-defense. It’s always important to know how to defend yourself.
Martial Arts mean you learn how to best attack an opponent and overpower them in the process. This can be a great way to learn self-defense. It never hurts to know how best to protect yourself if you’re ever in a situation that calls for it. You can learn the martial art fully or part of it depending on your level of commitment.
Selecting the Right Martial Arts
MMA is not the only martial art out there. There are several which you can choose from including Muay Thai, Boxing, Jiu-jitsu, etc. All these martial arts share some similarities but have their differences as well. You may not have settled on MMA and still want to explore your options. This is quite okay.
Picking the right martial arts especially if you aspire to become a professional fighter is very important. From the word go you’ll be driven to making it because you enjoy what you do. Settling for just any may not give you the motivation you need to endure the training and achieve your ambitions.
Getting it right from the start is important so take your time and even take part in beginner training for one or two which you’ve narrowed down. Training will be an eye-opener helping you make up your mind which bests suits you. There are many differences in martial arts and that’s why you should never confuse one for the other.
It’s important to get a little bit of training in all martial arts as a professional fighter. Bits and pieces of each will give you an advantage in the cage. Your trainer may be well versed in more than one martial art which will be very advantageous for you when it gets time to compete.
Many people don’t harbor the ambition of becoming professional fighters though, they venture into it to learn self-defense, as a way of getting and staying fit, or for the heck of it. This is why gyms have more opportunities to get clients because of the increased interest in this sport. There are numerous classes you can take part in just for the sake of it. It’s a great way to push your body to new health heights too.
MMA Safety Concerns
Some children aspire to start MMA training at very young ages and being such a combative sport, many things could go wrong. Injuries and even broken bones are a commonality in the world of martial arts. You can’t think it will be all roses all the time. You’ll land in the emergency room at one time or the other.
But compared to other contact sports, MMA has proven to be a lot safer. As long as your training is not rigorous to start with, you can slowly condition your body to get used to this lifestyle. This is why staring out early is important. You get to sculpt your body and learn more ways to guard against serious injuries and risks too.
Some protective wear used in martial arts has been proven to cause more damage to fighters than good. The headgear has earned itself a reputation of being must-have protective groin wear when involved in MMA. There are even specially designed ones for these martial arts to choose from.
But recent studies in issues like brain damage and injuries have shown headgears are a large contributing factor to this. Many fighters find comfort in having it on and end up taking more poundings and kicks to the head because they believe they’re protected. This has led to a rise in cases of injuries involving the brain which is the main reason for most people to stop fighting.
Training MMA the right way will reduce the risk factors involved. Ensure your trainers are certified to do so to not land yourself in hot soup. Learning from an instructor who hasn’t been properly trained themselves puts you in harm’s way every time you step into a cage or even spur. Find yourself a good training gym with qualified instructors and you’re bound to enjoy the experience.
Getting Proper Training
As said before, you have to get started on the right footing if you’re to learn MMA the right way. This helps to reduce the risk factors involved in this combative sport. MMA gyms are on the rise with more qualified trainers setting them up all around. Select a good gym where you’re assured of proper training. Sign-up for beginner classes and get started.
It’s important to know firsthand what to expect before stepping into the gym. Leave behind the romanticized version of the sport always advertised. Be ready for hard work which may at times be demotivating due to the pressures involved. It’s not easy learning MMA, it calls for a higher level of commitment from you from the very start.
Any martial art is demanding. There is nothing easy about learning to kick and punch repeatedly and taking it from an opponent too. This is why finding the right gym with the right trainers is the best decision you can make. Imagine dedicating all those hours to train and nursing injuries only to learn later you wasted your time and money learning the wrong things. That would be a bummer!
Proper Equipment and Protective Wear
As earlier stated, getting off on the right foot in MMA is very important. You don’t want to start your training in a manner that will lead you down the wrong road. This applies to whether you’re training for fun, fitness, or to become a professional. Getting the right protective wear is the first thing you should do.
This is a combat sport meaning the risk of injuries, serious injuries, is very high. This is why even at the gym your trainer will insist you come wearing the proper protective gear before they can start training you. This can be the way you judge whether your trainer is qualified or not. A proper trainer won’t allow you to train or spur without the correct gear.
Mouthguards, knee pads, shin guards, gloves, hand wraps, etc. you have to know which protective wear is needed and make some purchases. Don’t compromise on quality because that may end up costing you. There are many online reviews about the different protective wear you need to take part in MMA. These guides describe the best of each gear and will help you narrow down your search.
The availability of online stores has made it much easier to make purchases. Guides help you know which is the best then all you have to do is place an order and it’s delivered to you.
The right equipment is equally as important especially if you want to set up a gym at home. You may not be able to get to the gym all the time or your locale may not have an MMA gym around. This means you have to set up your own. Getting the proper training equipment can be a challenge as a beginner. Do more research and even consult professional trainers. You may not have any around you but through platforms like social media, you can get access to them.
Some trainers offer online classes for people with home gyms. They will hold your hand as you go on the hunt for the required equipment. Study different guides too on which is the best equipment to get started with so that you don’t waste your money and energy on the wrong purchases. MMA equipment may defer from other martial arts. Do your research before and know what is needed.
MMA is a martial art that is growing in leaps and bound. The UFC has made it very popular across the world with many people taking part in it for different reasons. No matter what your inspiration to getting started, it’s bound to be an exciting journey. There are risks involved in MMA being a contact sport. You’ll wind up injured now and then. That’s just the price you have to pay.
Enroll in the right gym and get started today. Ensure the trainers who you have are qualified and you have the right protective wear to keep yourself safe.