So you have decided to become an MMA fighter, and you want to know how to get into MMA.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has gained more and more popularity with time. This is the reason why many more persons are willing to take up a career in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
If you have never been an MMA fighter and now you desire to become one, we have dutifully taken time to put together all the relevant information that you may need on how to get into MMA.
What Does the MMA Entail?
MMA means mixed martial arts, and this term was coined with the coming of the UFC.
It is quite difficult to conclude on the exact time when the MMA began but, popular opinion says it started alongside the commencement of the UFC.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a type of combat with various methods and skills. It basically boarders on hand to hand combat between two artists.
The skills used in the MMA range from grappling, flying kicks, sweep, throws, elbow strike, knee strikes, punches, ground submission e.t.c
The MMA is thus a merger of numerous and varied martial arts. This merged arts, therefore, has become one sport and functions on its unique set of regulations.
How to Get Into MMA: Primary Elements of the MMA
1. Punching Or Striking
One of the three very fundamental techniques in MMA is striking. Striking means throwing your hand, legs, or any other part of your body at an opponent.
When you kick, hit with your elbow, or punch with your hand, you are said to have made a strike.
Since every MMA combat you have watched had a scene where one opponent struck another, you must already know without a doubt that striking is core in the MMA.
And so as not to become a one-sided athlete, you must learn not only how to throw strikes but also how to protect yourself from becoming a receiver of ‘generously’ given punches.
2. Wrestling or Grappling
To grapple in the MMA means to grab an opponent firmly in an attempt to take him down.
It would logically follow then that the stronger or more massive an athlete is, the better his chances at grappling. This holds in most cases.
Nonetheless, even if you happen to be small in stature and want to be successful in the MMA, do not fret. An accurate knowledge of offensive cum defensive grappling and the different grappling styles would also prove very helpful.
3. ‘Yield to me’ or Submission
Submission technique is central to your winning an opponent; this is why you need to learn the a,b, and c’s of this technique.
In getting an opponent to submit, you could need to be quite ruthless and use a method that inflicts pain on your opponent. Maybe you would choose to use a joint lock, an anaconda choke, an arm triangle, an armbar, a heel hook e.t.c This is because the aim is to get the opposition to concur to your victory
All these may sound harsh right? That is the exact reason why you need not be on the receiving end.
You could devote time to specially learn about these submission methods at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu MMA classes.
How To Get Into MMA: Gears Used in MMA
You most probably would have already seen all these gears on your favorite MMA fighter. Therefore, it wouldn’t be difficult for you to follow through with this segment.
1. MMA Shorts
Right now, you may think, ‘ duh, I know this is important, I’m not planning to walk naked into the ring ….’ Well, yes, of course, we are sure you aren’t that dumb but, what you should know is that not just any short will do for MMA.
You should purchase MMA shorts explicitly produced to suit the art. Your regular gym shorts are not only going to ruin your kicks by limiting your range of movement but are also very likely to get torn.
Therefore, you would be doing yourself so much good by purchasing MMA shorts. MMA shorts are classified into two groups.
These shorts not only allow movement but are also very comfortable. They have a cup area that protects the groin. These shorts are made of spandex
Board Style Shorts
These shorts are made of the same material as the shorts worn by surfers, but these shorts are more flexible and encourage total movement.
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This set of gear offers protection to your hand while you strike or train. Gloves ensure that a hero such as yourself does not leave the ring or the gym with life-changing hand and wrist deformities.
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3. Mouth Guards
In a duel, you must endeavor to protect your body in every way you can, and you can trust mouth guards to do a great job at protecting your dental organization.
Mouthguards are of two kinds; boil & bite mouth guards and custom mouth guards.
Boil and bite guards are cheaper but do not fit your teeth properly. While custom mouthguards are made by dentists to suit your teeth’s specifically
If you are a male, cups are an essentiality for you. They are to be worn over the groin region of the body. Pretty sure if you are anatomically minded by now, you must have realized the reason for this, to protect the testicles and male reproductive organs.
5. Rash Guards
These are useful in protecting your skin from microbial infections and mat burns common to MMA athletes.
Unlike most regular T-shirts, rash guards are lined with antimicrobial agents that will come in handy, shielding your skin from microbes even when you come in close contact with an infected athlete.
Like most other MMA athletes, you should endeavor to buy a rash guard because we are guessing you don’t want to return home from the gym with a host of new microbes to join the members of your family.
6. Shin Guards
Last but not least are the shin guards. These gears protect your leg and foot from being injured as you spar.
These are also very important unless you would love to use a wheelchair. News flash! Wheelchairs aren’t trendy; neither are they fashionable, so for your good, do not neglect this guard.
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What Makes you the Winner of an MMA Combat?
The occurrence of any of the four things mentioned in this section can make you the winner of your MMA match.
Submission: Firstly, assuming all goes well, you will need to force your opponent to ‘hand over your victory.’ When you have successfully done this, then you
Disqualification: Secondly, you automatically become the winner if your opponent commits a deliberate foul against a nice ‘law-abiding’ athlete like you.
Judges Unanimous Decision: Thirdly, if neither you nor your opponent won, the judges could make you the winner by judging from your scores thus far the period of the fight.
Knock out/ Technical knockout: When your opponent is unconscious and cannot fight anymore, you become the winner. Even if your opponent is conscious, but the referee declares him as unable to fight anymore, then you have also won.
How Much does it Cost to Register For an MMA Class?
This depends on the facilities, staff quality, and many other factors. But you could budget anything greater than $60 but not more than $300.
Locating an MMA Class
We would usually recommend searching Google, Facebook, and other online websites that specialize in identifying suitable gyms within your locality.
Some of them are:
- Martial Arts Near You (United Kingdom)
- Find MMA Gym (United States)
- Fight Resource (United States)
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MMA Guidelines to Follow
Although the MMA sport is very liberal about a lot of things, there are still some few rules you should adhere to. The failure of an athlete to obey these rules could earn him a deduction from his accumulated points.
Some of the things that are considered a foul or a ‘deviation from the normal’ in MMA include:
- Striking the spine or back of the opponent’s head (to the top of the ear and the crown apex).
- Attacking an opponent in the interval.
- Pulling the opponent’s hair.
- Grabbing the clavicle or collar bone.
- Throwing an opponent out of the fighting area.
- Striking with the elbow from top to bottom.
- Use of abusive language in the ring or octagon.
- Placing your finger in an opponent’s eye.
- Any blow to the throat.
- Shyness and causing confusion
- Attacking the opponent’s genital region.
- Placing knees on the head of an opponent.
- Intentionally throwing the opponent against the tarp on his head.
- Striking his kidneys with your heels.
- Attacking an opponent in the Umpire’s care.
- Grabbing the opponent by the mouth.
- Kicking the head of an opponent like a soccer ball.
- Disrespecting the instructions given by the umpire.
- Grabbing small joints of the opponent.
- Hitting the opponent’s head.
- Stepping on a fallen opponent.
- Placing a finger into an opponent’s orifices.
Fight Rounds in the MMA
There are amateurs and professionals when we speak of MMA fighters, and in a regular fight, there are three or five rounds.
The difference is that professional rounds last for at least five minutes, while amateur combats last three minutes at most.
MMA Wights Classes
MMA fighters are classified into the following weight groups at the UFC.
- Strawweight (116 pounds)
- Flyweight (116–127 pounds)
- Bantamweight (127–137 pounds)
- Women’s Bantamweight (127–137 pounds)
- Featherweight (137–146 pounds)
- Lightweight (146–157 pounds)
- Welterweight (157–172 pounds)
- Middleweight (172–185 pounds)
- Light Heavyweight (185–200 pounds)
- Heavyweight (200–265 pounds)
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the MMA only for boys?
In response to this, we have five words for you, Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes.
These women are making waves in the UFC, and this tells you that females are actively participating in the MMA too.
2. I don’t know any other martial art; can I still be good at MMA?
It would be of help to your training if you knew some other martial art, but you can still learn MMA right now and later go on to become a pro in a particular art.
3. Will MMA training make me lose weight?
The workouts are directed toward this specific purpose.
4. Is MMA Safe?
Well, even if you purchased and always used all the protective gear, unplanned accidents could still happen.
Therefore, before you begin training, you should decide whether your desire to ‘be safe’ is compatible with your desire to become an MMA fighter.
There you have it, everything you need to get you on your way to becoming an MMA fighter.
Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and in that long road ahead of you before you get your first fight in the Octagon.
There’s bound to be plenty of bumps on the road, but if you’re determined, then you will become a star in the UFC.