Mixed Martial Arts
Mixed Martial Arts
Mixed Martial Arts has seen a meteoric rise in popularity, particularly among young men in recent years. An estimated 50 million people tuned in to watch two legends of the sport, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, battle it out in 2017.

But how does the average man (or woman) get started with this demanding and exhilarating sport? Follow our tips to take the first steps on the journey successfully.

What is MMA? Do your research

Mixed Martial Arts, as the name suggests, combines jiu jitsu, karate, boxing, muay thai and kickboxing, as well as other forms of martial arts. It is a physically demanding sport that requires a high level of fitness and intensive training to compete in. Participants train by building strength through lifting weights, staying fit through cardio, and – most importantly – sparring with partners at the gym. Once you’re accomplished at sparring, you’re ready for your first real fight.

Find the right gym and the right training partner

With the recent surge in popularity of the sport, MMA gyms have been popping up all over the place. To reach a high level, it’s important to find the right gym for you – does it focus on the areas you’re looking to improve in, are the facilities right for you, does it have trainers who can motivate you? Don’t just choose the first gym you walk into – this decision could be crucial to your success in the sport.

Get kitted out properly before you get started

Thankfully, MMA is not the kind of sport where you need a lot of bells and whistles to get started – there are just a few core items you need. Make sure you have compression shorts and a cup, as well as the best mouthguard for your mouth. There may be a few other pieces of specialist equipment you need as you go on, but these are enough to get you started.

Train hard and train often

Above all, MMA requires dedication and determination to succeed. A casual weekly or twice weekly trip to the gym likely won’t be enough to make it happen. Successful MMA fighters train several times a week with their coaches, focusing on strength and endurance, sparring strategy, and – to a lesser degree – cardio. Balance is essential.

Allow time for recovery

While it’s a sport that will demand a lot of you, it’s essential that as you build strength, you also give your body time to recover. One of the single biggest mistakes new fighters make is going too hard too soon, without giving their bodies the time to catch up. It’s a surefire way to burn out, and end up leaving the sport before reaching your peak. Other important factors in recovery include healthy sleep habits and diet high in protein.

If you’re ready to take push yourself to the extreme, MMA might be the right place to start.