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How to Start MMA: 5 easy steps to your new fitness program!

How to Start MMA: 5 Easy Steps

Mixed Martial Arts is one of the fastest growing fitness trends, and a long time practice for many people. Learn how to start MMA and begin your own practice with these 5 steps.

So you want to learn mixed martial arts, do you? Maybe you’re looking for a new workout, or maybe your new date just loooooves MMA, or maybe getting in the octagon is simply on your bucket list. Whatever your reason:

Here are the top five things you need to keep in mind as you learn how to start MMA.

  1. MMA athletes are crazy in-shape. Get ready to be simultaneously inspired, scared, and ashamed of your elliptical workout, because when MMA athletes aren’t fighting, they’re preparing to fight. If you want to compete, you’re going to need to do WORK. You’re going to need a fitness plan, dedication, and a gym (or at least a quality at-home mat and weight set) if you want to see results. For real.
  2. You don’t actually have to compete to enjoy MMA. MMA is one of the best workouts you can get because the nature of the sport requires full body strength, endurance, and agility. Odds are, there’s an MMA gym near you. Not all gyms are created equal, though. Shop around until you find one that delivers what you’re looking for. Focus on the quality of the instruction, the participants in the class (just say no to meatheads), and the equipment. Odds are, you’re going to spend a lot of time on the ground, so make sure there are plenty of quality grappling and landing mats to train on. Is there cardio equipment? A boxing ring? If not, it might not be a great place to start.
  3. Say goodbye to your personal space. The beauty of MMA is that it combines all the different fighting techniques. So while you might start sparring face to face, you might quickly find yourself face down on foam tiles, face to…not face. If you don’t have a background in wrestling, watch any UFC fight and you’ll quickly get the idea. You and your sparring partner are about to hug it out, no-personal-bubble style. Be warned.
  4. Don’t try this at home. There are a ton of take-home punching bags and practice mats out there, but be careful about diving into a self-guided MMA workout before you know what you’re doing. It might seem tempting to grab a portable landing mat and practice throwing your best friend to the floor, but we don’t advise it. Sign up for the classes, listen to your instructors, and be careful. While we’re at it, be home before curfew too, would ya? And get a haircut.
  5. Prepare to suck. At least for a little while. No one is good at MMA the first time they try it. Or the second. The only thing that will help you get better at MMA is work, sweat, and practice. So drop your ego at the door, step onto the mat with an open mind, and don’t touch gloves until you’re ready to bring your A game.

How to Start MMA: 5 easy steps to your new fitness program!

About Ari Ziskin


Ari Ziskin is our resident expert in all things fitness, dance and flooring trends. After five years of blogging at Ari’s Menu, where she was featured on sites like The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, Ari decided to pursue writing full-time. Nothing makes her happier than sharing her knowledge to help people create their gyms and begin their fitness journey.

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April 3, 2019 3:36 am

I am interested. I’ve been watching MMA on TV and I think I’m ready for this. Of course, I will suck , but hopefully not dor long.

Michelle Barichello
April 3, 2019 7:41 am
Reply to  Alen

That’s great, Alen!

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