Top 10 reasons to train in Mixed Martial Arts

Top 10 reasons to train in Mixed Martial Arts

Top 10 reasons to train in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)Hi there, I hope you are having a great day so far.  Mixed Martial Arts is a combat sports with many benefits and I encourage you to find a nearby gym that works for you.  I understand that if you are not too familiar with the sport, you might be a bit hesitant to try it based off what we are shown on tv.  Please know that MMA gyms are designed to make you a better person physically and mentally and no-contact classes are often offered.  Please ask your local gym about no contact options.  Here I comprised a list of the top 10 reasons to train in mixed martial arts, I hope it helps :)
1. Makes you a better overall athlete - The skills and drills involved in training in MMA will make you a better overall athlete in other sports as well.  A great MMA gym will show you proper stretching techniques before and after training.  You will improve your speed, timing, balance, coordination, strength, reaction, endurance and overall athleticism.  In a personal experience I had earlier this year, I took a salsa & swing dance class for the first time and realized there were many similarities in the way that I teach MMA and learning the steps involved in the dance.  My experience using different coordination with all four limbs really helped me out on the dance floor :) I'm no John Travolta but damn did I have fun. 
2. Tone your body - What a great alternative to gym workouts that have become stale for you. You will strengthen your body and develop muscles at a faster rate than on your own.  Most mixed martial arts gyms also include strength and conditioning group programs to assist in combat sports training.  Many include them in the classes but some offer them seperately and you'll just have to check their schedule to see if the days and times work for you. If you have any physical limitations, be sure to notify your instructor and see a doctor/physical therapist to better understand what you can do.  Great MMA trainers will know how to modify their class or exercise to fit within your specific limitations. 
3. Melts fat/burns calories - If you have ever spared LIVE with a fellow student, you know how great a cardio workout a few rounds can be.  Live grappling is more exhausting than people think, live mma sparring will leave you drenched in sweat.  The best reason to exercise this way is that you become so focused on your technique that you don't even realize how many calories you have just burned.  Sparring is a great option but not the only one.  No-contact classes are often offered where you will instead hit pads, bags, mitts, dummies etc. It easily becomes a fun activity. 
4. Discipline - To be a successful MMA student requires discipline that can be achieved through group classes or private training.  When you meet other like minded individuals with the same goals as yourself, the accountability helps you succeed.  MMA families tend to bond and form a close relationship to where they genuinely want to see you succeed and are willing to help you along the way. I know when I took my first MMA class, 8am seemed like an impossible time slot for me to attend as I worked the overnight shift at work and was already tired.  My instructor at the time texted before class to remind me that they would love to see me in class that day and would encourage me to come in.  Maybe not all instructors go that far, but it was the little push I needed at the time to motivate me to train.
5. Relieves stress - Put your mind at ease during class as you get to focus your energy on a positive activity. Fighting in a controlled, supervised environment promotes heart, discipline, technique, courage, bravery, sportsmanship and more. This sport helps you let out aggression at a faster rate than squeezing a stress ball.  Punching or kicking a bag can help get rid of the frustration stemming from work, home or public interaction. 
6. Self Defense - If you are with your family and someone decides to attack you or them, MMA training could be the difference between your family's safety and a terrible situation.  You never know when an intruder can break into your house, jump out at you from a dark area, follow you home, catch you alone on a train or a desolate area.  Many of us walk home at night from work and those are rough hours to be walking around unprepared.  MMA can give you the instincts to avoid being punched, kicked, attacked with a weapon, you will be aware of your surroundings, understanding ways to use your surroundings to find potential weapons to defend yourself.  It can give you the physical knowledge to diffuse the situation or to make them pay for trying to lay their hands on you. This sport is one of the few that can be used outside of the sport because of its dual pupose.
7. Fun - MMA class curriculums vary based on the theme of the day/week/month and there are always different aspects to be worked.  You can switch between all the styles, submissions, takedowns, combinations, reactionary drills, chokes, escapes and explosive exercises.  There is never a dull moment and you can never stop learning.  There's always plenty of room to grow. 
8. Camaraderie - surround yourself with active minded people. MMA gyms are notorious for becoming a close knit family atmosphere where students enjoy each others company outside of the gym/dojo as well.  Especially when it comes to watching boxing or MMA matches on tv at sports bars or someone's house. 
9. Flexibility - Proper stretching promotes a more flexible body and keeps you improving everyday. Keep practicing kicks and you'll see yourself progressing little by little in your flexibility.  Learn to kick higher and higher each time.  MMA  classes often focus on pre and post workout stretches that can greatly benefit you. You will notice a change in posture that comes with proper exercise and drill form.  Make sure to ask your instructor to check on your form. 
10. Boost your Confidence - Walk around with a better sense of confidence knowing that you did the best you could in preparing yourself physically. Safety is never guaranteed and all you can do is your best training.  A big part of self defense is learning how to minimize damage, de-escalate situations, understand fighting cues to know when someone is about to attack you, creating enough distraction or physically creating enough time for you to run away from an awful situation and learning when/how to walk away from fights.  Just because a dummy wants to fight, doesn't mean you have to accept it.  If you feel you have to prove yourself, there's always competing in an amateur and eventually pro mixed martial arts match.  Getting that out of your system in a positive way can clear your mind and help you make better decisions in difficult situations. Not every situation has to be met with overwhelming force or showboating and Mixed Martial Arts gives you a great sixth sense for understanding difficult situations. If an attacker gets out of hand, MMA can teach you takedowns and joint locks to hold someone down until the police get there.  Based off the threat level, you can also learn how to choke someone unconscious should your family's safety ever be threatened. Did you know, the real life story of the 3 Americans that stopped a terrorist attack on a France train were able to subdue him using a rear naked choke to make him lose consciousness? Clint Eastwood made a movie about it and I watched it just to see that scene.  It's called 15:17 to Paris and it is as accurate as they could have possibly made it.  The real life soldiers that stopped the terrorist played themselves in the movie. 
Thank you for taking the time to read and better understanding the benefits that come with training in this awesome combat sport.  Feel free to Google nearby gyms or if you live near Countryside, Il, check out my gym at  Keep having a great day! :)

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