Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is one of the fastest growing sports across the world. It’s a mix of different martial arts and includes; Brazilian Ju Jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling, boxing, and kickboxing amongst the disciplines.
There are lots of reasons for this phenomenal growth, with a key factor being the growth of the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). For the amateur MMA training has so many benefits; it can help with long term fitness goals, master key defense moves and gain necessary life skills like; confidence, discipline and self-control.
Here are my top three reasons for giving MMA a go!
No. 1: Improved Fitness through Full Body Training
By far, the biggest benefit from MMA training comes from developing complete physical fitness. Following MMA training techniques you’ll target all components of fitness; overall cardiovascular endurance, strength, stamina and even agility. Whether it’s for an MMA competition, self-defense or pure fun, excellence requires robust physical fitness which can only be attained through intense full body training. Many of the classes offered through Liberty Leisure are great for training just like a MMA athlete. The Boot camp, Circuit classes and Spinning offer great full body workouts similar to MMA fighters that will push your body to the limits!
Nothing feels better and like you have accomplished more that when you finish a class that you have pushed yourself to the absolute point of physical exhaustion!
No. 2: Increased Confidence
There are very few sports that build confidence faster than MMA training. Over time, and through regular training, you’ll be able to push your body above and beyond what you ever thought you were capable of, giving you greater confidence in your abilities and increasing your self-esteem. Training the same way as an MMA fighter will push you harder and make you more determent to keep going no matter what. For people new to training it will bring out a more confident side to them they might not of known existed, as you focus on giving yourself the mindset of ‘You can do it’ rather than ‘You can’t do it’.
No. 3: Discipline and Self-Control
Discipline is a key factor of what makes a true Martial artist. MMA demands strict discipline in terms of diet, sleep and exercise. To be giving it 100% you need to eat and rest well, sometimes sacrificing social times. You need to be able to train as hard as possible which is why it is so essential you rest and eat well. As a benefit, a disciplined mind is the key to understanding and recognizing when it is appropriate to exercise self-control and when it is time for aggression. You have to be prepared to practice the same move thousands of times to perfect it, rather than practicing hundreds of different moves once and not reaching the perfection you should be striving for!
I first started martial arts when I was 7 years old and I trained in Jujitsu. I reached my Black Belt when I was 13 years old and began teaching at this time. I took part in the national championships for Jujitsu when I was 15 and won gold in the competition. I continued to train until I was 17 but then unfortunately with college and work I didn’t have the time for it anymore.
After college I decided to take up training again but opted for something different and started training in Thai boxing. This led me to MMA as a whole where I undertook Wrestling and Brazilian Jujitsu as well. I haven’t competed in an MMA event yet but the training is really good for my work and fitness levels.
Blake, Fitness Advisor at Chilwell Olympia