As Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) continues to grow in popularity worldwide, there are a significant number of people beginning to train in MMA as well. However, there is always the dilemma, is it worth your time to learn MMA?
Why Learn MMA?
There are numerous reasons for learning MMA, and these reasons couldn’t possibly be more beneficial for an individual’s mental and physical aspects. Some reasons include improving your strength and losing extra weight.
There are seven reasons to learn MMA. These reasons will range from physical benefits, such as weight loss and improved strength and conditioning, mental benefits, especially in terms of social community and stress, as well as a career opportunity for some individuals out there wanting to make MMA a career.
Is MMA Worth Learning?
Depending on what you’re looking for by practicing MMA, such as becoming an MMA fighter or simply doing it for exercise, it is worth learning. There are a lot of benefits both mentally and physically that come from learning MMA. Let’s dive deeper into each one below.
Starting an MMA Fighting Career
Due to its popularity, many of its followers end up training in MMA, with some hoping to become professional MMA fighters.
If individuals are passionate and dedicated enough to the sport, they can absolutely bring their MMA career to the next level. If they are good enough, worldwide MMA promotions, such as the UFC or ONE Championship, can offer a lot of money if they decide to fight for them.
MMA has grown to become the most popular combat sport in our current era as thousands of spectators watch the best of the best fight one another. Upcoming professional fighters hope to prove to themselves that they belong as the best of the best.
Versatility for Self-Defense Purposes
MMA is considered one of the most efficient forms of martial arts out there. MMA is versatile compared to other martial arts.
This is due to the three primary areas that an MMA athlete must have a good grasp of, which are:
Due to its versatility, MMA is one of the perfect styles of martial art out there to pick up for self-defense. MMA is one of the very few martial art forms out there that hones a fighter’s skill in two important areas of fighting, which is while standing up and on the ground.
Other fighting styles, however, would usually focus on one area or the other. There are few forms of martial arts out there that can provide you a more efficient way to defend yourself while striking and grappling on the ground.
Improves Functional Strength & Conditioning
MMA is probably one of the best combat sports out there that teaches you ways to defend yourself and improve your functional strength.
MMA practitioners have to improve both cardio and physical strength in order to keep up with MMA training. However, instead of lifting weights solely to get bigger and stronger, their strength and conditioning exercises directly translate to movements while training in MMA.
Strength and conditioning training in MMA requires you to utilize every muscle of your body. Hence, most strength and conditioning for MMA are total-body workouts. When you train in MMA, let us say throwing punches, kicks, or going for a takedown, and you utilize the whole body, especially the core.
Therefore, when you start training in MMA, you will learn ways to fight and get strong. Other aspects you improve would also include:
- Core strength
- Muscle coordination
All of the aspects above will naturally progress as you continue to train hard in MMA. Since MMA requires you to throw a lot of punches, kicks, throws, and many others, your body will learn how to cope by balancing out muscle strength and movements according to your MMA training.
I can personally say that MMA is a remarkably effective way to lose weight.
As an MMA practitioner, you will burn more calories than any other workout. This is because of the different types of training you have to go into. Here’s a quick example of the commitment you will be putting yourself into:
- Striking Training: Boxing, Muay Thai
- Grappling: Wrestling, Clinch Training, Judo
- Submissions: Brazilian Jiujitsu in Gi and No-Gi
- Strength & Conditioning: Olympic Lifting, Sprints, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
An MMA fighter or practitioner who trains hard can burn at least 600 calories to 900 calories within a 45 to 60-minute MMA training session. MMA training is essentially fat-slicers due to the high intensity. Reportedly, MMA training burns body fat for up to 18 hours after completing the workout.
So, if your goal is to burn weight promptly, MMA will definitely help you burn off the excess fat. With all the different combinations of training you have to do in MMA, you will lose those weight and burn those calories in no time.
Healthy Physical and Mental Lifestyle
The combined martial arts and workouts in MMA create a system that gets you into the healthiest lifestyle. Not only does MMA demand a healthy physical body, but also a healthy mindset as well.
Because of MMA’s rigorous and hard training system, it requires its practitioners to be physically healthy in order to be able to do the required workouts.
A physically healthy body for practicing MMA not only means physically strong but also the following:
- Strict healthy diet
- Sufficient sleep
- Avoid overtraining
- Flexibility and mobility
Additionally, training MMA also has its mental benefits as well. For example, as everyone mounts to stress from everyday life at some point, MMA training helps people relieve stress. Emotional control and temperance will also be developed as you train MMA, which is vital as fighters must be calm and composed in fights or self-defense situations.
Family and Community
Another aspect of joining and training in an MMA gym is the tight-knit community that you will be a part of. Whether you are an MMA fighter, athlete or practitioner in MMA gyms, they are very welcoming and supportive. If you are a newcomer and have a goal to compete in MMA, the coaches and the athletes will support you all the way as long as you are committed to it.
Additionally, MMA gyms always have a family-like community. These will be individuals that you will see almost every day. You’ll be punching, wrestling, or submitting one another, but at the end of the day, you are all friends trying to push each other to the limit.
And after a hard training session, everyone would usually end up having dinner, drinks, or just hanging out together.There is most likely no group out there compared to an MMA community. The level of support and the welcoming environment make one comfortable in training, whatever the level of experience might be.
Just For Fun
One of the simplest reasons why you want to do MMA is that you enjoy the sport. Although many have turned their passion for MMA into a career, countless individuals out there enjoy the process of learning MMA.
With learning at least three different forms of fighting, with an additional strength and conditioning aspect to it, there will always be something new or different to be learned in MMA. Therefore, for many of its practitioners, MMA is far from boring.
Additionally, if you love adrenaline or enjoy activities that push yourself under pressure, then there is no perfect combat sport out there other than MMA. MMA can simulate real-life situations, requiring individuals to be quick. People who thrive under pressure usually love the sport as it does exactly that.
MMA is absolutely an activity worth learning. The listed benefits above are life-changing to individuals who pick up the combat sport. It does not matter what reason you have behind learning MMA. What’s important is that it largely brings positive and beneficial things into an individual’s life, making it a great skill set to pick up.