Basics of MMA Training for Beginners

Mixed martial arts has gained amazing popularity in the last decade. Many people want to learn about the basics of MMA training because of it. It would surprise you to know that the roots of MMA go back thousands of years. The ancient Chinese, the Greeks and other civilizations practiced MMA in sporting arenas and battlefields.

But in modern times, it was until Bruce Lee who introduced the world to Jeet Kune Do, a mix of boxing and Kung Fu, or Wing Chun namely. ‘A form without a form’; which would result in the ever evolving art of Mixed Martial Arts. Since then many people have started taking part in the sport.

Bruce lee statue silhouette and setting sun

The recent popularity of UFC and superstars like Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, and many others have made MMA a household name, drawing in a fan following of noncombatants and enthusiasts alike.

These great fighters have inspired people to take up the sport and learn the skills, techniques, and endurance that is required for MMA.

But many of these people don’t know where to begin. There is a vast amount of information out there that can overwhelm you. You will end up giving up on the sport or have a greater risk of injuries.

What you need is a filtered down version of the necessary information that doesn’t confuse you and puts you on the right path towards becoming an MMA warrior. We will follow this article with a series of posts about MMA training gear, exercises at home, strength training, diet tips and everything else that you would want to know, so stick with us. For now, we are here to give you the basics.

Three Basics for MMA Training

Every sport in the world requires practice and training, but before you can get to that part you must learn the basics of that sport.

MMA is the same. If you are just looking to get into MMA for fitness, then these basics will be beneficial to you. But if you want to become a competitive MMA fighter then you must live by these basics.

1.      Building Endurance for martial arts

You will need good or elite level endurance, depending on your interest in the sport, for MMA. Surviving in the octagon for only 5 minutes can suck out everything you have in you. You need to tap into your stamina reserves to endure the physicality and the punishment. Thankfully you can train for MMA endurance at home as well.

Legs blue black shoes running on grass

First, you have to build that reserve.

  • People who are at average fitness level should start with a 2-mile run every other day.
  • Cardio exercises on the rest of the days are ideal. HIIT can be a good option here.
  • After a couple of weeks, you can add sprint drills to the endurance workout.
  • Sprint at full speed for 5 seconds. Rest for 2 minutes and repeat for 6-10 rounds.
  • People who aren’t as active should start slower, preferably jogging 30 minutes every other day.
  • Alternate between jogging and walking to keep your heart rate at an optimum level.

This is the earliest step that you need to take. Without it, you will not make it through your first day of training in an MMA gym. The next logical step will be replacing the cardio exercise day with strength training. We will have more on that in a later post.

2.      Learn Grappling for MMA

A majority of MMA fights end when one fighter takes advantage of the other while the former is on the ground. You can’t be a good MMA fighter until you have a strong grappling game.

two fighter grapple at mma fight crowd cheering

The basics of MMA grappling have to do with positional grappling. You need to get into a dominant position for a submission hold or to deliver hits to stop the match.

Before you can learn grappling, you have to learn the art of the takedown, which comes from Judo and BJJ (Brazilian Ju Jitsu).

When you join a gym you will have to learn wrestling, Judo, and BJJ techniques through drills. You can also get some grappling gloves and bag to practice some moves at home.

The trainers will ease you in so you don’t have to worry about how you have to learn two different kinds of fighting styles.

3.      Basic Strikes for MMA

The most fun part of the MMA, the hitting.

You will learn how to throw punches, kicks, elbows, and knees throughout your training.

Man throws kick in black yellow Muay Thai shorts

You have to develop speed in the hits, as well as force; while flexibility in the limbs will be key for high kicks. You will find tips and tricks for regarding these two aspects in our future blogs.

MMA borrows from Boxing, Ju Jitsu, Tae Kwondo, Karate and Muay Thai when it comes to critical striking. You will have to spend a lot of time with a punching bag developing combinations. The trainers will start you off with some basic hitting techniques and teach you combos as your training progresses. Some basic strikes are;

  • Jabs
  • Hooks
  • Punches
  • Elbow Strikes
  • Round Kicks
  • Leg Kicks

You also have to learn how to defend against all these strikes and how to deliver counter strikes.

Never enter the gym with the aspirations of becoming the greatest fighter of all time in a month.

There are several different types of martial arts that you have to learn and it will be a slow process so you have to remain patient.

More Mental than Physical

You can train your body all you want and still fail as an MMA fighter. Why? Because you haven’t prepared your mind.

Animated image of human brain lifting a barbell

It is very difficult to prepare your mind for the environment of an octagon. This ought to be the very first rule – DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED.

  • To put it simply, you need to bring commitment in the beginning.
  • You will develop mental toughness and resolve during the training.
  • Before you enter the ring, you will have focus and fortitude.

You have to be prepared to get hit and grappled to the ground. This is where your training comes into play and the quality of your trainers’ matters.

This why you have to be careful in selecting a gym that can prepare you for what you will be facing. We will do a piece about choosing an MMA gym so stay tuned.

The information above, some that is soon to follow, will help point you in the right direction. We will give you the proper guidelines you require for becoming an MMA fighter. For now, you must focus on your endurance training and we will be back for the next step in a few days’ time.

What would you like to know about MMA? Let us know in the comments section below.