MMA is an absolutely fantastic sport for people of all ages. If you too are just like most other people who are interested in trying out ‘Mixed Martial Arts’ or MMA as it is more popularly known these days, then the odds are, that just watching all those stellar athletes perform dazzling moves, on the mat may leave you feeling intimidated.
Well, you can easily rest assured, this is an entirely normal process and that, most instructors at dojos and gyms all over the world are not just accustomed but also quite good at helping people easily get past their raw nerves. Still, some following are pretty helpful hints that one should always keep in mind when he or she starts going to the dojo for the very first time in his or her life.
o Conduct your due diligence research beforehand
Before joining a dojo for the purpose of ‘kick-starting’ (no pun intended) of indulging your passion as a martial artist you should conduct a ‘due diligence’ research survey beforehand, with regard to the various options and styles as well as dojos available. In this case, the ideal thing to do would be to go right ahead and join a join a learning school where MMA would be a ‘prime time’ exercise. I.e. the kind of place where many people (read fighters) would love to come and exercise as well as practice. As a matter of fact, the more the people the better it will be for you to both learn and practice with the help of your seniors as well as coaches and guides.
o You have to figure out if you really enjoy it or not
Before you take the seminal decision to join MMA classes, you will first and foremost, have to figure out if you really and truly enjoy the sport and are absolutely dedicated towards it. For make no mistake, it can and indeed does demand a lot in terms of time, commitment, and energy. And this holds true for people who are already well versed in other disciplines such as Judo, Aikido, Tai Che, to quote but a few. This is because MMA is not really for the faint of heart at all. And if you do not have what it takes you might end up getting really demotivated fairly quickly indeed. So instead of jumping right in, you should take some time out and see for yourself, if this is exactly what you want to do or will you be satisfied with some other, but less intense style or sport for that matter.
o Be really honest with yourself as well as your instructors
Now that you have made the decision to opt for MMA, you should never try to ‘bite more than you can chew.’ By this, it is meant that you have to keep in mind your own endurance and fitness levels. If you were to lie to your coach and your own self that you are actually more fit than you really are, then the only person who is liable to get hurt will almost certainly be you, yourself. So, you should not feel any embarrassment in opening up, regarding your level of physical fitness or for that matter, the lack of the same, thereof. Always remember, everyone has to start off from at least one specific point in time, in terms of their overall health and even the best fighters at your local gym, were not really born that way, after all.
If you are really diligent and contentious then the odds are that sooner or later, you will be playing with the big boys and giving them a run for their money.
o Be patient
Many, if not most people are not really absolute naturals at the sport, especially when it comes to something as intense as MMA. This holds even truer if the aspiring martial artists never did get any kind of martial arts exposure as a kid.
Apart from the fact that it will hurt a lot initially, as muscles and tendons that had never known hard work are put through their paces, there is the fact that a lot of the stuff you will be taught might seem counterintuitive, at least initially. Which is precisely why it will take a long time indeed for both your mind and body to really ‘sync up’ and thereby really learn a lot of the ‘bare bones’ basics of this high-intensity combat sport.
However, you can rest assured that this is expected as such. And even as you push the envelope relentlessly, you will realize that you have started having fun as well. Here, if you can really force yourself to be very patient but at the same time keep absolutely realistic goals and consistently continue to show up for your training sessions. You will slowly and gradually notice that what had stopped you in your tracks is now an easy task.
Really get to work on your endurance levels overall
This can be also accomplished with the help of activities that you conduct outside the gym. These can include going for long jobs early in the morning. Climbing stairs multiple times and rope skipping (You should continue this last even if you feel that you are at the end of your proverbial rope). Such high-intensity cardio training will give you the stamina you need for both sparing and competition.
These workouts will also increase your endurance and the capacity to absorb pain. Both of which are qualities vital to winning against your opponent, regardless of how big he may be. At the same time, you should also spar as much as you can to ensure that you are always in fighting trim.
Once you follow these fairly simple guidelines, you can become an ace MMA fighter in no time.