Mixed Martial Arts: A Guideline for Beginners The MMA Corner Staff November 30, 2018 News Martial arts fighting has gained popularity in mainstream sports over the last decade. Whether you are curious about how mixed martial arts can transform your body or you want to work toward competing in professional matches, this form of fighting requires commitment and skill. Gaining that skill is possible; however, before you step into the world of MMA, it is wise to first understand this sport’s history, what it involves, and what it can do for you in terms of becoming fit and enabling you to compete. The History of MMA Mixed martial arts can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece, where this type of fighting was known as “pankration,” or, when translated, “all powers.” Contestants were allowed to use all parts of their body during a match, except for their teeth, and trying to poke out their opponent’s eyes was also considered an illegal move. Some of the greatest warriors in Greece spread MMA from their shores to India, China, and even Brazil, where it branched out into different styles and new moves were added by each culture. MMA has had an influence on many American fighters since the popularity of Bruce Lee’s films that became mainstream during the early and mid-1970s. Many admirers of Lee consider him the first true MMA master and his influence is still apparent in the sport today. The Ultimate Fighting Championship, a promotional company for mixed martial arts, brought the sport into the limelight in 1993 and has since sponsored and supported it by arranging and promoting fights for a variety of classifications. Is MMA Right for You? If you are interested in learning mixed martial arts, there are several factors to consider before making the commitment. For example, since MMA is comprised of several other sports, including boxing and wrestling, it is a good idea to look into them as well to decide whether learning one of them might be enough to fulfill your exercise needs. If you want to learn a variety of striking techniques but also appreciate how wrestling holds can subdue your opponent, then MMA could be a good fit for you. Many gyms that teach and promote the sport, such as The Arena in San Diego, assert that learning mixed martial arts can give you a total body workout because you essentially use every limb and most muscle groups during combat. If you are completely new to the sport, learning the steps to build your skills can be important for how well you do in the future, as well as to protect yourself from injury. How To Choose an MMA Gym While gyms that specialize in boxing and wrestling techniques may be able to teach you the groundwork for learning mixed martial arts, you may want to consider finding one that specializes in the sport so you can learn the proper techniques from the very start. Even if you already have some training, learning MMA from its fundamentals can result in a more comprehensive knowledge of strikes, kicks, and grappling moves when the time comes for you to compete. Finding a facility that can work with you within the confines of your current ability, such as San Diego’s MMA Gym, may help you gain the confidence you need to become a proficient fighter. Before you begin, make sure your trainer is aware of your current experience with mixed martial arts so you can both formulate a training plan that will likely garner the best results. The best trainer is one who will take the time to understand your goals and teach you techniques in a way that help you gain skills in a steady pattern. Learning mixed martial arts helps you tone your body and teaches you a variety of combat skills. However, understanding this sport’s history and fundamentals before you begin can foster a more meaningful connection to what you learn, whether you compete or not.