Athletes of all backgrounds are interested in participation in the increasingly popular and ever-growing global phenomenon of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). You don’t have to strive and endeavor to be the next Jon Jones or Holly Holm to enjoy and take part in what can be an exceptional means of keeping fit. But what if you live with a physical disability and use medical marijuana (mmj) to improve your quality of life? Read on to learn more.

I Am Disabled, I Can’t Do Martial Arts

Like with a lot of top-level sports, there are amateur and recreational levels of participation and competition for anyone to train in, improve and enjoy in MMA. This is particularly prevalent to anyone who may have a physically or mentally limiting disorder or disability that has a passion for MMA and still wants to take part. Depending on your condition and the individual symptoms you suffer from there are potentially different options and various routes around them to allow you to participate even if you are using medical marijuana to manage symptoms of medical conditions like chronic pain. 

While Having a Medical Disorder Treated By MMJ, There Are Still Ways To Take Part

If you have a medical disorder (see the conditions below that qualify in some medical marijuana programs) that limits your physical abilities, there are still ways you can take part in MMA activities. 

  • Non-contact. You don’t have to fight to train in a similar way to an MMA fighter. Cardiovascular fitness is crucial to an MMA competitor and they do vigorous cardio preparation before a fight. Condition-allowing, you could replicate the cardiovascular training or elements of it to get fight fit without fighting.
  • Classes. Exercise classes such as boxercise, body combat, and body attack allow participants to learn moves and techniques of fighting whilst getting fit and not getting hit themselves. This is an ideal semi-contact or non-contact workout for MMA enthusiasts unable to compete in an octagon.
  • Disciplines. There are many MMA disciplines that combine to make an all-around fighter. Research the physical components of the chosen discipline and match them to your symptoms and condition. If you feel you could perform some of or a few techniques of the individual attribute then give it a go. Mastering one is better than none at all.
  • Sparring. Granted you probably shouldn’t spar with a boxer any time soon but there are MMA equivalents that could suit. For example, Judo throws may be manageable whereas kick-boxing is out of the question. You could practice Jiu-Jitsu holds without going 100% and getting hurt but still master the craft and learn the techniques of specific holds. 

Qualifying Conditions For Medical Marijuana

CBD research has shown that the cannabinoid is helpful for conditions like chronic pain and anxiety. To apply for a medical marijuana card, the following conditions are commonly listed as eligible by The State Department of Health but these will vary depending on your state. It is advisable to research the cannabis laws in your state and check the facts beforehand. 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Intractable pain is pain that has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment, or surgical measures for more than six months
  • Peripheral neuropathy & neuropathic pain disorders
  • Severe arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Seizures & epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms or spasticity
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Positive status for HIV/AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Severe nausea

The State Department of Health may approve other medical conditions and deem them suitable for treatment and will judge them on a case by case basis after consultation with the lead physician.

*Please note that certain disorders and illnesses will strictly forbid MMA practices, however you may check with your MMJ doctor which disciplines and practices mentioned above could be feasible for partial participation.

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