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So you're starting MMA Training? Listen up.

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Omega

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Okay kids (yeah I'm the old man);

I've seen 3 threads started lately about "how do you get started in MMA?" So here's one way to do it. I started doing Judo at the age of 9 switched to kung-fu and did kickboxing for my full contact experiance. In 1992 I came across a competition called shootwrestling/shootfighting that was being held in Japan and I started training on the ground more often to be prepared. Less than a year later UFC 1 happened and the nhb/mma explosion begun, I hooked up with a sambo group and practiced with whoever I could find.

In my experiance there is one really sure fire way to start in mma and this is covered in BJ Penn's new book on MMA. Start somewhere and get good at it. I did Kung-fu for 10 years before taking my first kickboxing match. I did kickboxing for 2 years when I decided to do nhb and I already had a judo background. It doesn't matter where you start but get good at it. Once you get good at it then you can take everything else that will round you out. You'll find that everything will start to link and make sense. So whether it's wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, Taekwondo, BJJ, SAMBO, submission fighting get good at it and establish a base.

How long will it take? Usually about 6 months of intense training in on thing will start to establish a base, 1 year is better. Then start adding on and round out your game. If you are starting from scratch you're looking at about 2 years out if you have an athletic background. If not it may take longer.

Any questions?

Post #1   12/13/07 12:43:16PM   

loonytnt

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what kind of kung fu did you do?

Post #2   12/13/07 1:13:35PM   

fullerene

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I'm glad to see this thread started.

I'll add a couple minor points:

1. Doing MMA or any combat sport requires that you are in excellent shape. Some of this you're only going to get by doing wrestling training, kickboxing training, etc., but if you currently can't run around the block or touch your toes, you're going to have trouble even working out long enough to make classes worthwhile. You can get into shape by collapsing in training over progressively longer and longer intervals of time, but most out of shape people I've seen come into a school don't stay for more than a couple of classes. If you're too lazy to give consideration to your diet and exercise now, it's going to be really tough to transition into one of the most physically demanding exercise routines you could take on. (not that it can't be done, but it's rare)

2. There is nothing wrong with starting off training Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, etc., deciding you like it and continuing to compete in that sport without moving on to MMA. There are great athletes, great tournaments, and guys as tough as MMA fighters in every combat sport. At the very least, show some respect for those disciplines and don't walk into a boxing gym and say "I'm just here to learn how to punch so I can be an MMA fighter".

Post #3   12/13/07 1:57:41PM   

Omega

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Posted by loonytnt

what kind of kung fu did you do?



I've done several systems of kung-fu mostly southern based. The system translates to "Five house of striking" or "Five Family fists"

Post #4   12/13/07 2:19:40PM   

Omega

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Posted by fullerene

I'm glad to see this thread started.

I'll add a couple minor points:

1. Doing MMA or any combat sport requires that you are in excellent shape. Some of this you're only going to get by doing wrestling training, kickboxing training, etc., but if you currently can't run around the block or touch your toes, you're going to have trouble even working out long enough to make classes worthwhile. You can get into shape by collapsing in training over progressively longer and longer intervals of time, but most out of shape people I've seen come into a school don't stay for more than a couple of classes. If you're too lazy to give consideration to your diet and exercise now, it's going to be really tough to transition into one of the most physically demanding exercise routines you could take on. (not that it can't be done, but it's rare)

2. There is nothing wrong with starting off training Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, etc., deciding you like it and continuing to compete in that sport without moving on to MMA. There are great athletes, great tournaments, and guys as tough as MMA fighters in every combat sport. At the very least, show some respect for those disciplines and don't walk into a boxing gym and say "I'm just here to learn how to punch so I can be an MMA fighter".



Great points too.

Post #5   12/13/07 2:20:31PM   

cmill21

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Posted by fullerene

I'm glad to see this thread started.

I'll add a couple minor points:

1. Doing MMA or any combat sport requires that you are in excellent shape. Some of this you're only going to get by doing wrestling training, kickboxing training, etc., but if you currently can't run around the block or touch your toes,



Agreed, I often recommend a local conditioning school when people ask me where they should go to get in better shape or just need to get in better shape for mma, kickboxing or muay tai.

Post #6   12/13/07 2:33:30PM   

babalu2720

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Just since the topic is up i guess I 'll ask, I'm in high school and might do some sort of training, partly just for fun and because it would be something exciting to learn, but whether or not something comes out of it is not my biggest concern, my question is how much should we expect to pay/ be willing to play, also this depends on whether I'm doing it for fun, or seriously, just your thoughts...lessons, equipment etc.

Post #7   12/13/07 5:06:34PM   

postman

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I train in Universal Martial Arts Systems. I pay $40 /hr. for private sessions, usually a buddy and I split it so its only 20/hr. I also take classes on Tues. and Thur. the classes are $10/hr but there are others in the class that range from a few months to a couple years under them. Since I take Private classes I get those classes for $5/hr. You are still in high school you should be on the wrestling team its free.

Post #8   12/13/07 5:25:37PM   

Omega

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Posted by babalu2720

Just since the topic is up i guess I 'll ask, I'm in high school and might do some sort of training, partly just for fun and because it would be something exciting to learn, but whether or not something comes out of it is not my biggest concern, my question is how much should we expect to pay/ be willing to play, also this depends on whether I'm doing it for fun, or seriously, just your thoughts...lessons, equipment etc.



I charge $95 for unlimited amount of classes but I'm inexpensive for my area. In CA I think $120 is average.

Post #9   12/13/07 6:19:32PM   

babalu2720

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Posted by Omega


Posted by babalu2720

Just since the topic is up i guess I 'll ask, I'm in high school and might do some sort of training, partly just for fun and because it would be something exciting to learn, but whether or not something comes out of it is not my biggest concern, my question is how much should we expect to pay/ be willing to play, also this depends on whether I'm doing it for fun, or seriously, just your thoughts...lessons, equipment etc.



I charge $95 for unlimited amount of classes but I'm inexpensive for my area. In CA I think $120 is average.



I'm assuming you mean per month for unlimited classes.....

Post #10   12/13/07 6:27:00PM   

Omega

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Posted by babalu2720


Posted by Omega


Posted by babalu2720

Just since the topic is up i guess I 'll ask, I'm in high school and might do some sort of training, partly just for fun and because it would be something exciting to learn, but whether or not something comes out of it is not my biggest concern, my question is how much should we expect to pay/ be willing to play, also this depends on whether I'm doing it for fun, or seriously, just your thoughts...lessons, equipment etc.



I charge $95 for unlimited amount of classes but I'm inexpensive for my area. In CA I think $120 is average.



I'm assuming you mean per month for unlimited classes.....



You assume correctly.

Post #11   12/13/07 8:50:41PM   

jomatty

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you can find cheap classes at the ymca as well sometimes. the ones i take cost $60 a month for BJJ and $45 a month for judo. both are twice a week. sure your not gonna get gene labell and eddie bravo for that, but for my level of expertise (which is still very low) the sensei and coaches are great. very passionate guys who do it because they love it and want to train and teach. that gets me in the gym working out four days a week for aroudn 100 bucks. these guys are interested in mma as well, although they are more interested in their arts. when they find out you are interested they are happy to share what they know. tell them you want to get in shape and they will work you hard.

understand that i dont necessarily want to be a fighter (although i would like to fight once before i get too old in a local show) but i enjoy it and it keeps me from getting too fat. judo is a great thing to do with my son and we have a lot of fun.

Post #12   12/14/07 5:12:15AM   

Omega

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Posted by jomatty

you can find cheap classes at the ymca as well sometimes. the ones i take cost $60 a month for BJJ and $45 a month for judo. both are twice a week. sure your not gonna get gene labell and eddie bravo for that, but for my level of expertise (which is still very low) the sensei and coaches are great. very passionate guys who do it because they love it and want to train and teach. that gets me in the gym working out four days a week for aroudn 100 bucks. these guys are interested in mma as well, although they are more interested in their arts. when they find out you are interested they are happy to share what they know. tell them you want to get in shape and they will work you hard.

understand that i dont necessarily want to be a fighter (although i would like to fight once before i get too old in a local show) but i enjoy it and it keeps me from getting too fat. judo is a great thing to do with my son and we have a lot of fun.



Well shoot maybe I should up my prices since I'm being low balled by the YMCA.

Post #13   12/14/07 12:15:15PM   

hathcock32

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omega where in California....do you run your classes??

Post #14   12/15/07 7:44:59PM   

Svartorm

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I'll cover a few things here as well, and anyone who actually fights MMA/NHB who'd like to give some advice, please feel free to do so.

A bit of background: I've done TMA since I was 9 competed in sub-grappling locally from 14-18, and had my first amatuer NHB fight at 22. I had severely injured my back when I was 19 so I have the unique experience of trying to get into MMA from the couch potato perspective. Although I had a decent background beforehand in American Kempo, wrestling (a little greco and freestyle), and Iaite, my body was completely destroyed before trying to get into mma. So, heres some tidbits for the folks that are not athletic, or are formerly athletic. Before I get into that, theres something that needs to be addressed that many people shoot themselves in the foot with when going into competetive sports.

BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF!

You need to be honest with yourself in a number of things, but first and foremost is whether or not you have what it takes to be a fighter. I guarentee almost everyone will initially answer "Yes" when they think of that, and I guarentee almost all of you are wrong. When explaining why I like fighting to someone, I explain it as this:

"Fighting is the physical manifestation of willpower between two warriors."

Matt Hughes claims fighting is half mental and half physical. Renzo Gracie claims its 70% mental and 30% physical. I'm learning towards the 90% mental and 10% physical area myself, but regardless, if your mind and heart aren't into combat, this isn't for you. Theres no shame in not having the mental and emotional conditioning to fight, as some people are simply not wired for it, and I'm reasonally sure theres no way around that instinct if you happen to be in that crowd. Painting stripes on a house cat doesn't make it a tiger, and putting someone not wired to be a fighter into a Muay Thai class doesn't make them a fighter either.

One of the big questions is this: Why do you want to be a fighter? There are several answers for this, such as money, fame, women, glory, etc etc but theres one question that can cut to the chase, and its something everyone should ask themselves before stepping into a ring, cage or whatever.

If you weren't going to get money, weren't going to get recognition, and no one would ever know you did or didn't do it, would you still fight?

Once again, be honest and answer that question. If the answer is "Yes", then keep reading. If the answer is "No" then you might want to figure out exactly what it is you're looking for, and see if theres a better way to go about it that would still make you happy. Sounds corny, but once fists start flying, blood is running and you're stuck in mount, things like money and fame are not going to modivate you to get out of that spot and keep going when your body is telling you that you've had it.

Now, Omega and Fullerene have brought up good points about starting in one art and going from there, and to be in decent physical shape. I'd like to expand on some of this with personal experience and a bit of common sense.

1. DON'T START TOO FAST.

If you leap into martial art training, dieting, weight training and cardio every day right off the bat, you'll either hurt yourself or completely burn out in a short amount of time. If you're already athletic, you shouldn't have a problem handling two classes a week, in addition to whatever you do to keep healthy. If you're not athletic, or have been on the shelf for awhile, its going to take a bit more work. I'd recommend you start with stretching and light body weight excercises. Stretching conditions the muscles for the rigors to come in the next few weeks and body weight excercises are easy to do, can be done anywhere and are a good bellweather as to how fit you are. If you can't knock out 50 push-ups, sit-ups or jumping jacks, you're going to need some time to get your body ready for training. Once again, be honest with yourself about this. You might be excited about the prospects of fighting, but you'll end up slowing yourself down if you get hurt and have to take time off, especially if you're not paticularly modivated about training in the first place.

Once you're comfortable with body weight excercise and stretching, to the point where you can function normally the day after a workout and are doing a decent amount of push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and squats, you'll want to start in on cardio training to see what your wind is like. Walking is a good way to start, as its low impact but does help you aerobically. Keep a steady pace (3 or so miles and hour is good) and see how far you can walk before you're mildly physically tired. If this is less than five miles, you're going to need to work on this. If walking isn't giving you a workout, try jogging or eliptical machines and see what kind of pace you can set. Most "fit" people can do 15 minutes at a moderate pace with little trouble. Fit doesn't cut it for fighting, but it should work for training.

Now that you've got your wind working for you, time to hit the weights. I'm not even remotely qualified to talk about weight training, and use a very simple power lifting method to increase strength, along with kettlebells and grappling. If someone with a weight lifting background could chime in here, that would be awesome, but I'm not comfortable giving recommendations to people on this.

Now time to address diet and actual martial skill building.

Last edited 12/16/07 3:27AM server time by svartorm
Edit note/reason: Grammar and typos

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Post #15   12/16/07 12:46:02AM   
 
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