Posted 4/21/14 12:55:00AM
Posted by Svartorm
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.