Image from Flickr
MMA is one of the most intense, varied, and undeniably cool combat sports around. Like many, you might have had a long-running interest in this unique sport, and are finally starting to feel ready to plunge right into doing it yourself. Don’t get ahead of yourself though! Like any sport, there’s a right way and a wrong way to get started in MMA. Here’s some pointers for the former…
Choose your Gym Wisely
The massive boom of popularity that MMA has experienced has been kind of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s breathed life into an active and passionate community of like-minded people which is now keeping the sport alive in countries all over the world. On the other, it’s also encouraged a lot of amateurs to pose as professionals! When choosing your MMA gym, it’s important to shop around, and find one with a highly qualified and experienced instructor with a decent legacy of success behind them. Most professional gyms will allow newcomers one free session, which will be an opportunity for you to have a look around, experience a class, and decide whether or not it’s a good fit for you. With the size of the MMA community, it shouldn’t take you long to find a good gym; just don’t go with the first one you come across!
Obviously, you’re not going to need a whole arsenal of gear when you’re first starting out. A jockstrap and cup are pretty essential for the guys though! It’s also a good idea to get your own mouth piece, and a rash guard which will prevent any severe chafing or mat burns. As you progress, you’ll probably want to buy your own boxing mitts, MMA gloves, shin guards, and maybe start to look at some wrestling scale reviews once you become a little more serious about it. When buying your gear, just like pinning your gym on the map, you should take your time to shop around and read a lot of reviews for different products. For complete beginners, however, it doesn’t need to be a big deal. Good gyms will let you borrow their gear until it’s necessary to source your own.
Know When to Tap
I could write a whole other post on breathing and stamina exercises which an MMA beginner should try out to get themselves prepared. The most important thing of all, however, is to gauge your limits, and know when to tap. As you’re probably aware, “tapping” is a part of many combat sports, which involves tapping the mat or your opponent when you’re in a hold to let them know that you submit. Naturally, you’ll be out to impress when you first go to the gym, but don’t go on for too long refusing to tap. You won’t come off as weak, provided that you put at least some effort into getting out of the hold. If you struggle until you submit, however, you’ll only end up showing everyone that you’re an amateur, and possibly injuring yourself!