The 4 biggest fears about starting MMA (and why they’re wrong)
Training at a mixed martial arts gym can be an intimidating experience at first. If all you’ve seen of MMA is a bunch of UFC fights on TV you may think that it’s not quite for you — but you’d be surprised. Mixed martial arts is a safe, effective and FUN activity for people of all ages, genders and martial arts experience levels. As one of New Jersey’s premier MMA gyms, we have seen plenty of misunderstandings about what goes on behind our doors, and we’re here today to dispel four of the most common in case any of them are keeping you from calling up your local gym and getting started.
Training in MMA is going to get me hurt!
This is easily the biggest fear we see when a first-time student walks through the door, and we are happy to say that in the vast majority of mixed martial arts schools, this is simply not true. While UFC fighters may be the face of MMA training, most of our students are every-day folks who just want to come out and have a good time while getting in shape. And if you start training, you may even be surprised to see just how nice and normal even the UFC fighters are. Mixed martial arts is really just the combining of many different traditional martial arts into one cohesive form, and like most of these arts, it preaches respect for your teammates first and foremost. Simply put, you can’t play with your toys if you break them, so any good gym is going to create an atmosphere that is welcoming and safe for all new students, and your training won’t simply be getting tossed into a cage with an experienced fighter and wished “good luck.”
But I’m too old/young!
This is simply not true. Our students range from 4 years old to old enough they’d rather not say and you’d do well not to ask. One of the best things about martial arts training is that there are so many goals you can work to that a class can be accomodating of anyone who wants to learn. For children, the diverse skills of MMA create a well-rounded bully-proof child, while our older students find that staying active a few nights a week has them in the best shape they’ve ever been in! Don’t let your age be an excuse to miss out on the valuable skills your local gym has to offer.
I have to get in shape first!
Simply put, nothing is going to get you in shape for the martial arts classes at your local MMA school other than taking those classes. The exercise you will get on the mats is different than running long distances or lifting heavy weights. While coming in with a higher baseline fitness will obviously help, any gym owner has seen countless fit students sucking wind by the end of their first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Muay Thai class. So, rather than thinking you need to get in shape to start training MMA, start training MMA to get in shape. It’s a full-body workout that builds real, practical muscle, while also burning fat. As far as workouts go, it’s hard to beat.
I don’t want to be an inconvenience for my partner
For many of our more considerate students, this was the biggest hurdle they had to get over — the fear that they were dragging down whoever they got paired with in the beginning of their MMA journey. It’s a natural fear to worry that your more-experienced partner will be getting frustrated with you if you need a little extra work to grasp the moves you’re being taught, but there’s no need to worry. Here’s the secret about training in mixed martial arts — everyone out there when you walk in for your first day had a first day of their own. Even your instructor with that impressive Black Belt around their waist had a day where they didn’t know how to throw a proper punch, or what an armbar was. So, when you find yourself working with a more experienced partner and assume they have had it up to here with you and are going to be a real jerk about it, they won’t. Because once upon a time they were you, and they know that their partner on that day was as kind and understanding as they now are being with you.
So, if you’ve been holding off on trying your local mixed martial arts gym for any of the above reasons, stop it! Go out and try a class. You just might find that it’s exactly what you’re looking for.
If you live in or near Sparta, NJ, why not give us a call at 862-268-2660 or fill out the form below and we will hook you up with a free trial class to see how you like it. We bet the answer will be “a lot.”