The idea behind mixed martial arts has been around for a long time. Some sources date the earliest form of hand-to-hand combat for sport to Greek pankration (648 B.C.). The modern equivalent that has gained the most notoriety (Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC) was formed in 1993 and has spread all over the world. Most professional MMA fighters undergo years if not a lifetime of training before they step in to octagon to face an opponent. However, with MMA and the UFC's massive popularity increase, everyday people have been given countless opportunities to train just like the pros.
As with most hobbies in life, the fitness enthusiast that wishes to pursue mixed martial arts training has a lot to consider. Does he or she want a gym dedicated to fighting or a gym that has MMA-like classes with other fitness options? How much should they expect to pay each month for a membership? Is training for MMA meant for people aspiring to be fighters? Before signing a gym contract it is important to tryout your options; many gyms will offer trial classes before you make a commitment.
Usually a basic gym membership costs around $30/month and memberships to specialized gyms for learning MMA fighting styles can range between $60-$100 a month. Because there is a broad range of financial options it is important that you consider your fitness and training goals.
For the average gym goer who is mainly seeking a change to the daily routine, investing in a separate gym membership for MMA is probably a bad decision. But for the individual wanting to focus primarily on mixed martial arts training, the specialized gyms can offer classes and instructors that are far superior to the average fitness trainer that teaches a cardio-kick boxing class. In either case, MMA training can offer very real results and benefits for those who take the time to incorporate it into their workout routine.
The basic repertoire of a MMA fighter consists of a combination of boxing, wrestling, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, and several other martial art forms. Because of the broad range of experience in multiple fight disciplines, training for mixed martial arts will target every aspect of physical fitness possible. Power, endurance, strength, flexibility, and speed are all key elements of a well rounded fighter. Even if your goal is not stepping into a ring, the benefits are still there while you train. The top MMA fighters are considered to be some of the best athletes in the world based on their physical fitness levels and strict training.
A lot of choosing specific fighting disciplines is based on personal preference. Whether you train by focusing on wrestling or Jiu-Jitsu, for example, will largely depend on where you choose to train. Special considerations should be made based on your current fitness level and any pre-existing conditions like back or joint problems.
Many top athletes and fitness experts recognize that maximum fitness gains depend - in part - on varying the types of exercises you perform. Many times, focusing on a limited range of exercises can lead to your body plateauing. When your body plateaus, your muscles become used to certain movements and it requires less energy and effort to perform the same tasks. Since the point of working out and exercising is to tax your body and muscles, it is important to avoid plateauing by incorporating new exercises in your routine. Because MMA training involves movements and exercises that are not typical in most sports and daily activities, adding MMA into your workout can be a good way to keep your workouts fresh.