What aspects do you need to train to become a well-rounded MMA fighter?


01 March 2021

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MMA or mixed martial arts, as it is commonly known, is the fastest growing sport in the world and has become very popular with young adults. Aspects of training have been incorporated into many people's training regimes, whether in the gym or at home.

MMA incorporates a wide range of techniques from different backgrounds in martial arts. In addition to training hard lifting weights, doing cardiovascular work, and having the mental advantage by staying one step ahead of your opponent, you should be well versed in the 3 main disciplines which are hitting, wrestling, and jiu jitsu.


A good fighter will have a variety of flashy styles in his arsenal. Every fight starts standing up and if you can finish the fight early without going to the ground, you will be able to finish the fight early and please the crowd. Hitting is easy to learn as the movements are basic and most people know the basics of fighting, through movies, TV events, etc. The punch can be learned quickly, but all fighters must be smart as you must predict what your opponent is doing and plan his defense / attack strategy. The smart punch is difficult to teach and understand as you need to increase your reaction time and balance. A good striker will be able to counter effectively and predict when an opponent is about to attack. Top MMA fighters like Shogun, Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort and Mirko Cro Cop have been successful as well versed forwards. In addition to outstanding hits, they have great defense against expansion and knockdown that deflects opponents from shooting for a takedown.


Wrestling has recently been the main discipline that has performed well in MMA. Of the last 13 winners from the last wrestling series, 7 of them have a wrestling base. A fighter will be able to adapt to MMA as his training is very similar and he will have great strength, excellent cardio and endurance, the ability to move body weight, great grip, fighting intelligence and the ability to shoot / defend takedowns. Many college, Division 1 and 2, and professional fighters have experienced immediate success in MMA. There must be a teaching method that allows fighters to transition and become successful MMA practitioners. Wrestlers can generally experience a decent amount of success with relatively little additional training. Wrestling standouts like Josh Koscheck, Jake Rosholt, Jake O'Brien, C.B. Dollaway, Matt Hughes, Brock Lesnar, Chael Sonnen and many others have continued to win even as their submission and punching skills catch up with their fighting skills. Great fighters will be able to use their experience on the ground to increase their Jiu Jitsu skills. Tito Ortiz, who is experienced in wrestling, used the dominant wrestling of him riding an opponent and striking from above (Ground and Pound). Mark Coleman, another top fighter, first introduced this style to MMA in the early 1990s. Fighters will try to bring a striker to the ground and control the fight there and with Jiu Jitsu practitioners they will get down stand up and attack or look for an easy takedown to score points.

Jiu Jitsu:

Jiu-jitsu opened a lot of eyes when Royce Gracie surprised early UFC audiences with a running game that stopped even the greatest of forwards. No matter what discipline the fighters come from, BJJ is still one of the best skill set options for today's best fighters. A good jiu jitsu practitioner will be able to subdue opponents from various positions, both standing and on the ground. Wrestlers who have Jiu Jitsu as their main discipline will have some experience in wrestling, as Jiu Jitsu competitions are ground events. When you compete in Jiu Jitsu events, the pace is very high and you need to have great strength and muscular endurance. As with hitting, jiu jitsu practitioners need to be smart as you need to predict what your opponent is going to do and plan your defense / attack strategy relatively early and stop getting a chance when it arises without leaving yourself open for a attack.

Jiu Jitsu artists are relatively strong as they need to maneuver their body weight; They are powerful as well, as when they sink into strangles and locks they want to end the fight right there. Having to move your opponent's body weight and have him lying on you will increase your endurance and cardiovascular endurance.


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