Hard work and discipline are the key ingredients to obtain success in MMA! It will also be beneficial if you have a background in a discipline related to MMA such as wrestling or boxing. Regardless of your experience, here are 4 excellent tips for those new to MMA.
Tip #1: Be patient when you are new to MMA
If you have never learned to throw a punch properly, it might be too optimistic to think you’ll be a professional cage fighter in a month; however, there is no reason to take the other extreme view either. If you’re waiting until you’re an expert in everything, be prepared to wait a very long time. Hopefully you will have a good coach who can help you decide when you will be ready to jump in the ring or cage.
I constantly have guys coming into the gym telling me they want to be in the UFC and make money fighting. While I commend these people for setting lofty goals, few of them follow through. They lack the patience and discipline necessary to reach their goal.
Tip #2: Get your sparring in
The one area you should not neglect when training for a MMA competition is sparring. The principle of Specificity states: the best way to get better at something is to do that particular thing. It’s a very simple concept, yet too many miss it. If your goal is to increase your number of pushups, then do more pushups. If you want to improve your fighting ability, then fight. If you are serious about MMA competition, you should be sparring at least 2-3 times per week. This should be done only when you are ready and under the supervision of a qualified coach.
Tip #3: Don’t be a jack of all trades
You know the expression! While you should constantly be working to improve your weaker areas, there should be one area that you are very comfortable in. This way you can use your expertise to your advantage. Take a look at two famous MMA fighters, Matt Serra and Chuck Liddell. Both fighters are strong in all areas but it would be silly for most fighters to want to grapple with Matt Serra. Those going up against Chuck Liddell will most likely avoid staying in the pocket and trading blows.
Tip #4: Compete as much as you can
The more you compete the better. Many high school and collegiate wrestlers do very well in grappling competitions because, partly, they are so familiar with dealing with their nervous energy before a tournament. I have entered many tournaments including submission grappling, BJJ, and judo. While this competition experience had value in and of itself, I’ll also feel slightly more comfortable in MMA because of it.
As a final note, I want to congratulate you for beginning to train for MMA. It is very rewarding, regardless of your skill level. As you continue to practice you will develop yourself both physically and mentally. Soon you will become a more resilient and skilled fighter. Good Luck!