What is mixed martial arts and who should try it

What is mixed martial arts

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a popular form of martial arts that is characterized by great freedom of action during combat.

In duels, punches and kicks, work in close contact with knees and elbows are allowed. You can also transfer the opponent to the ground: knock him to the ground with a sweep, throw, grab by the legs or in any other way, and then strike, apply pain and suffocation techniques, forcing him to surrender.

Mixed martial arts include elements from many martial arts: Thai boxing, taekwondo, sambo, wrestling, jiu-jitsu and others.

The rules prohibit only mean and unsportsmanlike methods such as attacking the eyes and throat, hitting the groin, the back of the head and spine, painful holds on the fingers, biting, holding the hair and kicking the head of a lying opponent.

Due to the variety of attack and defense techniques, mixed martial arts are universal and can be useful both in sports fights and in dangerous life circumstances .

The philosophy of MMA is to create a martial art that will allow a person to operate effectively in any combat situation. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the ring or on the battlefield.

Thanks to its spectacle, mixed martial arts has become one of the fastest growing sports in the world. For example, in 1993, only 72 MMA-style fights were held around the world, and in 2019 – already 19,877.

Probably the most famous organization in this area is the UFC , a sports brand that organizes tournaments around the world, as well as broadcasting them on TV.

Moreover, since 2012 mixed martial arts has been an official sport in Russia. This means that in many cities there are MMA federations and qualified coaches, and athletes participate in domestic and international tournaments.

Why You Should Try Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed martial arts can be useful for more than just self-defense. Classes provide good physical activity, bring up useful qualities of character, teach discipline and harmoniously develop the body.

MMA training will help to pump the following aspects of physical fitness:

  • Coordination, speed and accuracy of movements . A variety of techniques, including strikes, throws, sweeps, wrestling elements, develops coordination and a sense of balance, as well as reaction. All this is useful in any other sport and in everyday life. For example, it will reduce the risk of falls and injuries due to negligence.
  • Aerobic and anaerobic endurance . During the fight, the athlete has to show high-intensity activity for 3 to 5 minutes – give all the best, without suffocating and without stopping. Training helps develop the ability to work at an average pace for a long time. They also pump the ability to use the maximum resources in a short period of time.
  • Muscle strength and power . In addition to working out the technique of techniques, classes include general physical training exercises: push-ups, pull-ups, complexes on uneven bars. Fighters regularly train all muscle groups, including both the upper and lower body. Moreover, MMA training is often complemented by strength exercises with a barbell and on simulators, as well as elements for developing power: jumps, sprints, series of fast and sharp movements with weights.
  • Flexibility . Stretching is an essential part of every workout. Thanks to static exercises and dynamic work, you will get not only a strong , but also a flexible body.

In addition, mixed martial arts help develop hard work and responsibility, perseverance in achieving goals and willpower, as well as gain confidence in yourself and your ability to cope with difficulties.

Who should try mixed martial arts

As a rule, children from 9–10 years old are recruited into MMA groups. It is at this age that the child already controls himself well, can maintain discipline and clearly follow the instructions of the coach .

Valeria Tepysheva

The winner of the world championship in MMA among juniors. CMS in sambo and judo. MS in powerlifting. Winner and medalist of the Russian championship in wrestling.

I have been in sports since I was 9 years old. I started with sambo wrestling and to this day I compete in this sport. This does not prevent me from participating in other types of martial arts. On the contrary, the acquisition of competitive experience and wrestling skills help me in the future in MMA.

At the same time, age is not a limitation for classes. You can come into mixed martial arts as a teenager , and as an adult, with experience in other martial arts or no physical training at all.

Who Shouldn’t Try Mixed Martial Arts

Since mixed martial arts is a rather intense and contact sport, classes are contraindicated for those who have diseases of the cardiovascular system, are overweight, or have joint or spinal injuries.

It is also worth consulting a doctor if you have vision problems: missing a blow to the head can make them worse.

In any case, before visiting the section, go to the therapist and, if you have any health problems, undergo an examination.

What you need to try mixed martial arts

First of all, you need to find a section in your city. After receiving a certificate that you can study, sign up for a class. You can only bring a t-shirt and shorts for the first training session. Shoes are not needed – barefoot is practiced here.

In the future, you will need some personal equipment:

  • gloves for work on projectiles;
  • bandages for winding on hands;
  • leg pads;
  • helmet (for people under 18);
  • mouth guard;
  • chest protection (for girls) or groin protection (for guys).

Valeria Tepysheva

There is already a lot in my hall, and the guys who come to us can use it. And also the coach encourages athletes who have shown high sports results with new equipment. So you can earn it if you want.

Also, you should take a bottle of water and slippers to the training to get from the locker room to the place of training.

How will the workout go?

Valeria Tepysheva says that the training lasts about two hours and includes three or four stages.

First there is a warm-up: running and general. Both parts are designed to warm up the body well and reduce the risk of injury in the main session.

Next comes the main part. This may be practicing wrestling in a standing or ground position, training in striking techniques, exercises in pairs, sparring, or more. After that, independent revision is expected, for example, repetition of elements that were not obtained during the lesson. Or performing an auxiliary complex: push-ups from the floor and on the uneven bars , pull-ups and other movements.

At the end, time is definitely given to a hitch, which consists of stretching exercises.

How traumatic is mixed martial arts?

MMA is often described as a particularly violent sport. However, as noted in one scientific work, this opinion is based more on emotions than on real evidence.

Some studies claim that mixed martial arts fights are less likely to end in a concussion than boxing fights, others say the opposite. In one experiment , MMA was found to cause more injuries than taekwondo, but less than professional boxing, kickboxing, and karate.

The most common injuries in this sport are cuts on the face and broken hands . There are also injuries to the nose and eyes, ear hematomas, and torn ligaments.

However, one must understand that such troubles happen mainly in competitions. Fighters who want to fight are physically fit, aware of the risks and willing to accept them. At the same time, no one will force you to participate in battles, and even more so, they will not release you into the octagon if you do not want to.

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