One of the fastest growing and most exciting sports in the world today is Mixed Martial Arts. People all over the world are learning how this modern day evolution of the Martial Arts can benefit them with fitness, confidence building, balance, coordination and self defense.
Some students want to take it to a higher level and compete. If you are one of these and are serious about becoming a successful Mixed Martial Arts fighter then the best strategy is to look at what other successful Mixed Martial Arts fighters are doing and model them, here are some guidelines that you must follow:
1) Find a good gym: Your gym is your training tool, make sure that it is well equipped with matted areas, bags and pads. Successful schools will utilize a structured curriculum that teaches the skills of MMA starting with a solid core of basics that underpins your fight game.
2) Find a good coach or coaches: Mixed Martial Arts competition, in the modern world, as we know it has been with us now for over 80 years (started in Brazil as Vale Tudo). The evolution that has taken place has placed several fighting systems at the top when it comes to what you must train to become a successful Mixed Martial Arts fighter. The clear standouts are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling and Boxing. To insure your success you must seek out a coach or coaches who are proficient and experienced in at least one of the standup striking systems and one of the grappling systems with a preference for coaches who have included aspects of the other systems to cover any weaknesses in their main systems. I would still give the edge to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai as the best combination.
3) Make the commitment to train: If you want to be successful in anything, you have to make the commitment. Develop and follow a routine training schedule and stick to it. If you’re not prepared to make the commitment to train hard and develop your game then you should perhaps just look at taking up Mixed Martial Arts as a pastime, to enjoy for what you get out of it. But if you are serious about your training and want to be successful in competition then you have to make the commitment.
4) Training Partners: You must have consistent and sensible training partners. To become successful you have to be consistent and train regularly. But also at a level that is going to promote your ability. If you train too lightly you will not progress to be able to handle the competition that is getting stronger every day. However, if you train too hard it will also inhibit progress due to injuries.
In addition sparring, which is an essential component of Mixed Martial Arts training, must be performed at a level that is conducive to learning, i.e. approach sparring with a playful, experimental attitude where you are not afraid to try new techniques. Otherwise you will find yourself stuck with a very limited game.
5) Discipline yourself with other training: In addition to training the disciplines, that provide the techniques to fight with, you have to develop your strength with weight training, explosiveness with plyometrics and endurance with the sports specific programs based on High Intensity Interval Training (Tabata Protocol). In a competition between you and a worthy opponent (someone of equal or better ability) it could well come down to who is the strongest and fittest.
6) Develop your mental game: Pay particular attention to your mental game. Develop focus and mental toughness that will keep you on your game whatever the opponent throws at you. You must continually train yourself to get in the “zone” when you both train and fight. This will develop your actual technical ability so that it becomes unconsciously competent and free your mind to concentrate on the strategy of the match.
7) Model other successful fighters: Just repeating the recommendation that we opened this discussion with; one of the best ways to learn and become proficient at any thing is to model others who are successful in the particular pursuit that you wish to engage in. The ways that they train, disciplines that they use and the preparation they undertake to be good at what they do.
Using these guidelines will definitely assist you in becoming a successful Mixed Martial Arts fighter but to be successful you have to really want to be successful and be prepared to train hard.
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