How to Become an MMA Trainer (And Look Good Doing It)

How to Become an MMA Trainer (And Look Good Doing It)

Mixed Martial Arts - popularly known as MMA - is a combination of many martial art traditions and techniques from around the world and is a full-contact combat sport. 

With its continuous rise in popularity over the last few decades, more and more people wish to become an MMA trainer and practitioner. Read on to know more about what you need - and how to look good - while becoming an MMA trainer. 

What do I need to become an MMA trainer? 

Apart from intense passion and motivation as well as general stamina and fitness, you will likely need expertise and training in the field of MMA. 

While motivation is predominantly a mental state and stamina and fitness must be worked upon by you and your coach, there are several ways in which to gain proper training in MMA.  

The Mixed Martial Arts industry is largely unregulated which makes it easier for people to become trainers as no formal license is needed as proof to offer training. However, any avid learner will be attracted to learning from one who can prove their qualifications and will get you better and more dedicated clients. 

Additionally, MMA being a full-contact sport also poses risks and injuries to those who participate. It is considered best for everyone involved, then, that the trainer is certified and has an operational license to ensure adequate measures of precautions.

Some things you might need: 

  1. A black belt status and expertise in a minimum of three martial art traditions: This is because MMA is a combination of several ancient techniques and requires all coaches to have a strong and reliable foundation in as many of the arts as possible. 
  2. MMA certification: with certification programs available left, right, and center at varying costs and budgets, it is helpful to do your research and enroll for the certification that best works for your goals and aims with MMA training. 

How can I get started becoming an MMA trainer? 

Achieve a level of mastery in your martial art

Achieve experience, and train well. 

You can only begin to start thinking and acting on your desire of wanting to teach once you’re a master of at least a few forms of martial arts. This can take years, typically anywhere between 4 to 6 years. Of course, these time frames may vary from person to person, and depending on dedication and time devoted to the art. 

Remember, this time may also benefit your training career as students prefer trainers who have displayed remarkable competency and expertise in their art forms. 

Get certified as a trainer 

One way to get certified is to join an art form’s governing body as a member and file a request for an official coaching qualification - once you are confident in your skills, that is! 

Usually, a certification process involves a test, both practical and theoretical. Just like with professors at universities, potential trainers in the field of MMA might be asked to occupy the roles of assistant instructors and coaches for a year before being approved and licensed as a practicing trainer. 

Start your own gym or teach at someone else’s gym 

Amazing news, you can officially start training students in the art of MMA!

If you’re opening your own MMA studio or gym, some marketing needs to take place to generate traffic and clients. While business cards have been around for a while, digital marketing through websites and blogs, as well as social media accounts, can be an important aspect of your marketing toolkit as a coach. 

Creating a pleasing website, making sure the photographs convey your style of coaching and the culture you are trying to encourage at your studio can also be very important. Place your contact and location details right on top so that potential clients can reach out and get in touch for any small or large query they might have. 

How to start an MMA gym 

Let us take a look at how you can effectively and efficiently start an MMA gym or studio of your own. 

Start running local MMA classes 

Running MMA classes in your neighborhood with friends and family you know is a great way to start, and also grows word-of-mouth marketing. These sessions can also help you raise awareness about the art form, its importance, and inspire people to take the necessary steps to learn for themselves, and offer you as their coach; helping you build a client base. 

Reach out to schools and community colleges to ask for communication and workshop slots where you and your potential brand can then interact with more people who might be interested in learning MMA. These schools might then also offer studios for class spaces if a lot of students are incentivized to join, with offers and discounts. 

Build Your Skills 

Confidence in the art form you are about to teach and train people in is a must, and the history, theory, and practical uses of MMA should be at your fingertips. Competing in MMA competitions yourself can also help you gain confidence and skills, as well as provide you with a more expansive potential client base of people from the audiences that come to watch these tournaments. 

Choose the right location 

Once you have a steady flow of students who are dedicated, it might be the right time to start scouting for the right location. Both buying or renting accommodation may be an option depending entirely on your budget and needs. But the location of this accommodation is key to ensuring the kind of clients you get in the future and thus, its success - you ideally want your MMA studio or gym to be visible and easy to locate. 

Equip your MMA gym 

Depending on your budget, you can either buy or rent equipment as well or even ask slightly higher trained students to lend their equipment for the class. No gym starts with multiple units of all important equipment, and it is okay to grow at the pace that financially suits you better. 

How much equipment you buy will depend on class size. Aim to invest in proper quality MMA equipment that lasts. Some essential MMA equipment includes mats, heavy bags, boxing gloves, headgear, and shin guards. 

Market your new business 

Advertising and constantly selling your new business is often a never-ending task but can be essential for the growth of your business. Depending on your budget, your marketing strategy will look different. Use social media, online reviews, and online fitness influencers to your advantage as a first step before churning out money for content creation and marketing, online adverts, and flyers. 

Things to remember before becoming an MMA trainer 

Before starting your MMA training facility, it may be helpful to talk to lawyers and other experts in the field to understand the need to get signed waivers from clients and students. 

Since MMA is a full-body contact sport and regulated differently in each state, it is advisable to know the risks and injury can cause not just to your body but also to your business. Legal protection is always advised.  

Need a hand getting started? 

If you haven’t gathered already, MMA can aid your life in several areas and give you strength, confidence, and peace. Reach out to Wodify today to learn more about your MMA journey and see how we can help! 


Ready to put what you’ve learned into practice?
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