The growing popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA), combined with the variety of arts and styles available, means that now can be a great time to start teaching MMA classes.
Your gym members can benefit in terms of strength, defense, mental health, community building, and a lot more by coaching under an MMA program and trainer.
With so many benefits to not only your members but also your trainers, offering MMA training classes at your gym can be a great option.
With so many varieties and MMA class types available, here are some of the best and most popular MMA options you might want to consider teaching:
Considered by some to be the most addictive martial art in the world, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a Mixed Martial Art that focuses primarily on grappling, escaping, and attacking the opponent from any position while you’re on the ground.
Many popular moves follow the principle of surrender by the opponent and call for chokeholds, pressure locks, and other neat techniques to make sure your competition submits to defeat.
During most MMA fights it is assumed that the opponent on their back is the one effectively losing the fight -- but that isn’t true in BJJ. Teaching the strongest sweeps and holds, a BJJ expert can win a fight while flat on the ground.
Wrestling was one of the most viewed MMA forms in the early 2000s, and still is today.
With a priority of never being taken down to the ground and always focusing on moves that seek out opportunities to have the opponent on their back, wrestling emphasizes keeping the opponent down for as long as possible.
This is one of the most unique points about wrestling that also makes it easy to combine with MMA styles -- the ability to focus on movement control and score points for takedowns.
Because of the rise of competitions in wrestling, the physical benefits of training to be a wrestler are now joined by developed discipline, strength, as well as better cardiovascular and mental health. All these factors can not only be beneficial in general but also can provide a great introduction to training for other Mixed Martial Arts.
One of the most dynamic mixed martial arts, Muay Thai is holistically based on striking.
Most people training in Muay Thai believe it to be the best and most expansive foundation to MMA competitive fighting as it covers all the bases of attacking required to be an expert.
Muay Thai in particular focuses on counterattacks and how to defend your joints such as elbows, knees, and neck. As a fighting system that is built on practicality, it steers clear from fancy-looking moves and techniques to throw off the opponent.
Muay Thai is clear and direct with its motive -- attacking the opponent. Whether it’s for defense, entertainment, or competition, being equipped to strike is as essential to Muay Thai as breathing is to life.
Judo, or the modern-day Japanese martial art, is popular in part due to its inclusion in the Olympics and Paralympics sporting events.
Its origin is speculated to be as recent as 1882 and laid heavy emphasis on mental as well as physical concepts.
While its competitive popularity has soared over the years as millions tune in to watch live fights on TV, Judo isn’t considered as popular as other Mixed Martial Arts and techniques. This is an underestimation of the art because when learned right, Judo can be equally -- if not more -- effective in combat and defense.
One of Judo’s most powerful skill enhancers is that of the clinch. The clinch is basically what allows fighters to move to a position of dominance over their opponent in-fight. This effectively flips the game in the fighter’s favor and results in clear takedown and defense positions. But this doesn’t mean Judo steers clear from attacking, as it also has several techniques to throw and toss your opponent into a position that is nearly impossible to fight back from.
Most attack techniques in Judo are designed to get the opponent to surrender before causing injuries -- frequently through chokes and joint locks.
For all the right reasons, a commonly asked question in the world of MMA is why Judo fighters often also train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This is because the two strongest areas of influence on MMA, in general, have been Japan and Brazil. Learning how to combine these two martial art forms can enable the fighter to get better at grappling and striking while also seeking to get their opponent to surrender.
Strength and weight training can be incredibly important for those training in mixed martial arts.
Not only does strength training complement MMA training, but it helps to prevent injury, as well as building agility and physical endurance. Of course, strength training is beneficial outside of MMA as well in terms of fitness, health, and fat loss.
The most common strength training workouts include combinations of squats, bench presses, deadlifts, pull-ups, step-ups, as well as power snatches. If you’ve heard your active buds talk about ‘chest’ days, ‘arm’ days, or ‘leg’ days, just know that they’re into strength training.
No strength training routine is the same for two MMA trainers as it depends on everyone’s goals and existing physical factors. Progressing over routine and building on it is important to ensure the body adjusts accordingly and is not in pain that restricts movement on the next day.
Some expert tips in strength training the right way to help you get on track:
Warm-up: Warming up before strength training is one of the easiest ways to avoid cramps, muscle swelling and pain, and over-exhaustion. Similarly, the workout cool down is equally important.
Injured? Rest: pushing through and going to the gym to work out while you’re injured may seem like the dedicated choice, but it can induce more chronic pain for your joints or muscles that are already under the pressure of recovering.
Training for competitions: if you aim to fight competitively in MMA tournaments, it is best to work with your trainer on a diet chart and exercise regime, as well as scheduling breaks as needed before and after the matches. This is important to allow your body to reset and be healthier the next time you set foot on the mat and face your opponent.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or metabolic training are typically workout modules that make users burn a lot of calories and continue to burn them for a while after the workout ends.
As the name suggests, they’re highly intense exercises with regular intervals of rest. This high and low of the body’s energy pushes it to build resilience and strength while burning calories and paving the way to stronger muscles. HIIT is often considered to be one of the toughest forms of workout modules because of how intense it can be.
Some of the most popular exercises include burpee variations, core training, and ab movements. Others are lunges, squats, presses, pulls, and pushes. HIIT is also popular for being accessible as a body-weight-only workout method, but if equipment is incorporated, dumbbells, barbells, resistance bands, and heavy weighted balls can be used to increase the level of difficulty.
Because most exercises are done with 60-second rounds followed by 30 seconds of rest, metabolic conditioning quickens your metabolism and can help to build a lean body.
Encouraging metabolic training for your members can be a great way to boost their strength and agility and to take their training to the next level.
If you're not used to a fairly active lifestyle, training for MMA can be draining.
Regardless of your skill, if your stamina is missing, you’re unlikely to win a fight against an opponent not even half as well skilled as you. Some of the best ways to build stamina are through cardio exercises, including aerobics, skipping, running, and dancing. Cardio requires the heart to work harder, leading to improvement in stamina over time. Some of the best ways to build stamina can include:
Interval walking: power walking for a short period, walking at a slower pace for another, and quickly sprinting only to stop and transition into a slow walk again is one of the easiest ways in which interval training helps with cardio workouts.
Variation: just because you’re only comfortable running on the treadmill doesn’t mean it’s your best friend. Getting out of your comfort zone and using stationary bikes, elliptical machines, rock climbing, and skipping to get your heart rate up can be a great way to introduce variety into your workouts.
Food: studying your diet and changing it accordingly can be essential to stamina building. Maintaining a balanced diet with carbs, fats, and proteins will help to feed your performance and recovery while training.
Water: muscles can cramp up, cause injuries, and result in a longer break from cardio than expected because of a basic need that isn’t being met -- water intake. Dehydration is medically known as the most common cause for many ailments, and for cardio training, hydration can be especially important.
Emphasizing these aspects of building stamina to your members can help you to build MMA classes that are holistic - addressing the physical and mental demands of training in MMA.
MMA classes, whether focused on one martial art or several, can be an incredible addition to your gym -- providing value and virtue to your work in the community.
If you need help organizing those classes, and keeping your gym in fine shape on its own, we at Wodify can help you out with our innovative gym management software.