The most effective way to learn MMA techniques is under
the direction of qualified instructors. But due to schedules, transportation, or other factors, not everyone is able to regularly attend an MMA gym.
If you enjoy watching UFC events and have been curious of making the leap from fan to athlete, this article will help you setup an effective training program from the convenience of your own home.
Things You Will Need1. A place to train - This could be your basement, garage, or even your office. My office is a place of business for a web design firm by day, and transforms into an MMA training area by night.
2. Training Partner(s) - Although there are a lot of drills you can do without a partner using a heavy bag and grappling dummies, your training will be much more effective if you can recruit your brother, friend or coworker as a training partner. With the popularity of MMA, you should be able to find someone who is interested in learning MMA techniques.
3. Equipment - And of course you'll need equipment to help you train properly. Not all of these listed are required, but having access to these items will help.
- Mats - Wrestling mats can be expensive. Try checking local classifieds or craigslist for used mats.
- Groin Cup Protection - Whether grappling or kickboxing, taking an accidental shot down there will ruin all of the fun. Keep yourself protected.
- Mouthpiece - Even if you're not planning on boxing sparring, a mouthpiece can help while grappling. You never know when a flailing limb will catch you in the middle of a scramble.
- Heavybag - Great for practicing kicks, knees, elbows, and punches. Also can be used freestanding for wrestling clinch drills and on the mat for ground n' pound drills.
- Sparring Gloves - Finger gloves with padding is helpful for training in both grappling and striking. I like the ones by Combat Sports.
Prepare training area.Inspect area to make sure its free of objects with sharp corners. Move that coffee table out of the way. Also take down any wall hangings like frames or potted plants on wall-mounted shelves. You don't want any objects falling on you or your training partners skulls.
Also make sure to keep the mats clean with disinfectants so you don't end up catching and sharing unpleasant things like ringworm or staph infections.
Discuss training partner safety.The quickest way to spoil a wonderful training session is to have a partner turn it into a competition and go 100% all out with you.
Remind all training partners that you're here to train and LEARN, not to prove anything. Training with a slower and softer approach not only reduces risk of injury, it also allows you to drill and understand more subtle details of the technique than when relying strictly on strength and athleticism.
If you don't know your training partners too well, you may also consider having them sign a simple waiver of liability. That should discourage them from suing you if they get injured while training on your property.
Study MMA TechniquesThere are 3 primary discplines in MMA training.
1. Striking - Muay Thai which emphasizes knees, elbows, and kicks, and American Boxing which emphasizes footwork and punching.
2. Wrestling - This includes takedowns & takedown defense as well as clinching.
3. Submissions (Ground Fighting) - Chokes and joint locks while grappling on the mat. Also includes striking a grounded opponent.
If you don't have physical access to an instructor, there are several ways to study MMA fighting techniques on your own or with training partners.
1. Books - Eddie Bravo's Rubber Guard and Twister books are great for learning submission grappling. BJ Penn's "Book Of Knowledge" is good all-around training. These books can easily be found on Amazon or most major book stores.
2. DVDs - Video is even better than books as you can see the pace and details that you can't get from still photos in books. We like any DVD by Erik Paulson, founder of Combat Submission Wrestling and instructor for several UFC champions.
3. Online - Studying MMA techniques online is the best way to train on your own. Not only do you get the benefits of watching video that DVD provides, but you can easily communicate with instructors and ask questions. Online training sites can also put out video frequently so you have fresh content all the time, while with DVDs you're stuck watching the same thing over and over.
Our favorite online MMA instruction source is DamageControlMMA.com. They have both free training articles and a paid members' only online MMA Academy with videos updated weekly and an active forum.
With the right attitude and a little preparation, you can be enjoying MMA training from the convenience of your own home. Remember to train safely and take good care of your training partners.