What is MMA Fighting and What are the Benefits?
If you keep hearing people talking about MMA, you’d be forgiven for not fully understanding what it’s all about. In short, MMA fighting is a combat sport that allows the use of a variety of martial arts techniques including punches, kicks, locks, holds and throws. As a sport that has been steadily growing in popularity for years, there is still rather a lot of confusion and questions surrounding this varied and exciting combat style.
Here we’ve answered some of the main questions you’ve been asking about MMA fighting and why it can be such a beneficial workout.
What does MMA Stand For?
MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts. Originally it combined a vast range of martial arts styles from Sumo wrestling to Karate, however modern MMA is somewhat more condensed. Most modern MMA fighters train in a combination of just three main styles: amateur wrestling, submission wrestling and kickboxing/Muay Thai. These three styles cover everything from clinches, takedowns and ground fighting to striking with fists, legs, knees and elbows.
Does MMA Have Rules?
Given the apparent pick ‘n’ mix style of MMA, you’d be forgiven for asking this question, but MMA does in fact have many rules in place to regulate the sport. The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts is the most commonly applied rule set across the world, and it’s well worth a read if you’re looking to get a greater understanding of the sport. There are rules on everything from the size of the fighting area to conduct such as hand wrapping, headbutting and small joint manipulation, the last two of which are strictly not allowed.
How is MMA Scored?
MMA is judged on the quality of techniques such as striking, grappling, effective defence and overall control of the fighting area. Professional fights use the 10-point Must system, whereby the winner of each round gets 10 points, while the loser gets 9.
What Are the Benefits of MMA Training?
Now you know a little more about what MMA fighting is, it’s about time you saw some of the many benefits of MMA training. It’s worth us mentioning here that you don’t have to commit to actual MMA fighting if you begin any training; many people attend training classes just for the fitness benefits, and here are the best ones:
It’s a full-body workout
MMA training challenges the entire body all at once, rather than focusing on building up specific areas. Everything from your arms and shoulders to your back and your legs gets an intense workout that builds strength, power and endurance both in the sport and in everyday life.
It’s more interesting than the gym
Regular gym workouts can be monotonous and dull. Often you will end up simply repeating the same routines over and over, which can be a real motivation killer. But with MMA training, no two sessions are ever the same. There’s always something new to learn, and you have a much more worthwhile goal than simply getting to the end of the workout; with MMA you’re learning real skills.
It burns calories at a rapid rate
No gym exercise machines can ever match up to the calorie-burning capacity of an MMA workout. You can burn up to 590 calories in just 45 minutes with an MMA striking session, and a standard 45 minute MMA grappling class can burn up 620 calories. That’s compared to a much less satisfying 400 calories on average that you can burn running at a medium speed on a treadmill, which is a much less enjoyable experience.
You learn self defence and build confidence
Far more than just a fitness workout, MMA is also an effective form of self defence. As it incorporates everything from striking to takedowns and ground fighting, MMA teaches you how to defend yourself in a real-life situation, should something terrible happen. Simply knowing you have these useful skills can be a great confidence boost, which can have surprisingly positive knock-on effects in many other aspects of life.
Do I Need Equipment for MMA Training?
Most training classes and martial arts gyms will provide all necessary equipment for beginners. However, if you discover you have a passion and an aptitude for the sport, there’s no harm in building up your own MMA equipment collection.
Key pieces of MMA equipment include boxing gloves for sparring, focus pads for targeted striking practise and shin pads and groin guards for shock absorption and body protection during training and fights. You can find all of the above right here at Xn8 Sports, plus a great deal more expertly crafted martial arts equipment for a range of sports.
Looking for an MMA class near you? Use the Martial Arts Near You website to help find your nearest MMA training school.