If you are of the opinion that boxing is a tough sport, mixed martial arts is on a different level. In an almost ‘no holds barred’ encounter in the cage, two fighters use fists, feet, knees and elbows to try and inflict damage on their opponent. While only an elite few make it to become pro MMA fighters, the majority take up mixed martial arts for a variety of reasons; fitness, self-defence and the challenge the sport offers if you are prepared to put in the training.

Blend of Traditional Disciplines

As the name suggests, mixed martial arts is a blend of ancient disciplines, such as:

  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (grappling)
  • Muay Thai (Thai boxing)
  • Wrestling
  • Judo
  • Taekwondo

Basically, the sport can be divided into two main aspects, the striking and kicking game, and the ground game, which involves grappling and submission holds. One needs to be competent in all areas of MMA before attempting to compete in the octagon, or cage, as it is also known. Muay Thai is normally fought inside a square ring, while the ground disciplines on a mat, but when combined, the fighters do battle in a cage that can vary in size.

Become Competent in Self-Defence

Many people take up MMA to have the skills to protect themselves should they be attacked and joining an MMA gym in Reading is the first step. You will learn how to block a punch or a kick, how to disarm someone and how to get them to the ground and incapacitate the would-be attacker. People are reluctant to enter into a gym, fearing they will be ridiculed, yet it doesn’t work like that; everyone is welcome and people have many different reasons for getting into MMA training.

Intense Training

For those who relish a challenge, MMA demands everything you have if you want to advance and reach the point where you are allowed to spar in the cage. Your instructor will quickly find out if you have the level of commitment to train seriously and it does have its rewards; you’ll have a bounce in your step when you train three times a week, feeling in great shape. It also does wonders for your self-esteem, knowing that you have got what it takes to get serious about mixed martial arts.

If you like nothing more than sitting down to watch UFC fight nights, why not take it a step further and check out your local MMA gym, where a warm welcome awaits!

Sylvie Urijah