MMA Basics: Training Tips for Beginners | Learn What MMA Is

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that combines techniques from various martial arts and combat sports, including boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, and judo. It has gained immense popularity in recent years, with the rise of organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Bellator MMA.

MMA is a physically demanding sport that requires a high level of skill, strength, and endurance. It is not for the faint of heart, but with proper training and dedication, anyone can learn and excel in this exciting sport.

In this article, we will explore what MMA is, the benefits of training in MMA, and some tips for beginners looking to start their MMA journey.

What is MMA?

MMA is a full-contact combat sport that allows a wide range of fighting techniques, including striking and grappling. The sport originated in ancient Greece and has evolved over the years, with different styles and techniques being incorporated into the sport.

In MMA, fighters compete in a cage or ring, using a combination of striking and grappling techniques to defeat their opponent. The goal is to either knock out your opponent or force them to submit through a variety of submission holds.

MMA is a highly technical sport that requires a combination of strength, speed, agility, and endurance. It is often referred to as the “ultimate” form of combat sports, as it combines elements from various martial arts and combat sports.

Benefits of MMA Training

Full-Body Workout

MMA training

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MMA training is a full-body workout that engages all major muscle groups. It involves a combination of striking and grappling techniques, which require strength, speed, and agility. This type of training can help you build lean muscle, improve your cardiovascular health, and increase your overall fitness level.


MMA is not just a sport; it is also a form of self-defense. Learning MMA techniques can help you defend yourself in real-life situations. You will learn how to strike, grapple, and defend against attacks, giving you the confidence and skills to protect yourself if needed.

Mental Toughness

MMA training is not just physically demanding; it also requires mental toughness. As you push yourself to your limits during training, you will develop mental strength and resilience. This mental toughness can translate into other areas of your life, helping you overcome challenges and achieve your goals.

Stress Relief

MMA training is an excellent way to relieve stress and release tension. The intense physical activity and focus required during training can help you clear your mind and reduce stress levels. It is also a great way to channel any negative emotions and release them in a healthy and productive way.

Tips for Beginners Starting Out in MMA

Find a Reputable Gym

MMA gym

The first step to starting your MMA journey is to find a reputable gym. Look for a gym that has experienced coaches, a welcoming atmosphere, and a good track record of producing successful fighters. Take the time to visit different gyms and try out a few classes before committing to one.

MMA training plan

Training like an MMA fighter requires a well-structured plan and a lot of dedication. To maximize your performance and avoid overtraining, you can speak to a qualified trainer.

While each individual training program is different from the rest, a weekly plan could look something like this:


Tomorrow :

Interval training (Tabata) on the treadmill: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 5 minutes, followed by 2 minutes of recovery. Repeat it at least 3 times.

Late :

Striking for 1 hour focused on punching speed as a couple with pads or with a bag if you train alone.


Tomorrow :

Work on the floor for 1 hour, practicing exercises as a couple to improve maneuvering in a dominant position. Afterwards, we would move on to practicing the “armbar” or “armlock”, also known in Spanish as “arm lock” (2-minute rounds with 2 minutes of recovery).


Rest and active recovery.


Tomorrow :

Strength work for 45 minutes, with bodybuilding and plyometric exercises at 30-60% of 1RM. Perform 3 sets of 5 repetitions with 3 minutes of recovery.

Late :

Catch and throw drills with a partner, focusing on sweeping and throwing to the ground. Perform 3-minute rounds with 1.5 minutes of recovery.


Circuit training with bodyweight ballistic exercises, sprints, and combat conditioning such as heavy bag work and ground-to-ground exercises.


Rest and active recovery.


Tomorrow :

Strength work for 1 hour, with compound exercises at 80% or more of 1RM. Perform 4 sets of 4 repetitions.

Late :

Sparring sessions using different techniques in 5-minute rounds, with a different approach in each round (e.g. standing, clinch or ground techniques).¹

Your training plan will vary depending on your personal goals and training phase, but you’ll need to take recovery seriously if you want to ensure you get the most out of your workouts.

Invest in Proper Gear

MMA training involves a lot of physical contact, so it is essential to invest in proper gear to protect yourself and your training partners. This includes gloves, hand wraps, shin guards, and a mouthguard. Your gym may have specific requirements for gear, so be sure to check with them before making any purchases.

Focus on Fundamentals

As a beginner, it can be tempting to try and learn advanced techniques right away. However, it is crucial to focus on the fundamentals first. Mastering the basics will provide a strong foundation for your training and help you progress more quickly in the long run.

Listen to Your Body

MMA training is physically demanding, and it is essential to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to injuries, which can set back your training. Be sure to communicate with your coaches and take rest days when necessary.

Be Patient and Consistent

MMA is a complex sport that takes time to master. It is essential to be patient and consistent with your training. Progress may be slow at first, but with dedication and hard work, you will see improvements over time. Remember to trust the process and enjoy the journey.

Real-World MMA Training Strategies and Examples

One of the most well-known MMA fighters, Conor McGregor, has a unique training strategy that has helped him achieve success in the sport. He focuses on a combination of strength and conditioning, along with specific MMA training techniques.

McGregor’s training includes a mix of weightlifting, cardio, and bodyweight exercises to build strength and endurance. He also incorporates specific MMA techniques, such as striking and grappling drills, to improve his skills in the sport.

Who is Responsible for MMA Training?


MMA training is a team effort, with both the fighter and the coach playing crucial roles. The fighter is responsible for putting in the work and following the training plan set by the coach. The coach is responsible for creating a training plan that is tailored to the fighter’s needs and abilities and providing guidance and support throughout the training process.


MMA is a full-contact combat sport that combines techniques from various martial arts and combat sports. It is a physically demanding sport that requires a high level of skill, strength, and endurance. The benefits of MMA training include a full-body workout, self-defense skills, mental toughness, and stress relief.

For beginners starting out in MMA, it is essential to find a reputable gym, invest in proper gear, focus on fundamentals, listen to your body, and be patient and consistent with your training. With dedication and hard work, anyone can learn and excel in this exciting sport.

So, are you ready to step into the cage and start your MMA journey? With the right training and mindset, you can achieve your goals and become a successful MMA fighter.


Although MMA is a very popular sport that is gaining more and more followers, it is still a sport that requires a lot of commitment and dedication, especially if the goal is to compete.

However, if the goal is to get fitter, learn new skills, and meet interesting people, you can train like an MMA fighter to improve your strength and power.