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The Benefits of Training in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

Aug 17, 2007
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combination of karate, grappling, wrestling, Tang Soo Do, boxing, jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do and more all combined in one. Mixed martial arts, in its modern form, emerged in 1993 through the Ultimate Fighting Championships and was based on pitting different fighting styles against each other with minimal rules to determine which system would be better in a real, unregulated combat situation.

During the late 1990s, the governing bodies imposed extra rules for the safety of the athletes and to try to promote the sport and gain wider acceptance, but still maintaining the no holds barred idea. MMA has grown rapidly in the last few years with many people both young and old realizing the many benefits of mixed martial arts both physical and mental and this has seen enrollments in classes increasing worldwide.

MMA is classed as a combat sport, but it's a sport that stresses the ideals of fair play and respect for your opponent still. However, MMA are still quite often wrongly known as vicious and brutal.

Regardless of MMA's reputation, the competition is relatively safe. Due to the rules and regulations imposed and strictly enforced and the tough mental and physical conditioning of the opponents there has never been a death or indeed a critical injury report by the MMA as directly linked to any tournament.

Martial arts are great for the body. Regular training strengthens and tones the muscles and adds flexibility. Training in martial arts gives you a full cardio work out. You can expect to greatly increase your strength and stamina and improve your hand eye coordination. Martial arts is a good weight loss program as well because it becomes a complete system in which a healthy diet is part and when combined with the extreme physical activity proper weight loss is assured.

Classes are run at schools, dojos, youth groups organizations, church groups, and other, less formal settings. MMA is also being incorporated into many gyms as mixed martial arts become more popular.

A typical class will have you start with a warm up consisting of various stretching exercises, trunk rotations, jumps, squats and abs tightening exercises. Then there will be a series of movements taught and explained in full. Sparring is controlled and protective gear is worn, such as helmets, gloves and guards.

At other times a bag will be used for practicing kicks, jabs and punches. Although you may feel awkward and unfit at first, it will not take long before your fitness and skill level improves, along with your frame of mind.

People who practice MMA feel and look healthier, but there are far more benefits than the physical side. While many think of martial arts as violent, in the mainstream it is used as self defense. It does not encourage violence but teaches the student how to control anger and how to use self control and restraint.

Students are taught self discipline and the rigors of training builds character and self-confidence, which ultimately reduces temper induced rages that can often be the cause of many street fights. This confidence carries over into everyday life and as a result mixed martial arts students tend to be become better people than they were.

Mixed martial arts training teaches you that you must control the powers that you have had the privilege of learning and never use it recklessly or without thought. Students are also taught that before any success is achieved they will fail many times and that practiced and perseverance is the key. This is a valuable lesson to learn and will often carry over into other endeavors the student undertakes.

Furthermore, the training teaches you that every person is responsible for his own actions and must understand and abide by the given rules. This kind of training improves one's actions in life as well as in martial arts training and tournaments. Many of these arts build a spiritual life into the training, with courtesy, self-control, perseverance and integrity emphasized in the classes. So much so that many Christian Church groups are running mixed martial arts classes for their youth organizations due to the character building characteristics in martial arts training that are also much a part of Christian beliefs.

Given all this, it is no wonder that so many parents are enrolling their children in mixed martial arts classes today. They see their children's health and fitness improve, something their child's peers often lack. And they also witness their children's mindset, attitudes to life and self-improvement, respect and courage all improve as well.

Anyone who trains in karate, jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do or any of the arts will gain these benefits. If you have any desire to improve your body and mind at the same time with only one activity, then martial arts is something you ought to seriously consider. You don't just get in shape physically, but also mentally and spiritually. No gym workout can compare. All across the world, adults are joining dojos and thoroughly enjoying the many benefits of mixed martial arts.
About the Author
Jason OConnor owns and operates Best Show Tickets and trains at Matthews Martial Arts
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