Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has seen a surge of popularity in recent years. What began as a sport fighting to get mainstream acceptance is now a widely practiced worldwide phenomenon that appeals to people of a variety of backgrounds.
MMA incorporates many martial arts such as Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; combining them into a single system for maximum effectiveness. Along with the martial arts aspect, MMA also emphasises physical fitness and a non-linear approach to training. There are no belts in MMA, rather a progress which is unique to every student.
Today, people from all backgrounds, genders, and ages participate in MMA; not in an octagon to become aspiring fighters, but in a safe and friendly local gym for fitness purposes. Legends MMA in Melbourne CBD has female and male members who are engineers, students, bankers, business owners, and many more. So the question is, why are so many everyday people taking up MMA today?
This is largely due to the undeniable benefits that people gain from taking up MMA training. People training MMA will discover numerous benefits for themselves which include physical fitness, being in a positive environment, learning self-defense, and confidence.
What people will notice right way when they join an MMA gym is the supportive environment it promotes
Isha, a swimming instructor and member of Legends MMA, says her experience at Legends helped her overcome her depression and anxiety as she got to be part of a supportive environment.
Additionally, Cindy, a banking & financial analyst who trains at Legends described:
“They really keep you mentally sharp. Let’s just say this is not the place to just go through the motions. They whole heartedly foster your individual growth, they will guide you but ultimately it’s on you to be the driver of your growth & development. It’s really great when your coaches see the effort you’re putting into yourself.”
Training MMA typically means you will be in close proximity with your coaches and fellow students, all of whom will play an integral part in supporting your journey in bettering your health, fitness and overall lifestyle.
The majority of people taking up MMA now are doing so for fitness purposes and for the mental aspect
When many people think of MMA, they think it’s all about fighting and defeating another opponent. However, this only applies to the minority of people who wish to compete. The majority of people taking up MMA now are doing so for fitness purposes and for the mental aspect – MMA is predominately about challenging yourself, not someone else. Through MMA training, you overcome your fears, expectations, and limitations.
Cindy keeps training MMA as she says personal growth is her greatest motivation.
“Personal growth is really important to me which is my main motivation,” she says. “There’s always ups and down in my training. The trick is to not give into the negative feelings and I just park those thoughts and train away and I’m always so thrilled for persevering and pushing myself.”
As a sport that has a bit of everything and variety in each workout, regular training of MMA will keep a person fit and healthy
Students can train with heavy bags for cardio work, circuit training combining weights, calisthenics, and bag-training, and even simulated drills to test their skills in real time. But whatever methods one uses to train, it always provides a phenomenal workout.
One of the most immediately obvious reasons people take up MMA is that it is a complete form of self-defense
For many people, being able to defend their self instills a strong feeling of confidence.
“Martial Arts has definitely made me more confident in all aspects of my life…which is exactly why I started in the first place,” says Dan, a carpenter who has been training at Legends MMA in Melbourne CBD for over a year. “There’s a certain confidence that comes from anything that teaches you a practical skill for self-defense, gets you fitter and introduces you to heaps of new people.”
Learning self-defense does not make a person violent. In fact, it does the opposite; it gives people the confidence to not need to be aggressive. People that learn MMA know that they can be confident in their daily life, but know they still have a capability to defend themselves if they ever actually needed to.
MMA does not rely on theory or rehearsed movements. Rather students train in a safe environment, and will get to see for themselves how the training has benefited them.
What should people know if they’re interested in taking up martial arts?
“When you start, don’t be so focused with making progress right away,” says Cindy. “Over time if you stick with it, you’ll start to appreciate the journey.”