MMA is one of the toughest sports in the world. Physically demanding, the chances of broken bones are high, and the sight of blood is common.
Yet, despite being illegal many countries in the past, it’s one of the most popular sports in the world today.
Millions of regular, working people are taking up MMA training as a recreational activity – whether for exercise, a personal challenge, or a way to connect with similar people.
Even if you have no desire to fight inside a cage, training MMA will change your life for the better. Here are several benefits you will gain from learning MMA.
You will know how to defend yourself
“It’s better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.”
MMA is built on the most effective techniques from various martial arts. There’s no room for showy moves with style but no substance. Why is the leg kick and rear-naked choke used so often? That’s because well… They work.
But the true power in this knowledge is not that you can go around beating people up. True martial artists know better than anyone how martial arts can destroy an opponent’s body, and don’t treat that power lightly. Being able to defend yourself means you no longer need to fear being preyed upon in a back-alley. You no longer see yourself as a potential victim. For most people, you will rarely, if ever, need to defend yourself from a physical attack. But you will know that if the day ever came, the bad guy’s gonna have a bad day.
You will gain Self-Confidence.
People who have held a gun for the first time have said they felt a newfound confidence carrying it. To them, holding such a devastating weapon was like wielding a new power.
When you train MMA, you aren’t caring a weapon. Your body is literally the weapon. You are carrying the power of this weapon all the time.
When you trust your own ability to handle a physical confrontation, you’ll notice other aspects of your personality change too. You’ll become more assertive, you’ll be more comfortable with conflict, and you’ll feel in control of your own life.
MMA is intensely physical, and the physical stakes are high. Even if you spar with an opponent in a controlled environment, you’re putting yourself in the imminent threat of physical harm. Your body, sensing the danger, activates the sympathetic nervous system – also known as the fight or flight response system. This is the same stress response you feel when worrying about your job, finance, or school.
MMA training teaches you to control this stress response. When fighting a person is no longer scary to you, it will be hard to get worked up about something which isn’t trying to punch you or choke you out that moment.
You’ll be healthier.
Doctors say sitting is the new smoking. Modern life has made us so comfortable that our bodies are rarely stimulated. We sit in our cars, drive to a workplace where we sit most of the day, only to sit on our cars again until we get home – where we relax by watching some TV… More sitting!
Our bodies were made to be in motion. When our bodies are moving, blood circulation improves, toxins are released through our pores, and the stress hormone, cortisol, which ages and deteriorates our bodies is eliminated.
MMA is unique in that it encompasses all aspects of exercise. From cardio-aerobics, to strength training and even elements of yoga, it is an intensely physical sport which forces your body to adapt and become stronger. See if you don’t feel a new vitality and abundance of energy from your regular MMA sessions!
You’ll have better concentration.
We live in an age of constant distractions. The easy accessibility of social media and internet takes our attention away from present moment, and has us wasting our mental energy on trivial matters. It’s become normalized to check our smartphones ever few minutes.
When you’re hitting the heavy bag, doing padwork, or sparring with a partner, you only have time to focus on what you’re doing then and there. When you do this several times a week, you’ll notice something new… You can focus on bettering our self without constant distractions.
To add to that, exercise improves the blood circulation to your brain, while lowering blood pressure, and increasing serotonin (the happy hormone). All this gives you the ability to perform well in other aspects of your life, whether it’s pursuing your dream career or acing your exams. MMA will be the key to getting everything you want out of life.
You’ll become a kinder person.
This last part seems contradictory because at a first glance, isn’t MMA about hurting other people? Well not necessarily.
Martial arts teaches that violence is a last resort. Martial arts is like fire: beautiful, but incredibly destructive if wielded improperly. When you release how powerful you are, your newfound confidence shows you have nothing to prove. You know you’re powerful you don’t need to impose this on others.
“To beat someone up is easy, but to love someone is hard.”
MMA more than anything else, is about self-mastery. Mastery over your body, mastery over your mind, and mastery over your spirit. A true martial artist doesn’t allow their spirit to be swayed by petty issues. He or she is above that. Through your training you realize your only true opponent is yourself.