What Are the Benefits of MMA Training? (10 Major Benefits)

Are you interested in starting MMA but are unsure about the benefits of MMA training?

In this article, we’ll look at the most significant benefits of MMA training and why you should start right away.

What Are the Benefits of MMA Training?

While the benefits of MMA training are aplenty, here are the 10 most significant and noticeable.

1. MMA Is the Best Martial Art for Self-defense

An extremely valuable benefit of MMA training is learning self-defense. MMA is by far the most superior self-defense martial art. MMA’s incorporation of a vast variety of martial arts into one fluid fighting system increases a student’s ability to defend themself in any direction a fight goes.

MMA training teaches a huge variety of offensive and defensive techniques for standing striking, standing grappling, and ground fighting. The main components of this are a striking martial art such as kickboxing or muay Thai, a grappling art such as wrestling, and a ground fighting art such as Bjj.

Whether you choose to compete or not, MMA training teaches the ability to defend one’s self in daily life and builds confidence within and in those around you.

2. MMA Humbles You

No matter how good you get in a particular field, skill, or position; there’s always someone better than you. Therefore, another benefit of MMA training is that it humbles you and keeps you grounded.

Whether you compete or not, many times in MMA training you’ll be submitted, out-wrestled in the clinch and controlled on the ground, out-struck, and generally weaker than opponents stronger and more skilled than you.

As a man, there’ll be plenty of times you’ll be outclassed by women, as well as men much smaller and younger. Overall, being humbled many times teaches humility, makes you feel better, and grounds you.

It also teaches honor and respect for an opponent and the people around you, and it reminds you not to judge someone by how they look.

3. MMA Improves Cardiovascular Health and Endurance

MMA is intense and gets the heart pumping hard, so it can help fight heart disease and strengthen the immune system. It’s a sport where the time to get a breather is limited, so it teaches students to push past the barrier of comfort and pain and significantly increase cardiovascular health and endurance.

Amateur MMA fights are 3 three-minute rounds with a 1-minute break between rounds. Professional MMA fights are 3 five-minute rounds with a 1-minute break between or even 5 five-minute rounds for elite MMA fighters in the UFC and other top MMA promotions.

The ability to fight or train intensely for this amount of time is way beyond what most people can do, so MMA training can improve cardiovascular health and endurance while also improving skills and having a great time.

4. MMA Gets You in the Greatest Physical Shape

As MMA training is such a great cardiovascular and entire body workout, it can burn between 500 to 700 calories per hour and therefore burn a lot of body fat if combined with a calorie deficit and adequate sleep (7-8 hours per night).

MMA training helps with this by also improving sleep, which in turn helps the body burn more calories and helps you lose more body fat. MMA training also enhances students’ knowledge regarding proper nutrition to get optimal training results and how to lose body fat and get in the best shape possible.

This is taken further if students choose to compete, as they’re required to meet a specific weight class that has maximum weight limits. There’s a reason why most professional MMA fighters are ripped and in the best shape of their lives.

5. MMA Improves Strength and Flexibility

Another benefit of MMA training is improved strength. MMA training requires strength mostly when wrestling and grappling in the standing clinch, defending and attacking takedowns, and on the ground when battling for advantageous positions and trying to submit an opponent with locks and chokes.

MMA training is a full-body workout in which every muscle gets used and strengthened. MMA training greatly improves functional strength and flexibility in muscles and joints, which transfers to the ability to perform daily activities without pain and with greater ease.

Increased flexibility is hugely important in MMA and this is done with stretching, foam rolling, and full-range resistance training.

Not only functional strength, but MMA also requires students to get stronger foundationally through weightlifting and other types of resistance training such as calisthenics.

6. MMA Improves Mental Health

No matter the level of mental health you’re currently at, MMA training vastly improves it by decreasing stress and elevating mood, confidence, and general well-being.

It becomes a dedicated place where troubles can be forgotten and working hard on self-improvement is the objective. MMA training teaches people to fall in love with the pain and suffering of pushing to the maximum.

Not only a mentality shift, but MMA training also leads to the release of endorphins, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain. This helps relieve stress, fight depression and anxiety, and improve many areas such as mood and sleep. 

It can also become a way to release anger, overcome fear, and help deal with stressful situations in daily life.

7. MMA Increases Community and Social Circles

MMA classes bring many people together with the common goal of improving and having a good time. Learning is improved greatly by teaching others what you know, so everyone benefits by being selfless and uplifting everyone in the class.

Not only will training partnerships and groups be formed, but there’s also the possibility of great friendships and relationships that continue outside of MMA training.

Also, other life skills such as public speaking and listening skills are greatly improved because of the social circles that MMA training creates. Learning MMA gives you more things to talk about so it can make you more interesting too.

8. MMA Increases Focus and Problem Solving

MMA fighters have to focus more than other martial arts because there’s so much variety of offensive and defensive techniques that they need to learn and be mindful and observant of. It teaches students how to be present and in the moment and forget about everything else while training.

One lapse of focus in an MMA fight means you can lose position, get hit hard, or get submitted – and can ultimately be the difference between winning and losing. To win an MMA fight, whether competitive or not, students must be able to solve the problem of getting past their opponent with clever moves and decision-making. It’s often referred to as a chess match.

For many students, MMA can become a form of active meditation because of the deep focus it requires and induces.

Overall, MMA training benefits students by drastically improving their focus, reaction time, and cognitive function, which is transferable to real-life skills like studying and working.

9. MMA as a Career and Other Relevant Avenues

MMA is only 3 decades old, so becoming skilled in MMA makes you a valuable asset in one the newest and fastest growing sports.

Becoming an elite professional and joining the UFC isn’t the only option, but it could be a great one if you enjoy it and become skilled. While MMA doesn’t pay money like football or basketball, the barrier to entry is much lower and the journey to earning good money is a lot faster because of how new the sport is.

Most recently, at the age of 17 Raul Rosas Jr became the youngest UFC fighter to earn a contract, and the youngest UFC fighter to make his UFC debut and therefore also win a fight.

For his submission victory, he was awarded a $50,000 bonus on top of his base pay, likely to have been around $30,000 for winning. $80,000 – $100,000 for one fight at the age of 18 is nothing to sneer at.

Aside from fighting, there’s coaching for fighters and larger classes, commentary, interviewing, refereeing and judging, nutritionists, personal trainers, or working within a promotion or State Athletic Commission, just to name a few roles.

Lastly, the self-defense and communication skills learned through MMA training are highly transferable to other lines of work such as law enforcement, acting, regulation, joining the army, and more.

Overall, MMA training makes you more employable, and with MMA continually growing, the opportunity for work, connections, and a career in the industry are available.

10. MMA Improves Balance and Coordination

MMA training requires coordination and balance across various types of movement, which can help to improve overall body control and stability.

This is highly transferable and makes you a better athlete in all sports and activities.

MMA Training: Extra Benefits

Here are some extra benefits of MMA training not explicitly stated in the titles above or not mentioned at all.

  • Improves sleep
  • Improves balance
  • Improved breathing through techniques and patterns
  • More awareness of thoughts and impulses
  • Makes you more ambitious
  • Keeps weeks structured and teaches discipline

The Bottom Line

So, ‘what are the benefits of MMA training?’

The benefits of MMA training are vast; and while other martial arts training has great benefits, MMA has the most by far. 

Effective self-defense, increased focus and cognitive function, amazing fitness, and strength, and the opportunity to meet people and improve communication are just some of the significant benefits of MMA training. 

The variety of MMA also means it has something fun for everyone and there are always new things to learn; whereas for many, other martial arts can get repetitive and boring after a few years of training.

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