MMA or mixed martial arts as its commonly known is the fastest growing sport in the world and has rapidly become very popular among young adults. The training aspects have been incorporated into many people’s training regimes whether in the gym or at home.
MMA incorporates a wide range of techniques from different martial art backgrounds. As well as training hard by lifting weights, doing cardiovascular work and having the edge mentally by keeping 1 step ahead of your opponent, you must be well versed in the 3 major disciplines which are striking, wrestling and jiu jitsu.
A good fighter will have an array of striking styles in his arsenal. Every fight starts on the feet and if you can finish the fight early without going to the ground then you will be able to finish the fight early and please the crowd. Striking is easy to learn as the movements are basic and most people know the basic elements of fighting, through films, TV events etc. Striking may be picked up quickly but every fighter needs to be intelligent as you need to predict what your opponent is going to do and plan you defence/attack strategy. Intelligent striking is difficult to teach and understand as you need to increase your reaction time and balance. A good striker will be able to counter attack effectively and predict when an opponent is about to strike. Top MMA fighters such as Shogun, Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort and Mirko Cro Cop have been successful as well-versed strikers. Apart from outstanding striking they have great sprawl and takedown defence which detours opponents from shooting in for a takedown.
Wrestling has recently been the core discipline that has been performing well in MMA. Out of the last 13 winners of the ultimate fighter series, 7 of them have a base in wrestling. A wrestler will be able to adapt to MMA as their training is very similar and they will have great strength, excellent cardio and stamina, the ability to move body weight, great grip, fight intelligence and the ability to shoot/defend takedowns. Many Collegiate, Division 1 and 2 and Professional wrestlers have been experiencing immediate success in MMA. There must be a teaching method out there that enables wrestlers to make the transition and become successful MMA practitioners. Wrestlers can usually experience a decent amount of success with relatively little additional training. Wrestling stand-outs such as Josh Koscheck, Jake Rosholt, Jake O’Brien, C.B. Dollaway, Matt Hughes, Brock Lesnar, Chael Sonnen and countless others have continued winning even as their submission and striking skills catch up to their wrestling abilities. Great wrestlers will be able to use their experience on the ground to increase their Jiu Jitsu skills. Tito Ortiz, who has a Wrestling background, utilised his dominant wrestling by mounting an opponent and striking from the top (Ground and Pound). Mark Coleman another top Wrestler first introduced this style into MMA back in the early 1990’s. Wrestlers will try and take a striker to the ground and control the fight there and with Jiu Jitsu practitioners they will either stand and strike or look an easy takedown to score points.
Jiu-jitsu opened a lot of eyes when Royce Gracie stunned early UFC audiences with a ground game that halted even the biggest of strikers. No matter what discipline fighters come from, BJJ continues to be one of the best skill sets choice for today’s top fighters. A good jiu jitsu practitioner will be able to submit opponents from various positions both standing up and on the floor. Fighters who have Jiu Jitsu as their core discipline will have some wrestling experience as Jiu Jitsu competitions are ground events. When competing in Jiu Jitsu events the pace is very high and you need to have great strength and muscle endurance. As with striking, jiu jitsu practitioners need to be intelligent as you need to predict what your opponent is going to do and plan you defence/attack strategy relatively early and cease an opportunity when it arises without leaving yourself open for an attack. Jiu Jitsu artists are relatively strong as they need to manoeuvre body weight; they are also powerful as when they sink in chokes and locks they want to finish the fight there and then. Having to move your opponent’s body weight and have them lying on you will increase your cardiovascular endurance and stamina. When fighting for position on the floor through wrestling or jiu jitsu, Opponents to try recover and this is when a true jiu jitsu practitioner explodes and catches his opponent off guard and submits him. True legends of Jiu Jitsu are Fedor Emelianenko, Demian Maia, the Nogueria brothers, fabricio werdum and bj Penn.