Many novices to mixed fighting have no idea what types of skills they need to learn in order to compete. Coming up with a workout routine that will get you in shape isn’t particularly difficult, but the plethora of different martial arts forms utilized in mixed fighting can be a bit daunting. In order to successfully compete in mixed fighting you need to be both a generalist and a specialist, meaning that you need to know a little bit about all the types of fighting, and a lot about a few of them.The first thing you need to figure out is what type of fighter you want to be. How do you figure this out? It is often determined by your background in other sports, though by no means does it have to be. Before you decide, you need to understand the different types of fighting styles in mixed fighting. There are four main types of mixed fighting styles, though there are endless combinations within these larger categories.
Sprawl and brawl is a style of fighting employed by many fighters from boxing, kickboxing, or full contact karate backgrounds. These types of fighters are skilled at striking opponents from the standing position as well as the ability to avoid being taken down. It is essential for these fighters to know basic submission wrestling technique in the unfortunate, and inevitable situation that they do get taken to the ground. However, their strategy revolves around avoiding being taken down and striking their opponent from a standing position.
Clinch fighting is a mixed fighting style that utilizes the clinch hold in order to keep opponents close and either attempt a takedown or strike with the knees, elbows, or fists. Clinch fighting is often employed by wrestlers that have added striking capabilities to their arsenal, as well as some Muay Thai fighters. Fighters who prefer the clinch need to be skilled in both stand up striking techniques as well as submission wrestling, and need to have the ability to take the fight to the ground if the battle on their feet doesn’t go their way.
Yet another mixed fighting style is ground and pound. This style consists of taking an opponent to the ground and unleashing a series of blows from the top position. This style is often used as a precursor to a submission hold. Ground and pound is often used by wrestlers or other fighters with a background in takedowns and the ability to defend against submission holds. An effective ground game is becoming more and more essential for MMA fighters because so many of today’s fights end up on the ground.
The last of the four main mixed fighting styles is submission wrestling. Submission wrestling is a general term used to describe the tactics of taking an opponent to the ground and applying a submission hold. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is the most commonly used martial art in mixed fighting that employs submission techniques. All MMA fighters should have at least a basic working knowledge of submission holds, if only for the purpose of defending against them. Submission wrestlers should also be competent in stand up striking styles, otherwise they run the risk of being knocked out before the fight ever reaches the ground.
As you can see, there are a number of skills required to be a successful MMA fighter. Each of these different styles can be mixed and matched with the others, and all of the well known fighters have at least a general knowledge of each discipline, as well as a specialty in one or two. It is up to you to decide which style best suits you as you begin your training for mixed fighting.