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Best MMA Equipment for Training – Beginners Guide to Fighting Gear

Essential MMA Equipment for Mixed Martial Arts Success

The best MMA equipment is an instrumental aspect of any true MMA training regiment, with the right training gear even a beginner can ultimately climb high in the ranks!

Essential MMA Equipment – Table of Contents

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Best MMA Shorts and Other Clothing

the essential mma training gear

All MMA training gear and clothes should specifically be structured for comfort, quality performance and long-term use. Essential clothing necessary for all serious MMA participants includes the following items:

Best MMA Training Shorts – TIGON MMA Fight Shorts

Tigon MMA Shorts Training Gear

Comfortable, graphics-patterned fighting shorts of quality microfiber have mesh panels for cooling. These sturdy shorts with reinforced seams follow your every combat move. The innovative inner gripping waistband with silicone guard lock keeps shorts in position for the ultimate comfort and performance with 4-way stretch.

  • Multiple Flex Panels for Mobility Ease
  • Strength and Endurance Tested
  • Internal Pocket and Vertical Velcro Enclosures

Bottom Line

One of the best fighting shorts on the market today. Comfort, style, and durability. Extra flexible directional stretch fabric.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $39.99  More Info

Best MMA Tank Top – TITLE Sleeveless Hoodie

TITLE MMA Fighting UFC Trainer hoody

A large-cell mesh tank top in your size will see you through the toughest match with flair and the latest sports style. Made of durable nylon, polyester or cotton blend, this reversible tank is constructed of double-layered fabric for comfort and coolness.

  • Black, Grey, and/or White
  • Four Different Sizes
  • Light-weight Material

Bottom Line

Perfect hoodie for working out, punching the bad, running, martial arts, or just an edgy feel.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $59.75 & FREE Shipping  More Info

Long Sleeve Rashguard

Most popular rash guard designs today are pro-sublimated graphics in Polyester and Spandex blend fabric. Because the colorful graphics are created with permanent fabric dyes, there is never any creasing, cracking or peeling. This shirt comes with protective, long body and full-length sleeves.

Compression Spats

These fighting spats or tights exert even pressure to maintain locked muscles in your lower body and legs for lasting endurance through long, grueling combat. With 4-way Spandex construction, elastic waistband and ergonomic seams, they support top performance and stamina. Dry Tech fabric cools and dries skin for the duration of each match.

Jiu-Jitsu Sandal Flip Flops

Sandal Flip Flops designed for Jiu-Jitsu tend to be on the cheap MMA gear side for the most part, and ideal for MMA practice and combat. With lasting treads, this flexible footwear is made of top quality rubber. Specially modeled, they align with every foot movement, stopping slips or falls.

Best MMA Protective Gear

Protective gear is a requirement for participants in today’s MMA sporting events. Some of the necessary MMA gear bundles for safeguarding the health and well-being of fighters include:

Protective Headgear

Quality lightweight headgear is necessary to protect fighters from head injuries. These EVA rubber foam helmet-like designs are molded to shield the heads of athletes engaged in flag football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and MMA.

Top-position air vents keep your head cool during combat when wearing this ever more important quality MMA head gear, and a snug, custom fit is ensured by the sturdy loop and hook closure.

Chest and Abdomen Guard – RDX Chest Guard MMA Body Protector

RDX Boxing Belly Pad Chest Guard MMA Body Protector Martial Arts Rib Shield Armour Taekwondo Training - 2

With a double layer of foam and a tough vinyl exterior coating, this chest and abdomen guard protects your torso from harm during combat. Its adjustable straps keep the guard in place throughout each match so you can concentrate totally on strategies and performance.

  • Compact Design and Ultra-Light Weight
  • Easy One Snap Attachment
  • Virtually No Movement During Training

Bottom Line

Advanced RDX Gel Integrated belly pad is not your regular body shield. It stays firmly in place, super shock absorbing, and is very light and durable at the same time.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $62.30 $46.49  More Info

Shields / Thai Pads

With this durable sparring gear as protection for the lower legs, you can deliver strategic kicks without worry about leg injuries. Very useful in the grappler combat position, these guards are made of absorbent foam to protect legs from the wear, tear and shocks endured by MMA fighters.

Best MMA Thai Pads: Hayabusa Fightwear Tokushu Regenesis Striking Shinguard

Best MMA Gear Hayabusa Fightwear Tokushu Regenesis Striking Shinguard

The guards’ outer coating of synthetic leather lends extra strength and protection. Guards are secured in place by neoprene wrap.

  • Vylar-2 Engineered Leather
  • Advanced Crack Resistance for Longevity and Endurance
  • Exclusive Non-slip Inner Lining

Bottom Line

A revolutionary new I-Strap system, it has the first ever calve protective strip that prevents from rotation and provides a firm fit.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $119.99  More Info

Mouthpieces / Groin Cups

All MMA fighters should wear a mouth guard during each combat match or training session to avoid mouth or dental injuries. This guard is easily customized and made of soft, shock-absorbing components. After placing the guard in boiling water, insert it into your mouth, letting it assume the shape of your inner mouth as it cools.

Best MMA Mouthpiece: Shock Doctor Pro Mouthguard

Shock Doctor Pro MMA Mouthguard Protective Gear

  • Heat and Fit Techonlogy
  • No Teeth Grinding
  • Safe Material

Bottom Line

Comfortable to wear, does not make your lips stick out, and very easy to breathe through.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $7.99  More Info

Best Groin Cup: Shock Doctor Power Supporter BioFlex Cup

Shock Doctors Men Power Supporter MMA Groin Cup Protective Gear

When wearing the kickboxing groin protective cup, you will guard against groin injury while sustaining kicks to the front of your body. The shell of synthetic leather with 3/4-inch interior padding protects without inhibiting athletic movement. Securing wrap also covers the hip flexor region.

  • Dimensions: 5 in x 3 in x 1 in
  • 51% Polyester, 44% Spandex, 5% Nylon
  • BioFlex Cup Included

Bottom Line

Comfortable, it is true to size, and secure. Aesthetically designed MMA gear.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $14.31  More Info

Best MMA Gloves and Wraps

Once the gloves are on, there is no turning back. MMA padded gloves and wraps provide expert protection during practice sessions at the gym, for example:

Best MMA Gloves: Everlast MMA Grappling Gloves

Everlast Best MMA Gear Grappling Gloves for Fighting

Combat training gloves provide the highest levels of safety during workouts or matches. Their molded foam padding and outer leather coating eliminate the worry of hand and wrist injuries. The open palm, well-padded thumb and complete wrap-around with secure fastening offer ultimate protection.

  • Wrist Strap via Hook and Loop Style
  • 3/4″ + of Knuckle Padding for Increased Protection
  • Reinforced Finger Slots and Seams

Bottom Line

Great value for cage and/or ring training. Non slip padded fit.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $19.69  More Info

Best MMA Hand Wraps: Everlast 3-Pack Hand Wraps

Additional individual neoprene wraps can offer more protective reinforcement against harm to weakened hand muscles or previously injured wrists during strenuous rounds of combat.

  • Machine Washable 100% Durable Cotton-Weave
  • Ideal for Beginners and Professionals Alike
  • Dimensions: 8.5 in x 3.5 in x 3 in

Bottom Line

Very convenient and quality 108-inch hand wraps, with thumb loop for superior alignment. Velcro band enclosure for tight secure fit.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $23.00 & FREE Shipping  More Info

Ringside Punch Mitts

These mitts guard against hand injuries during mitt routines with a slight angle to their striking surface area and receding contact target point. With three-inch thick protective foam padding, a protective hood for finger safety and a palm ball for maximum power and control, these mitts offer multiple benefits.

Combat Grappling Gloves

For the best possible safety during training, grappling gloves are essential. They ensure a thorough training experience and top-speed, vigorous workouts free of injury for users and their partners. These gloves have 3/4-inch padding, open palm design and sturdy leather exteriors

Quick Hand Wrap

This pre-wrapped neoprene or elasticized under-glove comes with attached wrist wrapping to reinforce injured or weakened wrists and hands, allowing MMA fighters to get back into action quickly and perform well.

Best MMA Pads and Shields

Protective shields and Thai pads are important equipment for guarding your body against injury from the blows and kicks of your opponent when engaged in MMA bouts. There are varied sizes and styles of these protective body shields, but all have general qualities in common that puts them in the essential MMA gear category:

Slammer Shields

These thickly padded, heavy-duty shields successfully guard the bodies of MMA competitors from power punches and kicks. With six-inch interior foam construction, they are reinforced with nylon and vinyl and come with both back and side strap handles for ultimate holding ease.

Curved Slammer Shields

For smooth, easy handling and quick, strategic moves necessary for protecting the body from sudden blows during competitions, MMA fighters often prefer use of curved slammer shields, which move in sync with natural body curves.

Thai Power Shield Pads

Ideal Thai power shield pads are constructed of sturdy, impact-repellent foam that is designed to absorb the shock of fierce punches, strikes and kicks. Covered by a strong layer of tear-resistant vinyl, these pads are very helpful in improving the power of your own MMA moves in matches as they protect you from possible injury from the quick blows of crafty, fast-moving opponents. Adjustable arm straps provide stability during combat.

Thai Pads with Top Handle – Fairtex Curved Thai Kick Pads

Fairtex Curved Thai Kick Pads MMA Gear for Training Kicking Shield

Thai pads designed with nylon top handles coated in rubber ensure secure handling by fighters, especially when warding off powerful impact from kicks and forceful blows. These shields can also be hung on the wall for practicing strategic kicks and chopping blows.

  • Dimensions: Length 16″ x Width 8″ x Thickness 3.5″
  • Weight: 3.65 Pounds
  • High Quality Durable Product

Bottom Line

This extra thick kicking pad is not only ideal for Muay Thai but also for general MMA cage training. About as thick as it gets before having to sacrifice mobility.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $112.70  More Info

Forearm Kick Shield

This durable guard against combat kicks is made of numerous layers of thick foam to absorb jarring impact during MMA rounds. The outer cover of the shield is structured from tear-resistant nylon, and its small size of 12 by 15 inches makes it easy to maneuver during fast-action fighting

Best MMA Punching Bags and Dummies

Dummies and punching bags are essential training equipment for all combat sports that involve striking, punching, thrusting and kicking. Some popular types include the following items:

Leather Thai Bag

This combat sports punching bag offers full resiliency for practicing kicks and knee thrusts during training. Made of durable leather, this MMA bag weighs 100 lbs. and comes with a sturdy hanging chain and strong swivel.

Hydra Core Heavy Bag

This punching bag is intended for heavy hitter training and is one of the most popular MMA gear bags. Its interior includes a thick layer of foam along with a water core, which gives MMA fighters the feeling of engaging in combat with a human opponent.

Free-Standing Punching Bag

With an interior made of thick protective foam encased in heavy vinyl, this punching bag has a sturdy supporting base with a tank that can hold as much as 140 lbs. of water for stability during combat training. It can sometimes be purchased for relatively cheap. Think Craigslist.

Best MMA Grappling Dummy for Training – Cage Fitness 40lb

Century Martial Arts Cage Fitness 40 lb. MMA Grappling Dummy

This life-size dummy gives MMA fighters in training the sensation of kicking and punching a real live opponent. Standing five-foot-eight and weighing in at 120 lbs., this training partner has arms extended in grappling position, ready for a good round of combat.

  • Two Side Handles, Top Handle, and Reinforced Web Straps
  • Quality Durable Material
  • Black With Cage Logo Design

Bottom Line

Built with cage fitness muscle building and fat burning workouts in mind. Your very own sparring partner.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $183.94 & FREE Shipping  More Info

Hanging Dummy

The hanging dummy for combat sports training helps fighter’s perfect body strikes and kicks without possible injury to live practice opponents. The hanging dummy’s weightiness aids fighters in gaining arm and leg strength for developing power kicks and punches.

Best MMA Books and DVDs

Some of our favorite books and DVD’s that explore the art and intricacies of hand to hand combat. You’ll surely recognize the legend himself GSP on this list, he’s one of our all-time favorite MMA fighters!

Best Book for MMA Enthusiasts: 1001 Submissions MMA Finishing Techniques

It’s a ‘new’ type of game out there these day’s, and the fact of the matter is, if you don’t have a ground game, if your submissions aren’t pristine, your chances of success are unfavorable. A must read for all those trying to improve their technique and add more weapons to their arsenal.

1001 Submissions Mixed Martial Arts Finishing Techniques MMA Resource

  • Submission Techniques from All Disciplines
  • Illustrative With 6,000+ Pictures
  • Considered the Encyclopedia of Sumbissions

Bottom Line

Officially the world’s largest fighting manual, this is a must have for any serious mixed martial arts enthusiast.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $29.95 (KINDLE Purchase)  More Info

Best HomeTraining: Rushfit Georges St-Pierre 8 Week Ultimate Home Training

If you’re trying to get in top shape, and we do mean TOP shape. This home workout program is what you’re looking for.

Rushfit Georges St-Pierre 8 Week Ultimate Home Training Program for MMA

  • Total Body MMA-Style Conditioning
  • 7 High Intensity Workouts on 6 DVD’s + 2 Nutritional Guides
  • 60 Day Satisfaction Guarantee

Bottom Line

From the UFC legend himself, comes this home training program that is fast and efficient.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $169.00  More Info

MMA Training Gear for Ongoing Practice

There is simply too much stuff to fit into one article such as this, but we’ve tried our best to include as much as possible. Which is why we even included this extra section on additional resources to properly prepare you for your chance at success in the octagon!

Safety Cage Headgear

This ringside headgear offers full protection to the face and head during combat and is recommended as kids MMA gear. The cage is removable, providing flexibility for different levels of fighting.

Made of tough, lasting leather and thick interior padding, this headgear has good ventilation and canals for air release for the ears.

Elbow and Knee Pads

Expertly tapered elbow and knee pads provide free mobility during MMA bouts and are frequently bought with other womens MMA gear. These strong, but pliable protective pads move in alignment with your body as you use both fast and slow movements during combat strategies.

Stretchable material is scientifically formulated to allow skin to breathe normally.

Protective Footgear

Taekwondo foot protectors are a popular youth MMA gear and are good for mixed martial arts combat as protection for ankles, toes and insteps while eliminating slipping. They also decrease shocks from strong kicks as they support foot ventilation and dryness with flexible Spandex fabric composition.

Mini-Thai Pads

Taekwondo-MMA training pads guard against harsh punches and kicks from your opponent during MMA competition. Their well-padded interiors and outer coatings of durable leather enable them to absorb strategic blows and rapid attacks.

Instep/Shin Pads

Lightweight instep and shin pads offer soft, sturdy foam protection without the inhibiting weight of heavier style MMA pads.


Beginners Guide to Mixed Martial Arts

Table of Contents

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Although Mixed Martial Arts just gained strong popularity in the modern sports and exercise world ten short years ago, the initial roots of this combat sport and training equipment date back to the days of the ancient Greek Olympics.


Introduction to Mixed Martial Arts

mma sparring gear and mma fight gear resources

Today, mixed martial arts combat is considered to be directly related to Japanese Shootfighting and Brazilian Vale Tudo arts.

In the early 1990s, when the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) became big in the the U.S., Europe and throughout the Western world of sports, safety rules, timed fighting and referees were introduced so ensure that MMA would grow as a healthy, legitimate sport.

No longer would a karate expert face a wrestler in the modern fighting arena. Now, all participants are trained in multiple types of combat sports and are getting tougher and tougher to outsmart and defeat.

At this point in time, you’ve probably given up on trying to shield yourself from the attention that mixed martial arts is getting in our society, but this wasn’t always the case. Only recently has this sport gained popularity and recognition. Let’s take a look at how we got here.

The Origin of Mixed Martial Arts

Back in 1993 a TV critic by the name of Howard Rosenberg coined the term mixed martial arts in his review of the 1st ever UFC broadcast that took place in Denver, Colorado.

Promotion wise, it wasn’t until 1995 that the term was used to promote an event, it was Rick Blume who was the president and CEO of Battlecade Extreme Fighting which used it for promo purposes not long after UFC 7. Beforehand the sport was described with “ultimate fighting” and “no hold barred” fighting terminology.

It wasn’t until the UFC 17 meeting that the term “MMA” was officially proposed by two popular UFC referees, essentially in response to the negative rep the sport was getting by using the other names. The debate continues, however, as to who truly came up with the name.

MMA’s Link to Ancient Greece

This specialized type of fighting started out as a sport known as “pankration,” formed by combining the Greek words of “pan” and “kratos,” translating as “all powers.” In Greece, this hand-to-hand contact sport had just two rules. There could be no eye gouging and no biting. Successful fighters gained the status of legendary heroes.

This was the MMA of the old days when people were togas and robes. The sport continued on throughout history, as the Greeks passed it on to the Romans, and a Greco-Roman version of wrestling continued on to modern day as well.

Regulation of MMA

Kickboxing rules, already in adaptation, helped mixed martial arts immensely when it came time to regulate the sport. When the first regulated MMA event took place in Mississippi back in 1996, the rules proposed and eventually used mimicked those of the already established kickboxing rules used by most states.

A key moment in MMA regulation occurred in the year 2001. This is when the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, NJSACB for short, held a meeting to consolidate all the different rules and regulations that were out there for this growing sport.

Ultimately, the rules adopted by the NJSACB prevailed as the standard and official rules for pro MMA events across the United States. These rules became known as the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, they came into effect by going through a unanimous decision in the Association of Boxing Commissions.

Modern Day MMA

Mixed martial arts has come a long way as you can tell by the coverage it is getting and all of your friends talking about the next UFC event. Below are some of the ways MMA has become the norm in our society.

  • Promotions
    • There are literally hundreds of MMA promotions out there around the world, all producing mixed martial arts events. UFC is the most recognized company and no one even comes close to them.  The UFC set the highest gate in Toronto sports even history at $12,075,000 in 2011.
  • MMA Gyms
    • Most notable impact MMA has had on our world is evidence by the emergence of omnipresent MMA Gyms across the nation and world for that matter. Currently the top 10 MMA gyms in the world have been ranked; prestige is determined by how many top ranked UFC fighters train there.
  • Media
    • Websites covering the sport have emerged from all corners, websites such as Sherdog.com, MMAfighting.com, and the official UFC.com rank as the top sites in terms of traffic received. But there are literally tons of websites, MMA YouTube channels, forums, and MMA blogs covering the next event and debating prior ones.

The Development of Fighting Styles in MMA

As with anything else, competition breeds evolution and eliminates the inferior styles. Thus, in the mixed martial arts world, the combat-effectiveness of various styles has been tested over the years.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pretty much dominated mixed martial arts in the early 90’s in the US. this is because the style was superior in submission based techniques, which posed a challenge to those who trained Karate, Boxing, and/or Kickboxing all their life and weren’t as used to grappling.

As any professional fighter with the aim of becoming the ultimate fighting machine would realize, you have to work on your weaknesses. So the striking focused fighter began working on their submissions and the grappling fighter in turn worked on their striking abilities.

This cross-training of fight styles bred multidimensional well-rounded fighters that we see today. It is not common in modern-day to see a fighter choose only striking or only grappling as their fighting style, as the chances of success are increased by combining the two.

Common Mixed Martial Arts Fighting Disciplines

Popular fighting disciplines can primarily be categories into these three groups: Striking, Clinch, and Ground.

  • Striking discipline is trained towards stand-up fighting. Think boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and sports of that nature.
  • Clinch is more wrestling and takedowns based. Throwing your opponent around is the key to this discipline. Think judo and Sambo.
  • Ground style is all about having position while you are on the ground and controlling the fight from there. Submission and defending submissions is the primary focus of training in this discipline. Think Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Boxing

Boxing is used in MMA by every fighter. It is the foundation base for striking an opponent in MMA. It’s how, for the most part, fighters get knocked out, as it counts for the greatest percentage of KO’s. Important boxing elements fighters need to work on is combos, footwork, and defensive techniques.

Muay Thai

Legs, knees, elbows, and fists, give this style the name “art of eight limbs.” Probably the most popular discipline taught in mixed martial arts, as it serves as the foundation for striking. Muay Thai is very versatile, and this is very popular among fighters. Long range, short-range, close combat, throwing and holding your opponent are some of the elements this style offers.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

As mentioned above, this style ruled the MMA world in the 1990’s due to its superior grappling techniques. It deserves credit for shining light on the importance of on the ground fighting. Mainly because with this style you can take down and submit much larger opponents, which looks impressive on camera and is a true art delightful to watch.

Judo

Ground grappling and standing grappling, Judo does it both, with superiority. Some of the most notorious fighters in UFC history are Judo masters. Most notably, Anderson Silva, considered by many to be the greatest UFC fighter of all time, holds a black belt in Judo. As well as the other all-time-best contender Fedor Emelianenko.

Amateur Wrestling

Freestyle wrestling, previously mentioned Greco-Roman wrestling, and American Folk style are the most common types encountered in the mixed martial arts industry. This style has earned its respect in the MMA world due to many fighter exhibiting their skill sin it and coming out on top.

Wrestling is most important for critical takedowns, lower body takedowns in particular.

Karate

Karate is traditionally known to us as the core foundation for its sister sport, kickboxing. Karate’s specialty is in striking, therefore any fighter working on improving their striking ability is encouraged to dabble and study Karate.

Many notable fighters have practiced and continue to practice various Karate styles. Most notably, George St-Pierre who practices Kyokushin.

Taekwondo

Some of the most famous and successful fighters in the MMA sports history have a deeply rooted background in Taekwondo. Anderson Silva, previously mentioned as one of the greatest fighters of all time is a 5th dan black belt.

In one of his books, Silva admits that Taekwondo was instrumental in his forming of his fighting style early on in his career.

Sanshou/Sanda

Throughout the sports history it is not uncommon to see a fighter use Chinese martial arts in a fight. Cung Le, who is the most popular and widely known fighter to use this style, defeated Ken Shemrock and Rich Franklin with it.

Both of them were former UFC champions. Sanshou incorporates striking and stand up takedowns.

Techniques Utilized in Mixed Martial Arts

Different fighters adapt different strategies to suit their mental view of fighting. This is the true beauty of the sport, fighters have different philosophies on what works and what doesn’t and are willing to put it to the test in the octagon.

Generally speaking, however, all of their strategies can be placed into two groups, the striking techniques, and the grappling techniques groups. Even though a fighter may prefer one over the other, nowadays, they must train both in order to be an effective, versatile, and worthy opponent.

Sprawl-and-Brawl

This style tends to avoid ground fighting at all costs if it can. Fighters using this style use sprawls to avoid being brought down to the ground by an opponent. Typically, these fighter come from a striking discipline such as Karate and/or Kickboxing.

This is not to say that these fighters do not train in wrestling styles, they have to! In order to avoid being taken down and continue fighting with their preferred style. Mirko “Crocop” Filipovic is a good example of a fighter who successfully and continuously used this style to notoriety.

Ground-and-Pound

Just as the name suggests, this style is all about getting your opponent on the ground, jumping on top of them and then pounding away at them with your fists and/or elbows. This is called obtaining a dominant grappling position. Submissions typically follow this maneuver.

The goal is to pound on your opponent until they present you with an opening into a submission move; either that or an opening to knock them out. It’s not a traditional style by any means, but it is too effective for any fighter to pass up; so it is common place in UFC nowadays.

To most fans dismay, however, as it is considered to be the most boring style in a lot of cases.

Fighters utilizing this style too much have been criticized and accused of being afraid of stand up fighting and simply stalling fights. The devil’s advocate view is that it is up to the downed fighter to get out of it and back on their feet.

Submission Seeking

This technique entails grounding your opponent by way of throwing them or using some takedown move, then going in for the kill by getting them to submit, using a submission maneuver. Submissions are a very popular technique and were popularized early on by Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie, who utilized them successfully to attain MMA titles.

Score Oriented Fighting

Essentially, you takedown your opponent for points. This technique is popular among fighters with a strong wrestling background and who are superior takedown experts. They will take down the opponent, get the points on the judges’ score card, and typically allow the opponent back up; and repeat.

Additionally, score oriented fighters aim to land perfect clear punches. To be a successful score oriented UFC fighter, one must be very skilled at avoiding punches and takedowns.

Clinch Fighting Style

Clinching your opponent is about keeping them close to you, not allowing them ample room for striking distance. Typically, an MMA fighter using this style will pull in their opponent, preventing them from backing away, while pounding at them with knees, elbows, punches, and stomps.

This technique is used to control and neutralize an opponent, but when used successfully it can also be a stepping stone for a takedown and/or submission. Fighters who use this style to slow down their opponents and drain their endurance into later rounds are called MMA grinders.

MMA Injuries and Safety Concerns

One would have to be delusional to go into mixed martial arts without realizing that they will get hurt at one point or another. It’s no surprise then, that the injuries in MMA outpace all other combat sports, given the popularity and increase in participants over the years as well.

Let’s break it down and jump into the statistics that continue on outside the octagon.

Rates of Injury in MMA

Recent data, analyzed by looking at the available MMA injury stats, listed the injury rate for MMA fighters at almost 229 injuries per 1,000 fights. Other combat sports, such as Judo, is at 44 injuries per 1,000 fights; nearly 5 times less the rate of MMA.

Professional boxing comes the closest, with 118-250 injuries per 1,000 boxing matches.

Injury Patterns

Another common thing MMA has with boxing, injury and safety wise, are the injury patterns. Interestingly, MMA injury patterns are unlike those of Taekwondo and Judo. Between 66.5-78% of reported injuries, are head injuries! Followed by wrist/hand injuries, which are at 6 -12%.

Most common types of injuries are laceration, fracture, and concussions.

Mental Health Concerns

Dr. Charles Bernick of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Rouvo Center for Brain Health is doing an ongoing study on 109 professional boxers and MMA fighters. The preliminary results of his study showed significant memory loss and alertness in fighters who spend more than six years in the ring.

More importantly, Dr. Bernick has released a statement saying that studying the more frequent jabs, or lesser blows, will probably lead greater results than studying concussion that take place infrequently.

Fatalities

To date, MMA has produced seven known fatalities. Two of which occurred between 2007 and 2010. On October 20, 2007 in Houtson, Texas Vince Libardi fought Sam Vasquez. Libardi knocked out Vasquez in the third round; Vasquez subsequently collapsed and had to undergo two surgeries to remove a blood clot from his brain.

Unfortunately, shortly after the second surgery, he suffered a fatal stroke. The second unfortunate event was that of a 30-year old fighter by the name of Michael Kirkham, who never regained consciousness after being knocked out; and being officially declared dead a few days after the fight.

For those interested in pursuing a career in MMA, it is extremely important to take into consideration the injury rates, types, and mental health concerns.

Are You Ready to Rumble!?

MMA is an exciting, challenging sport and a healthy athletic activity that is ideal for staying limber, agile, fast-moving and fit. At the present time, there are more MMA gyms, camps and training programs in the U.S. than there are martial-arts classes and studios.

Well-trained MMA fighters of all ages are engaging in supervised physical combat today. As long as you use the right MMA clothing, protective gear and accessories that are recommended by experienced coaches and experts, you will enjoy continued success in dynamic, satisfying and safe MMA combat.

Important

Before venturing into the world of mixed martial arts, you should consult with your doctor about any medical issue you have, that you may not have been aware of. The sport is extremely intense and competitive, and any/all medical issues should be cleared with a licensed doctor before stepping into the ring.

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