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The benefits of training MMA as a beginner

It didn’t take long for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to go from being a niche sport to one of the most popular combat sports in the world. In fact, one poll ranked MMA as the fifth most popular sport in America, after football, baseball, basketball and boxing. It’s easily one of the fastest growing sports globally. The good thing about that is that there are countless MMA beginners joining the sport every single week, and countless MMA gyms which cater to all kinds of training styles and goals. 

If you’ve ever watched a UFC match, we understand why you may be hesitant to give MMA a whirl, but it's not all knees to the stomach and kicks to the head. Trying MMA as a beginner doesn’t have to be scary — far from it. Not to mention the benefits are countless, from improved athletic performance and fat loss to better mental health and confidence walking alone at night. Sign you up? Thought so. 

If you’re toying with the idea of trying MMA but feeling a little intimidated, here’s a list of all the reasons why you should ignore the little voice in your head telling you it’s too scary, aggressive or complex. 

MMA improves health and fitness 

If you didn’t have athleticism before MMA, you certainly will after a couple of months. MMA is a full body workout that improves strength and conditioning within a matter of weeks. Training MMA will make you stronger, fitter, faster and all around healthier. Not to mention it's a serious calorie burner — ideal for anyone looking to lose weight. 

MMA improves mood and reduces stress

Regular exercise is known to improve mood and reduce the risk of depression, anxiety and stress. Small studies have even linked MMA with improved mental health, namely because it provides structure and a means to regular exercise, and martial arts in general have been linked to positive mental wellbeing. 

Learning MMA will encourage you to stay consistent and get regular, high intensity exercise every week, improving your mood in the process. Plus, hitting pads and bags is a great stress reliever. 

Get a larger social circle through MMA

You can do a lot of things by yourself, but learning MMA isn’t one of them. Although fighting is ultimately something you do on your own, no fighter is built without a solid team. MMA is taught in group classes and offers the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people you may never have come across elsewhere. 

Improves confidence and self-defence

Learning a new skill is one of the easiest ways to build confidence and self esteem. The more you learn, the better and more accomplished you’ll feel, and this newfound confidence in your own abilities will begin to translate to the rest of your life. It’s truly empowering!

Plus, having a little bit of self-defence in your back pocket always helps to make you feel safer when you’re walking around at night. 

Good foundation for learning other martial arts

If you’ve never tried a martial art before, you might worry that going straight into MMA will be overwhelming. However, it’s actually a great way to try out all the major martial arts –  kickboxing, boxing, muay thai, grappling, etc. – without investing too much time into something you might not enjoy as much as the others. 

If it turns out you’re not a big fan of the striking element but enjoy takedowns and grappling, learning MMA will put you in good stead for your first wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu class — and vice versa. 

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