Learning MMA can be a big commitment. But how hard it is to actually learn MMA?
MMA is one of the hardest martial arts to practice. That is due to numerous different fighting techniques. Typical martial art only focuses on one or two aspects of fighting, whereas MMA focuses on all the aspects of fighting.
This is highly related to Are martial arts hard to learn which will go through in general how difficult it is to learn new martial arts.
More about why MMA is so hard to learn further in this post, as well as how long it takes to learn and why you should start MMA.
How difficult it is to learn MMA?
MMA is one of those things, that are fairly easy to learn but extremely difficult to master. You can learn the basics of MMA in just six months, but becoming an MMA master, will take a lot more work.
The reason why MMA is so difficult is that it focuses on all aspects of fighting, instead of just one like most martial arts. As the name Mixed Martial Arts says, it is a combination of different martial arts.
MMA does not have to include any specific martial arts. You can choose for yourself, which ones you decide to train or focus more on.
You can be an MMA fighter, even if your ground fighting game is not as great as your punches. That is the beauty of MMA. Everybody can shine with their own set of skills, strengths, and weaknesses.
MMA is like learning multiple different martial arts at once. You will have to learn every aspect of fighting, at some level, or you won’t be a successful MMA fighter.
On the other hand, you could start MMA just as a hobby, and focus more on the fighting style you like the most. Not everybody is going to be a professional. MMA is a great option for staying in shape, for example.
Another aspect that makes MMA extremely difficult is that you will have to learn to defend yourself against people with different martial arts backgrounds. Someone might use Myau Thai, while others use regular boxing.
Some people use sambo or wrestling, instead of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The techniques they use might come as a surprise. That makes it harder to learn to defend yourself against different opponents in MMA.
How long does it take to learn MMA?
Before becoming a professional MMA fighter, it typically takes around 5 to 10 years of training. The time spent depends on how much previous experience you have in martial arts, how talented are you as well as how hard you train.
With previous experience and good athletic background, you could become a “professional” in 5 years. However, for most people, mastering MMA takes closer to 10 years or even more.
That is because there is so much to learn in MMA. There are always new things, new martial arts to be implemented into your fighting style.
You can learn the basics of MMA in just six months, or even less. It depends on how fast you can learn and how often you train. More about how often you should train MMA in this post.
Your progress will also slow down after you have learned the basics. Most of the learning, no matter what you learn, happens in the early stages. That might seem like the most difficult phase of learning, but if you just stick to it, you can make it.
Why you should learn MMA?
Learning MMA, or any martial art so to speak, has a lot of benefits. Let’s go through the main benefits you could see, when you start MMA.
You will be able to defend yourself if you encounter a situation like that. Knowing you can defend yourself will also make you feel more confident overall. That confidence on its own can help you prevent those kinds of situations.
You will appeal to more confidence overall. It is not unusual for people to start training MMA or other martial arts, and over time, improve their confidence. This can be due to various reasons, such as getting in better shape, being more skilled overall, or any other reason.
Training MMA can help you to get or stay in shape. MMA is a physically very intensive sport. Combined with eating clean, that can highly improve your overall health, help you to lose weight, and stay in shape.
You meet new like-minded people when training MMA. When training MMA, unless you are training by yourself, you will meet new people. Even better, you all share a common interest in martial arts for one reason or another. That is another bonus you get when you start MMA.
What is the best age to start learning MMA?
The best age to start training MMA is between 15 and 25 years old. Typical UFC fighters are between 25 and 40 years old. Therefore, starting at age 15, training for 10 years, you would be 25 years old with 10 years of fighting experience.
This doesn’t mean if you are older than that, it’s too late to start. However, if you plan on going for a professional fighter career, then age is a bigger factor.
The average age of UFC fighters is around 31 years, while the most common age is 32 years old. (Source).
Therefore, starting in your early twenties gives you plenty of time to practice before starting your UFC career, as well as gives you time to actually fight, and not being in the retirement age when you finally know how to fight.
All that being said, as long as you can throw a punch, you probably are not too old to start MMA.
More about whether you are too old for MMA in this post.
What martial arts are needed for MMA?
The martial arts needed or MMA can vary a lot. As mentioned before, you can have any martial art background to do MMA.
You should however have knowledge in ground fighting, as well as punches and kicks. Therefore, you could pick Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing for example, and use those as the foundation of your MMA career.
I have a post, on whether to choose MMA or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you can read it here.
In conclusion, MMA is fairly easy and fast to learn, but hard to master. The difficulty of MMA lies in the complexity, and variety of martial arts that can be present in a fight.
You will always encounter opponents from different martial arts backgrounds. Therefore, it can be hard to learn to defend yourself against all the different variations and people with different skillsets.
Compared to someone who is doing BJJ, they know all the BJJ moves and know how to avoid them. Now, let’s put the same guy against someone who trains sambo. They have no idea what moves sambo uses, so they will have a harder time defending themselves.
Hopefully this was helpful to you, have a wonderful day!
More posts about MMA can be found here.