Self taught MMA

Learn MMA by Yourself (Everything You Need to Know)

Can you learn MMA all by yourself? Up to a certain point, you can learn by yourself. You can learn punches and some basic BJJ rolls for example.

However, training alone has one critical problem, training with real opponents. I am not saying you can not learn at all alone. In fact, there is a lot you can do without a partner.

In this post we are going to focus on all the aspects you can train alone, as well as go through some pros and cons on why someone would want to self-learn MMA.

How to learn MMA by yourself

So, can MMA be self-taught? Sure it can. Up to a point. Now, let’s go through different ways and techniques you could train to teach yourself MMA.

As you might know, MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts. This means that it combines different aspects of fighting. Such as punches, kicks, and ground fighting. Let’s begin.

Learn MMA punches by yourself

As you might know, there are numerous amounts of martial arts that include punches. You could go with regular boxing, or something more exotic like muay thai, kickboxing, or wing chun, for example.

Now, it all starts with how much you can spend on your equipment. If you want to train by yourself due to the financial aspect of training, good news: you don’t really need any equipment to get started.

More about how important boxing is to MMA in this post.

Shadowboxing for MMA

Shadowboxing is one of the ways to teach yourself how to punch. It will not only make your technique more clean, but it will also make punching feel more natural to you.

With shadowboxing, it’s important to take things slowly, until you have the correct form for punching.

When done correctly, shadowboxing can increase the speed of your punches, as well as make the movement overall feel more natural. More about the benefits of shadowboxing every day in this post.

Punching bag for MMA

If you have some money to invest into learning MMA, or you happen to already have a punching bag, this is where it gets more fun.

Punching bags are a great way to learn to punch more in-depth, along with shadowboxing. The punching bag will provide resistance to your punches, which will build strength to your punches over time.

When buying a punching bag, it’s important to keep in mind how strong you are. Getting too heavy bag can be too exhausting to keep punching at. If you can find someone in the store to help you out with the weight of the bag, that would be great. Don’t get too lightweight either.

The bag also needs to be hung somewhere. Punching bags can weigh a lot, so they can not always be hung on a regular ceiling.

More about learning boxing and punching by yourself in this post. (This post also includes shadowboxing and speedbag tutorials)

Speed bag for MMA

Speed bags are another way to improve your punching skills for MMA by yourself. It stands somewhere between shadowboxing and a regular punching bag.

Speed bag gives some resistance, and requires more attention compared to just shadowboxing. It also does not weigh as much as a heavy bag, so it can be hung on almost anything.

Speed bag training for MMA will build up your muscle memory for your punches, as well as the speed of the punches. These 3 ways combined can greatly improve your MMA punching game, all by yourself.

Learn MMA kicks by yourself

Kicking is another aspect that is essential for MMA. If your opponent knows how to throw amazing kicks, and you have no clue, you are screwed.

Not only will knowing how to kick will help you on the offensive side, but it will also teach you to defend yourself against them.

Learning kicks there are two main ways you can do it by yourself.

Shadow kicking for MMA

Shadow kicking is like shadowboxing but for training kicks. You do not need any equipment for this either. It’s also a great way to improve your kicking technique, before adding too much force to the kicks.

I think it’s better if you see a tutorial for shadow kicking, instead of me trying to explain it to you over a text. There will be a video of the shadow kicking below. (I am not the creator of this video)

Shadow kicking tutorial

Heavy bag kicking for MMA

The second way to learn to kick by yourself is to kick a regular punching bag. This way, you can use more force compared to shadow kicking, and further perfect your kicking skills.

The punching bag provides resistance for your kicks, which will allow you to build strength to your kicks over time as well. You can start training kicks by yourself with shadow kicking, and then further expand your training to heavy bag kicking.

Learn grappling for MMA by yourself

The grappling and groundfighting aspect might seem like the most difficult part to learn by yourself. However, there are ways you can improve this aspect as well.

In my biased opinion, the best option for the ground fighting aspect of MMA is Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). There are other alternatives, such as wrestling or sambo, but BJJ is what I would go for since I already have a BJJ background.

More about how much BJJ is needed for MMA in this post.

Now, even though it is possible to train ground fighting by yourself, it’s going to be more difficult and not as in-depth as punching and kicking a bag.

It’s more like ways of improving your capabilities to ground fight. You can learn some of the basics by watching tutorials from YouTube and testing them out either by yourself, or a dummy. (A dummy is a doll made for grappling purposes)

grappling dummy for MMa
Grappling dummy for self-training

More about learning BJJ by yourself in this post.

Final thoughts

So, can MMA be self-taught? Yes, it can, up to a point. You can even get really good at some aspects of MMA without actually fighting anyone.

However, if you only train by yourself, it will take longer to learn and you will miss some of the things. Such as dodging and evaluating your opponents.

Learning MMA by yourself first might be a good option if you don’t yet wish to sign up for a gym. After gaining some confidence by training by yourself, going to an MMA gym might be easier.

Endurance is one essential part of MMA fighting. That is why MMA fighters do so much cardio. More about cardio and MMA in this post.

You could even build your own MMA gym. I have a post on how to do that and what you need. You can read it here.

Hopefully this was helpful to you, have a nice day!

Other MMA-related posts can be found here.

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