1. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Anyone do MMA or other martial art training?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by BayView, Nov 8, 2014.

    I have a character taking a basic MMA class. She's athletic and aggressive, looking to channel some energy.

    I've found a lot of strength-based workouts on line, but I'm having trouble figuring out what a beginner's MMA class would consist of. Can anyone help me out?
     
  2. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    While I was involved in Tai Kwon Do for many years, I doubt I could offer much help into MMS beginner's training.
    For the most part, beginners work out in the same classes with more advanced students, even sparring with upper level belts. Though free sparring might be limited to a certain degree. But, if you really want to know about MMA, go to a school that teaches. Explain to the Master what you are doing and that you would like to be able to observe a few classes and to get to know a little more about it. (And don't be surprised if you get invited to go through a few stretch/warm-up sessions with them!)
     
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  3. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Probably not MMA along the lines of UFC and all that (of which I'm largely unfamiliar), but I used to go to a martial arts gym every evening. Classes ran for 3 hours a night: the first hour was always 'martial fitness', then the last 2 sessions were actual lessons - the gym taught 4 different disciplines, so classes alternated between days. Members could pick and choose what to go to (I really enjoyed it and went to everything :D ). The 4 disciplines taught were boxing, kickboxing (muay thai), jeet kune do (Bruce Lee's martial art) and FMA (Filipino martial arts aka eskrima/kali/arnis).

    After the initial fitness hour, the first lesson would be either boxing or kickboxing - mostly focused on practising fundamentals of punching, kicking, guarding, blocks, dodges, etc. Beginners would start slow, to build up muscle memory for the correct technique, then you'd focus on power or speed (you'd learn both, but not at the same time), then you'd focus on power and speed. All the while maintaining the correct technique, otherwise you'd take it back a notch. You'd also learn how to balance (weight distribution between legs, etc), footwork, combos (develop muscle memory for sequences of strikes, so it flows naturally in a fight). These 2 disciplines were quite physically demanding, and still retained a fitness element.

    The other two disciplines were more about more technical skills and theory, and were less physical in nature. Jeet kune do is a really theory-oriented discipline, focusing on what's appropriate at different ranges. Because punching/kicking/etc was pretty well covered in boxing/kickboxing, jeet kune do classes would focus more on grappling, locks, groundwork, etc (but I think that was just at this particular multi-discipline gym; if a dojo only taught jeet kune do, I'm sure you'd still learn punches, kicks, etc). Sometimes these classes would have a self-defence focus (e.g. if a bunch of people cornered you in the street, what would you do?).

    FMA is perhaps the least applicable to UFC-style MMA, as it largely revolves around weapon use (traditionally 1 or 2 rattan sticks). I really quite liked FMA though, because it focused on teaching techniques that would work the same way no matter what you were holding (stick, machete, rock, nothing but fist, etc). If forced to pick a favourite discipline, I'd go with this... but only if forced.

    Before/between/after each session there would always be 5-10 minutes of stretching.

    The gym offered opportunities to get into the competitive scene if you were interested and applied yourself (I didn't really have the time, and was mostly just doing it for enjoyment and exercise). Sometimes they'd also hold extra sessions in other disciplines if an expert was visiting, or they'd have day-long focus sessions on special topics (womens' self defence, knife workshops, etc) - they'd go for 12 hours or even 24!

    I had so much fun at that gym; it was the thing I missed most after moving out of the area. I did tae kwon do classes in my younger days too, if those are of any interest. Hopefully some of what I've said is relevant - I tried to just give a broad overview, but if you want me to expand on anything, just ask (although I'm certainly no expert!).
     
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  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Your good MMA trainers usually teach a combination of disciplines. They will teach wrestling techniques for the ground, boxing and Muay Thai for stand up kick boxing, Karate for strikes and kicks as well, and then Jujitsu for submission moves and for getting out of holds. Many of your professionals usually come from a background of one discipline already but they still learn the others to make them a well rounded fighter.

    As for physical training there isn't a lot of heavy weights but more cardio because fighters are forced to do 5 minutes, and used to be 10! Regular fights go three rounds and important fights go five. I don't know if you have ever fought, boxed, or whatever, but it takes some serious cardio to not wear down fast. Lastly don't forget the stretching, that's so very important!

    I hope some of that helped.
     
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  5. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Usually a beginner will be advised to take a base. Jiu jitsu, high school wrestling, and boxing are the big ones. I think it's unlikely your character would be put into any sparring situation. Definitely not a 6 0z glove sparring situation.

    It's probably going to be a pretty boring class. Foot work, basic punches (if the instructor isn't a high quality boxer the punches will probably not be taught well), basic kicks (same thing applies here as with the boxing), take downs (basically football tackle), sprawls (to avoid being taken down). This, again, would be done in tandem with at least jiu jitsu, and potentially boxing. Also, if its a big class with a high turnover of beginners, you might expect it to be more cardio based and less technique based. The beginners are kind of the meat that funds the higher level fighters to actually train fighting. Of course she could find a gym where she is trained well for a beginner, but that depends on what you're trying to achieve for your character.

    If you want to throw around basic techniques your character might learn. I'd try these.

    Sweeps
    Take downs
    Sprawls
    Jabs, crosses, hooks,
    Front push kicks,
    Spinning fists
    Arm bar
    Guillotine
    Rear naked choke
    mount
    guard
    side controll
    and, if its a smutty novel and the class consists of only young, supple, females, you could try north-south

    edit: When I say jiu jitsu, I am in this case referring to brazillian jiu jitsu (BJJ), which focuses primarily on ground. For MMA, it would be no-gi
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
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  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Great information guys - thanks!
     
  7. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Glutton for punishment?
     
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  8. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Has she practiced any combat sports before? Or does she go right away to MMA? Why MMA?

    I'm not sure if you're even allowed to take MMA here unless you've completed a submission wrestling/grappling course beforehand (kinda like no-gi BJJ). Maybe nowadays you can, or it's different in the US/UK.

    Anyway, I'd also suggest you go as an observer or even better, as a practitioner to a beginners' class. Many schools offer the first lesson for free, so the same might go for MMA. If everyone's a noob, my guess is the first time they do the basic martial art stuff: burpees, push-ups, sit-ups, some jogging around. Then on the technical side probably the basics of the jab and maybe some wrestling. They wouldn't spar standing, I'm pretty sure, 'cause if they can't punch for shit, they'll just get hurt. Probably they won't even own helmets yet. Or maybe some MMA schools are run like some of those (better) Krav Maga schools, I don't know. :D. (which I do not advocate! 8 years later, both of my elbows are still fucked from noobie-punching thanks to hyper extension).

    I can't remember what we did on my first BJJ lesson... We did spar, actually, I think the point was to see how we'd grapple instinctively, but I don't know if all schools do that. Other than that, I think we practiced a couple of basic sweeps, the basic guards and mounts, and if I remember correctly the first choke was the triangle.
     
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  9. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Don't forget shrimping:
    http://www.learnbjjtechniques.com/shrimpinghip-escape-brazilian-jiu-jitsu/

    That's probably done at every MMA/BJJ/SW school, usually as a part of the warm-up routine. We did that in both BJJ and krav maga.

    I'm not so sure about spinning fists; none of the schools where I've trained (BJJ, SW, krav maga, muay thai, boxing) taught that even though officially it's a part of the style's technique repertoire because it's pretty impractical.

    ETA: The ukemi would also be a fairly big part of the basic course, usually done as a part of the warm-up routine as well, everyone moving around the gym in a big circle:
    http://www.formazionecsi.it/aps/repository/dly_cont_schedemm/864_img.jpg

    Oh, and basic footwork too, a mix of wrestling and muay thai footwork would likely be a part of almost every class's warm-up/fitness portion.

    The basic structure of the class would be:
    1. Warm-up
    2. Learning a new technique/a few new techniques or woodshedding old ones
    3. Sparring, i.e. practicing the techniques learned in a free setting
    4. Fitness portion (cardio and bodyweight exercises), sometimes done to the failure/puking point
    5. Cool-down

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
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