For those looking in from the outside of the ring (or octagon), MMA can appear to be a vicious and dangerous sport.
This most testing of disciplines is not for the feint hearted, admittedly. But beyond the stunning kicks and eye-watering submission moves, the benefits of participating in this ever-growing pastime cannot be doubted.
With a huge emphasis on fitness, strength and mental superiority, MMA combines everything that combat sports offer, all under one roof.
Here are five of the most recognised benefits of MMA and how they come together to make a you a fitter, healthier and more competent individual.
1. Stress Relief
There are few healthier ways of relieving stress than by physical activity. With the mental focus needed to practice MMA, the stressful aspects of your life take a backseat while you are learning a new technique or defending yourself in a practice scenario. Even a short, one hour class can be effective, as it gives you the break we often need to get reinvigorated and to re-focus on life.
2. Increased Strength
An obvious benefit of this most physical of sports is gaining extra strength. This is due to the fact that the various styles associated with a martial arts exercise programme will target all major muscles; instead of a regular exercise routine that will only focus on one area. This includes the upper and lower body. In short, MMA uses so many parts of the anatomy, you are engaging in a full body work out each time you take part in a training session or bout.
As well as strength training, cardiovascular conditioning is also utilised when participating in mixed martial arts training. The physical activity not only increases your endurance, it also improves the performance of your heart and lungs; with other bodily systems adapting to perform at much higher levels. If you find the routine of your conventional gym workout tedious, martial arts training is often much more entertaining – meaning it’s more likely you’ll persist with it.
4. Improved Balance
With improved strength and endurance comes superior balance and flexibility. During MMA training your core muscles become more powerful you will be able to maintain your centre point more accurately as you practice kicks, jumps and other moves.
One of the biggest benefits of MMA is the mental impact. You will learn to trust your own abilities when it comes to overcoming obstacles. The confidence gained from MMA training can benefit you in the office, your relationships, and wherever else you can use an increase in self assurance. You may find yourself with increased leadership skills or an ability to conquer presentations just like you would in the ring.
Fancy giving MMA a go? Get your gear now!