View Full Version : Do I need to be in shape?

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6/02/2011 8:26am,
Hi all, this is my first post here. I was wondering if I need to be in decent shape prior to tracking down a place to train in a MA(I dont even know what I want to train in yet lol). I ask this because, to be frank, I am in TERRIBLE shape! I am 24, about 6' tall, and weigh around 280 lbs. A big fat ****.
I LOVE watching MMA, and as someone who has been overweight their entire life, envy their abilities and conditioning. This lead me to begin considering training in some type of MA or combative activity as a rewarding and fun way to get in to better shape(and maybe even compete in MMA or something years down the road).

6/02/2011 8:31am,
No, you don't, the training will get you in shape. If you give your rough location people might be able to recommend some schools.

6/02/2011 8:33am,
A good gym regardless of style of MA will not allow physical fitness to be a roadblock. You train, you get in shape by training.

I would recommend taking up a kickboxing program, and add jogging to your daily routine to supplement the cardio gained from that. Being in that type of environment will hopefully inspire you to better your eating habits, put you on a solid sleep schedule, and all the other little things that lead to a healthier lifestyle, and will inevitably help you lose weight.

6/02/2011 8:34am,
Being in shape helps big time, but really you're best off finding some place to train and getting stuck in. Worry about fitness only when it becomes a problem. If you try to get fit first, you'll always feel like you need to do a bit more work before you're ready for MA. Eventually you could end up losing interest without ever starting.

Prince Vlad
6/02/2011 9:18am,
Hell no, training at any good MMA gym is more than enough to get you fit quickly and no instructor worth his salt won't take into account the fact that you are a beginner and out of shape in the first place. Just don't push yourself too hard for the first month until you understand your limitations. Maybe have a chat with the coach before training to let him know how out of shape you are and ask for some advice. There was a really fat guy who started at our club last year who looked like the Mr Stay Puft, he started out doing MMA then doubled it up with BJJ. When he started at BJJ he used to be almost incapacitated after the warm up but now he's cross training 5 days a week training and I'd say he lost at least 2 stone in the past year.

6/02/2011 11:28am,
Went to a friends aikijitsu class and saw a big, sweaty guy doing all kinds of rolls that defied logic. He was banging away with guys less than half his size so he really stood out. After class I asked him how long he's been at it and he tells me less than 5 weeks...I was stupefied. While he was slower than his classmates, when he locked in a technique it was ugly for his partner. He threw adults effortlessly like they were children. He must be a holy terror by now.

I can't think of few bigger nightmares than a big guy that knows how to handle himself.

6/02/2011 12:56pm,
Take extra care of your knees when you're doing whatever MA you decide on. As a big guy, you're naturally putting more pressure on that joint than it was designed for. You might want to ask a doctor before you start jogging. For now, I would also advise avoiding kicks that have you rotating on one leg- especially the ones where you spin and kick with the heel.

Good luck!

Omega Supreme
6/02/2011 12:58pm,
You should be in shape. If you're not you'd be amorphous.

Lu Tze
6/02/2011 1:14pm,
I can't remember who said this, but I'm going to paraphrase: the amount of people who wait to "get in shape" before they start a martial art, who actually end up training at all tends to be zero.

You're better off just biting the bullet. Any MA worth its salt will get you in shape quick sharp anyway.

You should be in shape. If you're not you'd be amorphous.Ah formless, like Bruce Lee.

Only fat.

6/02/2011 1:34pm,
If you set yourself the goal of getting into shape before you start MA training, you are creating a virtually impossible goal for yourself, and it will just end up being the excuse that stops you from training.

Just show up. Doing that is the hardest thing you'll have to do. Once you are actually there, it's just a matter of following instructions. Easy.

Welcome to bullshido.

6/02/2011 1:51pm,
I agree with all that has been said, but have one note to add. In training, it will seem natural for you to find ways to use your size as leverage against smaller opponents. Try your hardest to fight this tendency and focus on learning proper technique.

Best of luck to you. I've seen some amazing transformations, but I've also seen some people who I thought had great potential just stop coming to class. Don't get discouraged if you take a while to see results. If you can stick it out, you will definitely see great returns.

6/02/2011 2:18pm,
I can't remember who said this, but I'm going to paraphrase: the amount of people who wait to "get in shape" before they start a martial art, who actually end up training at all tends to be zero.

You're better off just biting the bullet. Any MA worth its salt will get you in shape quick sharp anyway.
Ah formless, like Bruce Lee.

Only fat.


6/02/2011 2:23pm,
Also, expect to be sucking wind pretty much the whole time for the first few months. You didn't get where you are now overnight and it ain't gonna change overnight. It's going to take time and patience with yourself.

Your body WILL adapt, but you have to give it the time and not give up when you start puking and can't raise your arms above your head.

6/02/2011 2:40pm,
As someone that has suffered from being overweight before I can relate, I was hit by a car and got messed up pretty bad. I couldn't exercise for a long time apart from physio and I put on a lot of weight.

Some things that might benefit you, someone said in this thread to just keep rocking up to the class, that is probably the best piece of advice I have seen on this thread. Do not be disheartened, stay with it and results will happen. I am around your height but 60 pounds lighter, I am still over weight, I am in the BMI range I want to be in but I still plan on dropping more weight. According to the BMI I am still overweight but I don't always put the highest stock in the BMI system, I think it is a good guide. One of my instructors is a BIG boy but the way he moves is unreal. Most professional athletes are overweight according to the BMI system.

My advice is to go for it, push yourself but when your body tells you that you have had enough, listen to it, have a rest and come back to itself. I used to come back from leave when I was in the army and be 10kg heavier from 2 months of partying and no exercise, then Id be doing hill sprints with a backpack full of weight, ridiculous. The main ingrediant to you having success in this area is perserverance.

W. Rabbit
6/02/2011 3:01pm,
Do 10 pushups right now. I'm not kidding.

I'll do 10 with you.

If you can't make it to 10, keep doing it anyway several times a day.

Why are you overweight? Is it diet, lifestyle, genetics, sedentary work (sitting at a desk etc)?

The answer to that question will probably help determine whether or not you stick with an MA program.

If you're a highly motivated fat person (they exist!), you'll probably do well.

If you're an unmotivated slob....well...there are ways to change that. Please see beginning of my post.

It will never hurt you to start doing some pushups, jumping jacks, or just starting to walk around your house and start doing some chores.

The key to SUCCESS at martial arts is, imho, motivation. If your motivational skills are lacking, they need to be improved or you will more likely than not quit before you see the results you want.

6/02/2011 3:25pm,
I just did 15 pushups thanks to W. Rabbit's post.

Anyway, all of us here started somewhere. Many of us were fat and out of shape when we first started. It's intimidating walking through those doors for the first time, but if you stick with it and train regularly, I guarantee you will not only see the results in the mirror, but wake up each day feeling healthier and more alert.

Train hard, and have fun. I'm going to do another 10 pushups.