View Full Version : Is a background in other MA needed to be good at MMA?

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11/10/2009 7:34pm,
I have been practicing MMA for about 6 months, and feel like I am not getting any better. I have no prior MA experience, and was thinking about trying another form and then coming back to MMA later. Would it help?

11/10/2009 7:45pm,
where do you feel that you're not getting better?

striking, grappling? both? is it your conditioning? your training partners? your instructor?

im sure you can go join a mcdojo and progress through the ranks and become a black belt real quick but is this what you want? sometimes progress is slow and there are peaks and valleys. ask your instructor how you can improve.

11/10/2009 8:01pm,
Well, my classes are 1 hour, Mon/Wed, with an hour of sparring with the kickboxing class immediately following on Wed.. However, everyone in my MMA class save one person has dropped out, so its just me, him, and one or two instructors. We have been doing mainly striking and standing work, and I learned a few things from the sparring class. MMA classes feel like they are getting shorter and shorter; recently we've been doing a handful of striking sparring and practice rounds, then class is over. Maybe I just need a new gym, but I would feel kinda bad for leaving. Regardless, I feel like every class is a repeat of the last; I get a lot of the same advice, but still get clobbered despite trying to fix my problems.

Also, how hard do most MMA practitioners hit when they spar? With my MMA class, we go pretty hard. I've had four contact lenses knocked out, and have almost gotten KO'd from some especially solid punches. I enjoy training this hard, but the kickboxing people go way lighter. I try to keep my strikes controlled to match theirs, but in general the way they fight seems quite different, a lot less intense. I dont know if its the right term, but "touch sparring" sounds close to what a lot of them do. Maybe I am rambling now, and maybe this all has nothing to do with my situation, I dunno. What do you guys think?

11/10/2009 8:42pm,
I'd get out of the MMA - frankly it sounds like shitty instruction and too much hitting. In kickboxing we called sparring either "friendly" sparring, or when agreed upon, "full contact" sparring. Hard sparring is good, but we just lost one of our best students last week because he was knocked out in class. Another guy had his cheek split open. Same night; stupid white belt attitude of going way too hard with limited skill set. And teacher knows he lost control of the class.


on the crummy instruction; what I'm talking about is one minor wrestling champ wrote that he wouldn't dream of trying a technique out in a match without having done it in practice countless times. I did a lot of heavy sparring karate, but we spent a lot more time doing combos and drills and pad and bag and even fucking jump rope etc etc etc (I hate jump rope!)

11/10/2009 8:47pm,
And yes, from what you've said, you might think about achieving purple level or so in BJJ or brown or black in Judo or any good school in just about any style that gets it on and has good instruction.

11/10/2009 9:10pm,
MMA class... what mixed martial arts are they teaching you? MMA does stand for mixed martial arts after all. Are they teaching you boxing/KB/MT/WT/Karate/etc etc for stand ups and judo/bjj/greco etc etc?
What qualifies your instructor on giving instructions?

11/10/2009 9:26pm,
From your description, the level of instruction leaves much to be desired.
Seems your class was subjected to too much too soon.

Karate has a long tradition of scaling the "difficulty" with some sense of structure and large body of work for instructors for reference.
I recommend joining Karate dojo with gym facilities.

Several full contact karate schools,

11/10/2009 9:45pm,
The short answer to your question is no (I believe Frank Shamrock never trained anything before MMA but I could be wrong about that). In your case however it sounds like the instruction you are receiving is less than optimal. If it was me I'd seek out the best BJJ, Judo or Sambo in the area. Grappling has a much longer learning curve than stand-up (at least it seems so to me). Good luck.

11/10/2009 9:51pm,
BJJ or Judo, if you want quality grappling. The BJJ will help your ground fighting and the Judo will help with stand up throws and some ground fighting, depending on what the dojo's focus is. I agree with Whathappened with finding a good Kyokushin based karate school, but they are few and far between. It might be a better idea to find another gym, that has the focus on the separate disciplines of MMA, ie Muay Thai and/or boxing, wrestling/sambo/bjj. If you are going to a gym that is mixing them up, it's not really giving you a chance to truly learn each portion.

Do a google search of schools in your area. For a heads up, here is the search I did on MD.

Martial Arts Maryland - Google Search (http://www.google.com/search?q=Martial+Arts+Maryland&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a)

As for getting into a martial art for a basis, that all depends on what you are looking to get out of it.

11/10/2009 10:12pm,
The short answer to your question is no (I believe Frank Shamrock never trained anything before MMA but I could be wrong about that). In your case however it sounds like the instruction you are receiving is less than optimal. If it was me I'd seek out the best BJJ, Judo or Sambo in the area. Grappling has a much longer learning curve than stand-up (at least it seems so to me). Good luck.

Frank Shamrock is a naturally gifted athlete, and once he started fighting and training seriously, he had some very gifted training partners as well. The OP is not Frank Shamrock.

I am always harping on this, and no one seems to notice, but gym after gym after gym is popping up, calling themselves an "MMA gym" because they have no instructors with experience or qualifications in any of the arts that primarily comprise MMA. They know full well that people like the OP want to hop on the MMA bandwagon, but like most consumers, are completely ignorant as to what exactly they're getting into.

Maybe the instructor has one or two ammy MMA fights. Maybe he wrestled in high school or junior college, but he has no BJJ/Judo/Sambo rank, no boxing or kickboxing experience, no documented success as a coach. If he stepped foot in a legitimate gym, he would get completely dominated.

OP, it's obvious that your gym sucks ass. If they can't even hold a decent MMA class, how are they supposed to field a fight team?

Find a gym with legitimate instructors with verifiable lineages, whose students regularly compete and win.

11/10/2009 10:23pm,
hmmm, my enrollment is down, maybe I need to start an MMA program *grumble*

11/10/2009 10:47pm,
OP from your description, the instructor is treating you like a live boxing dummy.

He seems to not know how to bring your skill level up other than hitting you harder or goading.
As others have said, find another gym/coach.

11/10/2009 11:11pm,
Join a proper martial arts dojo, Aikido, Karate or Judo would be a good place to start. Wait for about a year, so you can take a grade or two, and then return to MMA better equipped. That's my advice.

11/10/2009 11:17pm,
Go home, punch and kick a pillow duct taped to a wall (because bags are useless) and in three months, go back and dominate.

11/11/2009 12:58am,
All sound advice except I don't believe Aikido will give you any useful tools for MMA competition compared to judo/boxing/kickboxing/bjj etc etc etc. Also, ALWAYS follow Battlefields advice, he is wise beyond his years.

11/11/2009 1:27am,
If you like Striking alot and think (know?) you need better instruction feel free to check out a place that focuses more on Muay Thai...like a Muay Thai gym, boxing gym, e.t.c.
*edit:* tell us what city and/or state you live in and some1 may look a place up for you! but look it up your self first, or both.....