Some MMA trainers claim that it takes 8 months to learn this sport. Others claim that it can take several years. Which one is correct in answering the all-too-common question, “How long does it take to learn MMA?” While there is no concrete answer, there are ways estimate your learning curve based on how much experience you have, how often you’re willing to train, and the academy that you’ve chosen.
What’s Your Background Experience in Martial Arts?
People who have background experience in martial arts typically experience far quicker learning curves than people who don’t have any background experience. This is especially true if your background experience includes jiu-jitsu, wrestling, judo, boxing, or kickboxing, since each of these are integrated into MMA. As a general rule of thumb, it’s almost always easier for a grappler (someone with an experience in a grappling-based sport like judo or jiu-jitsu) to transition over into MMA than it is for a boxer to make this transition. The reason why is simple: MMA fights typically end up on the ground, and if you’re not familiar with this area of fighting, you’ll almost certainly put yourself in a bad position. This isn’t to say that someone with a background in boxing can’t experience success in MMA, because they can. However, boxers should take into consideration the fact that mastering the art of grappling is arguably much more time consuming and challenging than mastering the art of kicking, punching, and knee or elbow strikes. Some of the most dangerous fighters in MMA are those who have an extensive background in jiu-jitsu or judo.
Plan to Become Good Around the 2-Year Mark
If you work hard, train regularly, and invest the time to learn, there’s certainly no reason why you can’t become a good MMA fighter within 2 years. If you already have experience in other forms of martial arts, this time can be drastically reduced, but as a general rule, 2 years is the amount of time that it generally takes for fighters to consider themselves proficient at this sport.
Exceptions to this rare, so don’t feel discouraged if you typically learn things very quickly but still haven’t managed to become comfortable as an MMA fighter. This is a sport that takes time to master. How long does it take to learn MMA? Perhaps the real question should be, “How can I focus on becoming a better fighter today?”