One of the more common concerns that individuals will have regarding MMA is whether or not they need prior experience in order to participate. In short, the answer is no. Mixed martial arts is very similar to other sports in the sense that you can learn as you go along. There are countless stories of fighters who had no prior experience in MMA and who went on to win respectable fights and titles. So if you’re wondering, Do I need experience to train MMA? keep reading to learn more about why you don’t, and how this sport can help you.
What Does Being “Experienced” Really Mean in MMA?
What does “experience” really mean in the context of MMA? After all, this is a sport that is composed of many different fighting styles. According to this, almost nobody who joins MMA for the first time will be “experienced” in every aspect of the sport. To consider yourself experienced, you would need to be seasoned in jiu-jitsu, boxing, judo, kickboxing, and even wrestling – which almost certainly nobody is whenever they first join. This further concretes the answer that you don’t need to be experienced in order to train MMA.
MMA is About Learning and Growing
There is a misconception about MMA floating around that if you’re training mixed martial arts, it means that you want to participate in a fight within the octagon. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it could be said the majority of those individuals who train MMA have no intention of ever going pro, or even participating in a fight for that matter. They are simply training to build up their skillsets, become more confident, lose weight, increase their endurance, and even learn how to protect themselves.
Is Practicing MMA Without Experience Dangerous?
Certainly not! Well, it really depends on the school that you’re training at. If your coaches know what they’re doing, they’ll be able to recognize your limitations and won’t push towards anything you’re not comfortable doing. If you’ve never participated in MMA before, it’s very likely that your coach or instructor is going to start you off training alone, and gradually allow you to experience what it feels like to spar with another fighter. And by “gradually”, we mean “very gradually”.
If you don’t have any prior experience, MMA coaches will probably start off by working on your fighting stance, as well as helping you develop a solid jiu-jitsu skillset. In general, the wrestling aspect of MMA is considered quite safe for sparring, even without having a lot of training since it doesn’t involve a lot of blows to the head like boxing and kickboxing does. So, for anyone wondering, “Do I need experience to train MMA?” and answer is quite simply, no.