My First MMA Class
I’ve been doing Thai boxing for a while now and have always enjoyed watching UFC fights when I’ve seen them on TV. Thai Boxing or Muay Thai as they call it over there is very popular amongst UFC fighters and is considered one of the best stand up combat systems. It allows the use of punches, kicks, knees, elbows and hits from most parts of you body apart from your head. You will be pleased to know that biting and piching are also prohibited! Another big part of Muay Thai is the grappling that goes on. If you or your opponent get close to each other you are allowed to grab them by the neck with the intention of pulling their head down and kneeing them in the face.
Due to this you can see why it is great for UFC fights as they are suited to fast and furious fighting where (almost) anything goes.
But being a master at Muay Thai will only get you half way there. Even those who train in might have trouble in a UFC fight. In a Muay Thai fight you are not allowed to strike your opponent when they are on the floor but as we have already learnt in UFC anything goes and most fights end up on the floor where opponents are free to carry on attacking each other. This part of the fight is often referred to as ground and pound – you get your opponent on the ground and then pound them until they give up.
If you are a Muay Thai, or any other stand up fighting style master you may be able to succeed in UFC with your kicking boxing skills alone but chances are you will end up on the floor at least once and if you are up against someone with any level of experience in a ground fighting or wrestling style you will probably end up in trouble.
To balance out their stand up fighting skills most UFC fighters tend to study some kind of ground work such as Brazilian Ju Jitsu or BJJ as its otherwise known. And it was due to this reason that I went to my first MMA class.
As MMA stands for mixed martial arts a typical class of this type tends to focus on one style at a time but usually has many different styles on its books.
Seeing as I am already familiar with Muay Thai I thought I’d try my hand at a ground style so I chose BJJ.
My first BJJ class was pretty full on and not something I’d recommend to everyone. You spend most of you time on the floor being gripped up by some big dude who has probably got a lot more experience than you. Its very hands on as BJJ isn’t something you can really practice on your own. From your first lessons its hands on all the way. But you do learn first and by the end of the first session I was doing arm bars and guillotines although not that well.
It’s a hard class, there’s no doubt about that but if you want to add another dimension to your fighting skills then its definitely recommended. Just don’t forget your !
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