You have probably been exposed to the fairly new and exciting sport of MMA in one way or another and decided to try it yourself. The good news is that there are plenty of gyms in almost every state. The bad news is that some of those gyms are run by people who don’t know what they’re doing and are in it for money. The next important thing is to pick out correct gear, but we will get to that later in the article. Hopefully, the following guide will help you find what you’re looking for – quality training facility.
The most obvious answer is to talk to your friends or acquaintances that are involved in the sport. However, they may not know much about it aside from watching it on TV.
Alternatively, you can start by using google and research mixed martial arts in your area. Search for MMA events and MMA gyms. With the growing popularity of this sport, chances are that you will find something in your area. Try to figure out which gyms are represented at those events and where they are located.
The next step will require you to do a lot of leg work in order to check out the facilities you’ve found. When you first arrive to each of these gyms, ask to speak with a head trainer. That should be the first person you come to for information.
The first thing you should discuss is the typical weekly schedule. It should include a striking class, a grappling class, and a wrestling class. There should also be a day dedicated to conditioning or open gym.
The second topic to discuss is pricing. It is an important step, because it could reveal lots of issues. MMA training is not cheap and will probably cost you upwards of $100 dollars/month. Note how the trainer talks about this. If he sounds like a salesman – run as far away from that place as possible. Respectable gyms will never pressure you into joining.
Now that this is out of the way, a good gym will allow you to come and watch people training for free. They should also offer you to train for free for a couple of days. This is a “try before you buy” type of thing and is crucial.
The instructor should also advise you of a gear you will need to bring. This will ALWAYS include a mouth guard and a groin protector (cup). Good gyms will have a supply of boxing/MMA gloves and shin pads. However, if you decide to continue training, it’s a good idea to buy your own gear
When you come to the first free session, try to get a feel for the gym.Talk to your fellow students and see what they think about the gym. Ask them how long they have been training. Normally, students that have been in the gym for over 3 months will be allowed to spar (it is very important to spar at least once a week, once you learn the ropes).
Talk to instructors and try to get their credentials. They should not brag. In good gyms, grappling instructors will typically posses at least a purple belt in Brazilian JiuJitsu from known instructors. Striking coaches were probably competing in the past and they should freely talk about it.
It is also a good idea to find out how many students at the gym compete. Good gyms will have at least one or two fighters that fight on a professional level.
Also note the overall facility. If it looks overly “nice” it is probably no good. Most good gyms are clean, but have equipment that shows signs of being “used.” A good gym will also have grappling mats, a cage and a boxing ring.
Now that you know what to look for in a gym, you should look at all of the gyms in your area and make a decision, based on the aforementioned factors.
Best of luck in your training! Stay strong!