As a kid, you probably grew up idolizing karate and kung fu masters. You likely thought that these traditional martial arts were the pinnacle of self-defense. However, today, there’s a new champion in the ring. MMA, or mixed martial arts, combines a host of different techniques drawn from a wide variety of different martial arts to create something new, and it’s becoming more popular than many traditional options. Why is this? What should you know about MMA and its ascendency?

It’s about Fighting

First things first. If you’re interested in learning self-defense, then MMA is probably not the place to start. Mixed martial arts is a sport, and it’s a sport related to fighting, like boxing. It’s not about learning the skills needed to protect yourself on the street from a mugger. Of course, any skills learned in MMA practice can be put to use to defend yourself, but there’s a very good chance that you might end up facing charges of using excessive force if you seriously injure an attacker. Know the difference between fighting and self-defense before you even get started.

The point of MMA is to dominate a single opponent. Again, it’s a sport, not necessarily a self-defense technique. If you’re attempting to use MMA skills in a situation where you’re being attacked by more than one person, chances are good that you’re not going to come out on top. A Jiu Jitsu specialist, or even someone trained in Krav Maga might be better suited to this type of situation, as their training includes more than just fighting technique. They understand things like how to de-escalate a situation, how to deal with more than one attacker, and what to do if you’re facing a combination of actual weapons, rather than fists, elbows, knees and feet.

It’s No Longer About Facing Off with Individual Skillsets

Once upon a time, MMA fighters essentially pitted one sent of martial arts skills against another set. You might have a submission specialist facing off against a master of a striking art. However, that’s not the case today. Modern MMA fighters (yes, fighters, not practitioners or students), combine a very broad range of skills drawn from different disciplines to create a well-rounded fighter capable of being a jack of all trades.

Really, that’s what MMA has evolved to become – a realm where practitioners need to know a little about everything, but also have the humility to know that they must continually improve, that they don’t “know it all”. There is no point at which an MMA fighter should ever feel that he or she has nothing left to learn. If that time comes, they’ll be toppled.

Doing Both

While you might think that training for MMA involves only that, this isn’t really the truth. If you want to be a well-rounded fighter, you need to train with a variety of different techniques, including boxing, kickboxing, Muy Thai, Krav Maga, Jiu Jitsu and more. You also need to combine those techniques into a style that’s uniquely yours.

In the end, that might be one reason that the sport has become so immensely popular. It combines the best of all worlds into a unique fighting situation that not only forces opponents to adapt to different forms of attack, but to think fast on their feet and to move fluidly from one style to another and back again.

We offer MMA training, as well as Jiu Jitsu, boxing and more to ensure that you’re able to learn the skills you need, whether you want to be the next MMA champ, or ensure that you can defend yourself and your family on the street.