MMA continues to grow around the world at an unprecedented rate. People aren’t just sitting back and watching it either. Many are actually going to their local gyms and trying out the sport for themselves. Perhaps you’ve been interested in doing the same but just haven’t followed through yet. If it’s because of one of the following misconceptions, don’t let that hold you back.

You Have to Fight in Front of a Crowd to Train

Plenty of people train in MMA without every getting in front of a crowd and competing in the real thing. Most of us just don’t have the kind of schedule where we could train enough, cut weight, travel for fights, etc. Nonetheless, MMA is an exciting, fun, communal sport that also gets you in incredible shape which is why so many people make it a part of their lives without ever signing up for an official fight.

MMA Is a Blood Sport

This misconception has been around for almost as long as the sport itself and is the favorite rallying cry of an ever diminishing list of critics.

While there’s no doubt that a fight can become bloody, this is rarely the case in training where practitioners are heavily padded and almost never go all out (especially if they don’t compete).

Despite the violence involved, MMA has a very respectful track record as far as injuries go.

It’s for Thugs

A similar misconception is that this sport is populated by lowlifes and thugs. Who else could possibly want to get into a cage and fight another human being?

Well, as it turns out, many educated men and women have done just that. MMA gyms all over the world are full of upstanding members of society who simply love what this sport entails. Whole families train in it these days.

Only Men Do It

Just about everyone knows the name Ronda Rousey, but she’s hardly an exception. Another very popular female fighter, Cat Zigano, is actually a member of Alliance MMA. If you’re a woman who has been putting off training MMA because you think it’s an old boys’ club, that’s just not the case.

MMA Lacks Structure

When the bell rings during an MMA fight, it can look like complete chaos. Once the two fighters start engaging each other, it can quickly seem like an unstructured war between two brawlers.

Although some fights definitely devolve into little more than a clash of limbs, that doesn’t mean that MMA lacks structure. If you’re worried that practice will involve you being thrown to the wolves for hours at a time, relax.

Martial arts have always been synonymous with self-discipline. Just because MMA is a mix of them doesn’t mean that this gets tossed aside. From new members to veterans, everyone is submitted to the same level of structure during practice to ensure their safety, the safety of others and simply to make sure that everyone is able to learn as much as possible.

It’s Expensive

If you ever make a run at the UFC, yes, the costs can start adding up. Otherwise, MMA is a pretty affordable sport when you think about it. There is no expensive equipment to invest, maintain or pay to repair.

In fact, when you think about how much weight you stand to lose by training, don’t be surprised if your grocery budget benefits greatly.

MMA has so much to offer those who partake in it that it would truly be unfortunate if you were missing out because you believed any of the above. Once you give the sport a try, you’ll kick yourself (or someone else will) for putting it off for so long.