Mixed martial arts is the most effective fighting system ever developed. Rather than a set style, MMA is actually a combination of standup and ground fighting techniques used to attack and defend from almost any conceivable position. There are many great MMA gyms in the Tucson area, but selecting a gym that is right for your training needs may require some research and trial memberships.
Training centers tend to vary quite a bit in their offerings, so keeping a checklist handy of necessary gym essentials is a good idea when shopping around for a suitable MMA club. When visiting a gym, one should inspect the floor or workout area that is offered. The gym should have large, open spaces that feature matted floors and at least waist-high matted walls. Avoid cramped gyms that are overpopulated with students. Such gyms are uncomfortable to workout in and can be even dangerous. Next, inspect the gym's selection of heavy bags, Thai kick mitts, and boxing focus mitts. These items are absolutely essential for proper kickboxing training. Also, you might notice that some gyms offer a roped ring or full or partial cage to spar in. This is an important feature to have access to if you wish to enter MMA competitions. Finally, take notice of any additional fitness aids, such as treadmills, stationary bicycles, elliptical joggers, or lifting weights at the gym you are evaluating. Such equipment, although not absolutely necesary, are nice to have access to for any serious MMA student.
Any competent MMA gym will teach a complete mixed martial arts game that encompasses standup striking, clinch wrestling and ground fighting. These aspects of a fight are split up between several major fighting styles, including Muay Thai kickboxing, Greco-roman wrestling, judo, and Brazilian jujitsu.
The art of Muay Thai teaches the use of elbows, knees, kicks and punches to deliver a brutal assault of strikes to an opponent. Muay Thai kickboxing uses boxing-style punches, and powerful circular kicks to attack an opponent at range, but once the distance is narrowed, the style teaches the use of knees and elbows from the clinch position to batter and cut an opponent. Muay Thai conditions the fighter to develop speed, power and timing, but regular practitioners will also benefit from increased flexibility and cardio stamina. When looking for an MMA gym in Tucson, Arizona, make sure that you find accomplished Muay Thai instructors that can teach standup striking in the context of MMA fighting.
Most fights go to the ground, and whether you have purposely taken it there or have been forcefully brought to the canvas by an opponent, Brazilian jujitsu is the style of choice for surviving and winning the ground game. Brazilian jujitsu was introduced to much of the world during the early years of the UFC by famed jujitsu master, Royce Gracie. The style uses a brain over brawn approach that employs body mechanics and superior leverage to gain the upper hand in a grappling situation. Once control over an opponent has been accomplished, Brazilian jujitsu offers a myriad of techniques to end a fight by choking out an opponent or using joint locks to the arms and legs to get a submission. Brazilian jujitsu is probably the most essential style to learn for novice MMA fighters and is excellently suited for anyone wishing to learn self-defense techniques for the street. Finding qualified jujitsu instructors should not be too difficult in Tucson or the Pima County area, but one should keep in mind that training jujitsu for MMA should be done without wearing a gi (uniform), as this how MMA competitions are fought. Also, the jujitsu instruction must be delivered in such a way as to seamlessly integrate with the much larger MMA rule set.
Greco-roman wrestling offers the most effective leg tackles and takedown defense for MMA combat. Most gyms will teach these techniques as part of their jujitsu class, but one should confirm that this aspect of fighting is given high priority at one's chosen gym. Similarly, judo techniques have become common features in many high level MMA matches. Judo's throws and sweeps are important to learn, as many fighters who are not familiar with such techniques fall victim to their effectiveness during MMA matches. Karate, tae kwon do, and other traditional martial arts offer powerful kicks and strikes that are not always common in MMA competition. Learning such techniques can deepen one's toolbox of attacks and surprise an opponent.
Buy MMA clothing from shops in Tucson or online. MMA clothing, like T-shirts and hoodies, provide stylish wear that represents MMA culture. Look for fashionable brands like Xtreme Couture, Sinister and Warrior Wear. MMA gloves, from makers Hayabusa, Ouano, and Isami, offer premium quality fighting gloves that will stand up to months of daily wear and hard training. MMA gear, such as fighting shorts by Sprawl or rash guards by Inspirit, deliver performance enhancing equipment that can aid your MMA workouts. Say goodbye to plain cotton T-shirts and loose basketball shorts for your MMA workouts. Start wearing MMA gear that is designed and battle tested for the world's toughest sport!