Can You Train MMA as a Woman with No Experience?
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is one of the most rapidly growing sports in the world. In fact, there are over 451 million MMA fans worldwide. People young and old alike enjoy taking part in this remarkable combat sport for the myriad of health and lifestyle benefits it provides.
Namely; enhanced confidence and self-discipline, increased focus and concentration, and physical fitness.
But with something as male-dominated and testosterone-filled as MMA, you may be questioning whether or not taking up this sport is the right choice for you.
After all, it seems as if every YouTube video filmed, blog post written, and podcast recorded on this subject is geared towards men. We can either see this as a limiting factor or choose to see it as another reason to join the ranks of women in the MMA industry. Regardless of experience, you will be contributing to an empowered movement to bring women fighters to the forefront of MMA.
So here’s the truth if you find yourself asking…
Can I Start Women’s MMA Without Experience?
Yes, you absolutely can! In fact, it’s impossible to gain experience unless you start! Different gyms and dojos will have instructors with varying levels of skill and proficiency. But as a beginner, you’ll be able to learn something from everyone -- regardless of skill level.
The instructors will ask what your goals and objectives are (stay fit, learn self-defense, compete in a tournament, or just to have the energy to keep up with the little ones at home), and then they will help you reach those goals by teaching you the basics of MMA.
They will pin you against classmates who are at or around your level of ability. And if you do happen to go against someone who is a much higher rank than you, you can rest easy knowing they’ll be merciful.
Starting as an MMA beginner
Every sport has novices who are just getting started and learning the ropes. MMA is no different. This sport offers a plethora of people; there are those who just want to get in shape, others who want to learn how to defend themselves, as well as people who are world champions of the sport, competing at the highest level -- and everything in between.
So yes, MMA is a great choice for beginners!
If you lack cardio, strength, power, etc, don’t worry about it. All of those attributes will come later as you continue to train. The only things that are required when starting out is a good attitude, a commitment to improve, and the discipline to show up regularly.
Ideal age to start MMA as a woman
MMA training is similar to investing money -- the sooner you start, the better. And while there are opinions on what the ideal age is for someone to join -- and I used the word “opinions” deliberately -- there’s nothing set in stone.
You can join MMA at any time! Whether you’re six or sixty!
Some people take on the sport much later in life, there are children who start as early as five or six at the parents’ request, even teenangers oftentimes take up MMA as a hobby or outlet.
There are a near-infinite amount of examples of people starting at all ages. It’s not uncommon to see people take up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at 40 and obtain their black belt by 50 or 55. Additionally, it’s also becoming an everyday occurrence in the MMA world to see children (sometimes as young as 5 or 6 years old) competing in tournaments!
MMA is an investment in yourself
MMA is more than just learning how to fight. Mixed Martial Arts -- in its essence -- can be broken down to living a good life. It teaches you focus, it grounds you with self-discipline, it strengthens your confidence and resolve, it will transform you into a goal-oriented person with aims, objectives, and purpose!
This, on top of the skills you will learn to defend yourself as well as your loved ones, makes MMA 100% worth the investment!
Regardless of age, race, gender, occupation, cultural background, political views, etc, MMA will make you a better human being.
One of the main advantages of MMA is the blend of multiple martial arts within the sport. The most prominent ones you will be learning from are:
- Muay Thai
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Is It Dangerous to Train MMA?
MMA is a martial art and combat sport, which means yes, there is some risk involved in training. You will drill techniques, spar with partners, and it can even become heated at times. However, unless you are competing, this is not something you need to concern yourself with too much.
Yes, take the right precautions, buy the mouthguard, the right training gear, the padding, etc. But don’t overly obsess over these things.
Simply by the nature of the sport; you will experience injuries, aches, pains, soreness, sprains, and possibly even a broken bone or two. But these are not everyday occurrences.
The last thing anyone wants to do in a gym is intentionally cause bodily harm to another person.
Everyone is there to learn, grow, and develop just like you.
Yes, risks are involved, however, they are very minor, and not worth making a big fuss over. The majority as well as the most severe kinds of injuries in the sport are usually sustained by those who have decided to make this their livelihood.
The ones who train to compete and have made a career out of fighting are the ones who experience the dangers often associated with MMA training. But as long as you train smart, apply proper technique, implement feedback from your instructors, etc, you’ll be just fine.
Attempting to learn MMA on your own
This is not recommended. There are so many techniques, strategies, moves, and inner complexities to this sport. And it will be a difficult task to say the least to become proficient at it without the aid of a coach.
You can read all the books, watch all the YouTube videos, listen to the podcasts, etc. But at the end of the day, unless you have an experienced instructor watching you -- pinpointing what you’re doing wrong and how you can improve -- then progress will be almost nonexistent.
Additionally, you need a real life sparring partner under the watchful eye of a qualified instructor to mitigate the risk of injury when performing an unknown technique. If you’re drilling techniques on your own, that’s fine. However, without the in-person element, you won’t fully integrate the techniques because doing it by yourself and doing it with a real person are two completely different experiences.
You need the experience of having a real life person resist you, choke you, attack you, etc. This is an incredibly important component to the learning process, and without it, your growth (as well as your improvement) will be compromised.
Final Thoughts - Get Started
In closing, MMA is for anyone who wants to improve themselves, while learning how to fight in the process. You don’t need experience to get started, does it help to have some? Absolutely! But it’s not a requirement.
All you need is a strong reason as to why you want to do it, along with a willingness to learn. And the rest will take care of itself!