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Your lifestyle, your quirk
MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts, is a title-awarding fighting ring similar to the UFC. Many of its fighters are household names, and have a following, just as any good NFL player does. The combat can be brutal; it’s a mix of kung fu, karate, boxing, Muay Thai, and more. The full-contact sport is pretty popular in most places and can draw a big crowd.
Similar combat began in ancient Greece, with arena fights that have spawned statues, poems, and legends of famous fighters. Since then, millions of fights have been held, and the MMA continues to gain momentum. In April of 2001, the set of rules that govern the MMA league were settled and voted upon, and continue to regulate the sport.
What does all of this have to do with you? Well, nothing. Unless you decide to MAKE it have something to do with you! No, you may not be a prizefighter, but you can train like one. MMA fighters undergo extremely varied, rigorous training, and you can implement the same ideas in your own workout. Doing so will allow you to reap the benefits that the sport has to offer, and who knows? Maybe you’ll get interested in doing some amateur fights.
One multi-disciplinary workout is American Parkour. It isn’t necessarily directly connected with MMA, but it has made headlines in other fighting circles. As a matter of fact, most of the top finalists of the show American Ninja Warrior were devoted Parkour athletes. If you’ve ever seen any of the crazy stuff they do, you’ll know why! These are the guys that love to do urban stunts, cross training, and other exercises. Their varied training enables them to complete obstacle courses like the ones seen on the show with ease. They’re strong, have high endurance, and are also pretty creative with their workouts.
If you remember my capoeira article, you probably remember that the varied training capoeira fighters undergo. These guys are as flexible as yogis and as strong as most other fighters. It all depends on your level of commitment and dedication to becoming an athlete.
Another easily adaptable workout includes the use of kettle bells. Many great fighters use kettle bells, as do those who simply want to get into good shape. It doesn’t matter at what level of physical fitness you are; you can generally start using kettle bells and get magnificent results. They are similar to any other weight and are used in strength training and toning exercises. For more information on this type of workout, and for a tutorial, visit Women’s Health. I’ll be the first to swear by this method because I’ve seen what it has done for my mother.
Of course, perhaps the easiest way to integrate martial arts workouts into your routine is by enrolling in a class. Kickboxing and kung fu are deviations from the usual karate, and are great ways to get into shape. What you must remember when signing up for a class is that martial arts are more than a fitness style. They’re a way of life. You learn to think differently, react differently, you learn more about other cultures, and sometimes, you may even learn a new language. Submersing yourself into a sport of that kind can be really life changing and beneficial, but only if you are ready to accept it. You should always talk to your local dojo master, owner, black belt, etc., before deciding to commit, and you should also contact your doctor! If you’re not ready for the lifestyle changes brought about by being committed to a martial arts style, then try taking some of the workouts home with you and adapt them to fit your lifestyle.
I hope you decide to try out a martial art for yourself, or maybe get interested in MMA fighting. For more info, check out these sites: