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Thread: Advice on starting to train for MMA?

  1. #1

    Default Advice on starting to train for MMA?

    Ok after much debate with the wife I finally convinced her to let me train MMA and she is awfully close to letting me actually fight. Now I am not stupid, I know I can't just go in and fight - I need to train and learn first. I will be moving up to the Chicago Suburbs (northwest) in late June and that is when I get to start training.

    So my questions:
    How do I find a good gym? My martial arts training in the past has been Tae Kwon Doe and not very much so I can learn new things no problem.

    How long should I be training for each day and how many days per week?

    Any advice for how long I should train before I try to land an actual fight?

    Are there amateur fights that I should look for?

    Obviously I should train in BJJ, but what else should I focus on? Boxing, Muy Thai, Wrestling, something else?

    My reasons for wanting to train are two fold - 1 I want to get into fantastic shape and 2 I want to get out of IT and this is the only thing I feel passionate about. Any all advice would be appreciated. Mods feel free to move this where ever, I just posted it here to get exposure.
    Don't censor me bro!

  2. #2

    Default RE: Advice on starting to train for MMA

    I personally don't think it's a good idea for you to get out of what you're doing now (IT) and make a career move into doing MMA full time. There are a lot of fighters out there and in order for you to be paid consistently, you're going to have to compete with these top notch fighters. I don't know how old you are, however, the majority of these fighters have had wrestling, jiu jitsu, muay thai backgrounds for years before fighting in MMA. I'm not saying the majority of fighters have had ALL these training styles under their belts. I am just simply saying that they have had one or the other. It takes years to become a good enough fighter to be paid consistently. I'm not too sure this is really your passion. And by all means, I am trying to say this in a "constructive criticism" type of way. MMA is a lifestyle, they eat, breath, sleep this stuff. I seriously think you should stay in IT or something related.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by corn View Post
    I personally don't think it's a good idea for you to get out of what you're doing now (IT) and make a career move into doing MMA full time. There are a lot of fighters out there and in order for you to be paid consistently, you're going to have to compete with these top notch fighters. I don't know how old you are, however, the majority of these fighters have had wrestling, jiu jitsu, muay thai backgrounds for years before fighting in MMA. I'm not saying the majority of fighters have had ALL these training styles under their belts. I am just simply saying that they have had one or the other. It takes years to become a good enough fighter to be paid consistently. I'm not too sure this is really your passion. And by all means, I am trying to say this in a "constructive criticism" type of way. MMA is a lifestyle, they eat, breath, sleep this stuff. I seriously think you should stay in IT or something related.
    Thanks for the advice, but I have had this same conversation with the wife. The thing is, I no longer have to provide for my family as she is about to make 4X what our combined income has been the last 3 years. As such I am in a position financially to do something different. I understand the pay scale sucks as a new comer, and I am ok with that. So thanks for your advice. But please, answer the questions I asked. This was not an overnight decision that was made because I was drunk or bored one day. This is a decision that I have been thinking about for almost a year weighing the pros and cons about it and finally we (my wife and I) are in a place where I can take a chance on something else. IT has run its course, for now and I want to do something else I am passionate about.
    Don't censor me bro!

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    From my experience, any gym you go to will let you train for free the first day. i would do a search of MMA schools in your area. find out who the coaches are, who fights there, if they've ever put out anyone good, and don't bite off more than you can chew. if you're a beginner it's probably not a good idea to go train with the worlds best fighters and get your ass kicked every day. After you've looked at a few places, go train at every one for a day, see which one you like best. if you find a good school, you won't have to worry about what areas to train, cuz they will help you with everything. last but not least, don't train too much. 3 days a week for the first month or so. you WILL BE sore as fuck for a long time, once you get over it and get used to the work outs, kick it up as you see fit. hope that helps man, and good luck
    "Looks like he's taking a book out of Chuck's Chapter!" - Mike Goldberg, world famous moron

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Cardio, Cardio, Cardio...


  6. #6

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    I agree with Sundance, when it comes to BJJ, be as humble as possible and if you are not, someone will make you humble pretty quickly. The one thing a lot of people don't seem to realize is how long it takes to get good at BJJ. Sure there are the people who have gone through and gotten belts quickly, but for the majority of people it is a very slow process, especially at a good school. I see people come into my school all the time and they never return after a week. They are the ones who expect to be an MMA fighter and BJJ expert in no time. I seriously heard a guy ask after he did 1 BJJ lesson and 1 Muay Thai lesson when he would be ready to get in the cage and fight someone. As far as the BJJ part, there are usually plenty of gi and no gi tournaments that you can go to and get some experience at. For MMA, there are some amateur shows to try and fight in but I wouldn't try those until you have some serious training under your belt. Usually a combination of BJJ, Muay Thai and wrestling is a good solid base to have. Anything else you can get like boxing, etc is just more things to add to your game. Just don't expect to become an expert in everything or an expert in anything over night.

    As far as schools, I used to live in the NW suburbs of Chicago for most of my life before moving out to the DC area. Depending where you are moving there is Jeff Curran's school in Crystal Lake. I believe it's named Curran's Marital Arts and is supposed to be a decent school (I suggested my brother go there since he lives close by.) There is another place in Schaumburg that Clay Guida and some other guys train at, the name is Midwest Training Center. I know one of my brothers friends trains there. I have not been to either school so have no personal experience. I just finally got into BJJ training about 6 months ago out here.

    BJJ will definitely help get you into shape, especially once you start rolling with people (one of many reasons I got into it.) Muay Thai will as well, I have not started taking Muay Thai classes yet as I am focused on BJJ right now. I have seen the classes and sparring and seen some people who are in great shape and do great when it comes to BJJ rolling look like they were about to die after a strenuous Muay Thai class.

    I think the best advice I was given so far besides stay humble/keep your ego in check was for the first year or so when you do tournaments, go out and have fun. Try to learn from your mistakes, don't worry so much about wins and losses. Many times people learn much more from a loss than a win.

    On a side note, I do IT as a career too but I am doing BJJ (and some MMA training) more for the fun of it. To old to be trying to change careers now. Only regret I have is that I thought about doing BJJ for several years before getting into it, I wish I had started sooner.

    Hope I helped answer a few questions. I know I haven't posted before but I have been lurking on the forums for well over a year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    My ex-BJJ coach knew a guy who trained around the Chicago area named Jim Valco, and he's one of the best Jiu-Jitsu practitioners around the area without question. He's I believe a brown belt under Eduardo de Lima who runs Gracie Barra Tampa and he won NAGA's superfight championship last year in Minneapolis. He's a ridiculously skilled ground technician and from what I hear, he's a great coach with reasonable prices.

    But seeing as how I train at Gracie Barra Bloomington IL, I would also reccommend training at Gracie Barra Chicago, run by Adam and Eddie Redzovic, brothers who are brown and black belts respectively under Carlos Gracie Jr. himself.

    MMA schools are cool, but to me I just think it's better to train with the best people in their martial arts and then mix it all you know. Rather than training MMA as a style, learn BJJ, wrestling, muay thai, whatever....all from the best guys at each style and then you will be at another level altogether.


    Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is...

  8. #8

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    wow a wife that makes 4x the income? where can i find a wife like yours? lol

    well i did jiu jitsu from 8 years old to 13 than 17 to 20.. and i did muay thai for a year.
    its great. but i would recommend either judo or wrestling so you'll learn to take guys down.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
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    I would say that you should train for at least 2 years, striking and BJJ, before you fight. Jiu jitsu takes longer to get good at, but that's not to say that striking is easily learned. I've been training both for over a year now, and the more I train with experienced guys, the more I realize how little I know. You should probably train wrestling too. My advice would be to find
    a local gym with a reputable fight team. Try to be at least a high blue belt in BJJ before you get in the ring. When you think you might be ready, try to find an amateur rules competition to break you in. The gloves have a little more padding and you wear shin pads.

    Good luck to you and kudos for having the guts to follow your dreams.

  10. #10
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    Hackney's school is in Roselle, IL. NW of Chicago.
    Curran's is in Crystal Lake which is a pretty good ways north.

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