Top MMA Training Tip #5 – Structured MMA Training Program

Top tips for MMA Training #5 – Follow a structured, progressive program

Like the first 4 tips, this seems like a no-brainer, but believe it or not, it’s kind of a big deal. Many gyms just throw you in to a class regardless of your experience level and expect you to sink or swim against the guys that have been there for months or even years. Others choose the content for their classes and training sessions about 10 minutes before the start of class. This means that you bounce from technique to technique without really developing on what you did last time. This is a recipe for failure and confusion.

What’s important, especially for beginners, is to find a program that is specifically designed to take you from where you are and bring you to the next level. That means techniques taught to you in a structured, systematic method that is progressive, and each class builds on the previous one. This means that when you come into class, you reflect on what you did last time, and take it one step further.

For example, if you’re going into a BJJ class, and in the last class, you just learned how to do the armbar from the guard. Today you’re going to review that and now you get to learn how to counter that technique. Then you get to explore different backup techniques for when your opponent counters your armbar.

In my TKD kickboxing classes, we start with the foundation of your stances, and work different punching combinations in there. Then we progress it in your next class to reflect on the techniques that you learned last time and incorporate them into realistic fight combos and self-defense applications. You then go on to learn more advanced and challenging combinations. Eventually you progress to a point where you can just react and act out of muscle memory instead of trying to memorize combinations. For example, white belts in my program should be expected to execute a basic 1-2-3-4 (Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut) combo with no pause, in solid form, and with proper pivot completely out of muscle memory within 2-3 weeks.

Now, unfortunately, I do not have my program online yet, but one great program that develops kickboxing for MMA in a progressive format is Jeff Joslin’s MMA Quickstart. This program covers the first 18 lessons that get you off to a solid start to developing your striking in MMA. I highly recommend this program to you if you are looking to start an MMA program, or if you have already started but feel like you could use some extra training to catch up to some of the more experienced guys at your gym. This program is actually designed by a UFC fighter and coach, so you know it’s coming from a quality source.

Click here to check out the MMA Quick Start

Another great example is in strength and conditioning. The MMA conditioning program that I follow is designed for progressive improvement and developing a wide range of MMA conditioning elements, starting with balance and coordination, then moving into base strength, endurance and finally explosive power. There are guys who just go in to hit the weights, but either hit them too hard and leave no energy left for MMA classes, and then there are guys who don’t follow a structured, progressive program, so they don’t ever make any gains. If you come into the gym, look at the weights, and say “What are we going to work on today?” you’re doing it wrong. Unless you are spending $50-100 an hour on a personal trainer who has it all planned out for you, you should not be asking that question. You need to have a plan going into the gym, knowing “Ok, today I’m working x, y, and z muscle groups, and I’m going 3 sets of 12 reps, etc.” You want to have a plan with progressive gains to build on what you did last time. This is by far the best way to improve your strength and conditioning. This program was designed by Eric Wong, who is also a UFC coach that specializes in getting fighters into peak form.

Click here for a free video from the designer of Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning.

I hope you guys liked my top 5 MMA training tips. I’ll have more tips, tricks, and techniques to come in the following weeks, so stay tuned and be well!

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