Does MMA Work For Self-Defense

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Jiu Jitsu, Martial Arts, MMA, self defense -

Does MMA Work For Self-Defense

Does MMA work for self-defense? The simple answer is YES.  Learning MMA is one of the best things that you can do to defense yourself, gain confidence, and become a walking weapon.  Is MMA a self-defense martial art?  Well, for the most part, no.  If you join an MMA gym they typically never talk about self-defense, they don’t talk about disarms, knife defense, or any other classic self-defense topics. 

MMA is seen as more of a sport than it is a martial art, although MMA literally stands for Mixed Martial Arts.  What are the martial arts taught in the majority of MMA gyms?  Well, you have boxing, muay thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Wrestling.  Obviously, there can be other martial arts incorporated into MMA, these tend to be the more popular ones that we see in the MMA gyms.

So if MMA I a sport and it does not talk about self-defense, how can it be good for self-defense?  Well, simply put, it is the best way to learn how to fight and use your body.  You will develop awareness, cardio, flexibility, and most important, skill.   MMA will teach you how to fight like you never thought possible.   MMA can be divided into two categories, striking and ground work.  Learning how to strike and use ground work are some of the most important skills you can learn to defend yourself.

Striking

Learning any form of striking can be beneficial for self-defense, whether it is Muay Thai, Boxing, or kickboxing, they will all help you to defend yourself.  Although most people have a preconceived notion of how to punch, punching and kicking is an extremely technical skill.  To learn how to box or do Muay Thai is very difficult.

Why don’t people refer to Muay Thai or boxing as martial arts and why don’t they perceive them primarily as self-defense arts?  Well, simply put, they are sports.  Many people who train these arts, or rather, the clear majority of people who do them are training for fights, for a sporting purpose.  Very rarely do people learn them for self-defense. 

This should not discredit the authenticity of these arts. Muay Thai is a martial art that was developed in Thailand.  It is one of the most well-rounded striking martial arts in the world.  Muay Thai fighters typically are not seen as martial artists and they are perceived as fighters.  They have their bouts in a ring and they look very similar to American Boxers.  They wear boxing gloves, and they punch, kick, elbow, and knee.  It is basically boxing with elbows, knees and kicks.  This is what makes it so much more realistic then boxing and so much more practical for self-defense. check out this video of basic muay thai below. 

When you are in a fight you are not sure what is going to happen, you don’t know what your opponent is going to do and what they are going to strike you with.  Muay Thai will allow you to develop an incredible amount of knowledge on every aspect of your body and it will allow you to learn how to make your body a weapon.  Many people are deterred from muay thai and it is not for everyone.  This is because of the rigorous training methods.  They spar, strengthen their shins, do a lot of pad work and cardio.

 

For many people these rigorous training methods make it seem like you are a pro athlete and not a martial artist. Muay Thai is also not the most practical art because it does require you to be able to have flexibility, or at least develop it, have cardio, and a good fitness level.  Although this may make people not want to train this art it ca be very beneficial.  Not only will you learn how to fight like you never though possible, you will be able to get in shape, get healthy, get flexible, and lose weight all while learning an entirely new skill.  Muay Thai is an excellent art for so many reasons.

Learning how to strike is always going to be beneficial regardless of what people say.  A pro Muay Thai fighter is a dangerous person.  IF they were to have a self-defense altercation with any drunk guy, or pest, they would surely be able to defend themselves and their families with ease against them.  Anyone untrained who goes against an MMA fighter is surely going to lose.  A UFC fighter could beat any person of any weight that is not trained in any street altercation, the only thing that can change the outcome is a weapon, but even then, the may be able to stop the assailant.

Groundwork

Groundwork is very important to learn, they say that 80% of street fights end up on the ground.  Ground work can be one of the most beneficial things to learn, whether it is bjj or wrestling, both of these arts can save your life.  Wrestling is one of the most beneficial things to learn for self-defense, unfortunately, people don’t look at wrestling as a martial art because it is a high school, college, and Olympic sport. 

This is not a valid reason to discredit the effectiveness of wrestling for self-defense.  Wrestling is an excellent method of self-defense.  Why?  Wrestling teaches you how to take down your opponent and control them with transitions and pins.  If someone is bothering you or your family, you will know how to take the to the ground and pin them down rendering them useless.  This is very similar to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Jiu Jitsu teaches you how to defend yourself on the ground and put your opponent in a submission.

razilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ is one of the best martial arts for self-defense.  Many people tend not to train this art primarily for self-defense because as it has exploded with popularity people have started taking this classic martial art from a self-defense art to a sport.  People who train bjj are starting to train like pro athletes and they train specifically for tournaments with points and rules.  Don’t let this fool you though, bjj is still absolutely one of the best arts in the world for self-defense.

Unlike Muay Thai it is not as rigorous and cardio demanding.  Although cardio and flexibility will help you in bjj, they are not necessary.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu does not incorporate punches and kicks, they have takedowns, throws, trips, submissions and they teach you how to fight off of your back.  Jiu Jitsu can teach you how to maximize every aspect of your body.   Many people have referred to bjj as the “small persons art.”  This is excellent martial art for many people and especially women.  Women are able to use their body like never before.

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