Matching Your Training Needs with an MMA Facility and Instructor - dummies

Matching Your Training Needs with an MMA Facility and Instructor

By Frank Shamrock, Mary Van Note

The gym or school where you train is the foundation of the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) community you’re going to build for yourself, and your training instructor is the person who can share his knowledge and help you grow your skills.

To find the right gym or school for you, you need to consider your own needs and requirements. Factors in choosing a training facility and teacher such as cost, class times, and the number of students can all have an impact on your decision. Other factors, such as cleanliness, space, and safety are also valuable to consider, but they usually play a smaller role in the decision-making process than your personal needs and requirements.

To make the process of finding a good MMA gym or school easier, make sure to identify and set your MMA training goals prior to beginning your search.

In addition to finding the right MMA training facility, you need to find a qualified MMA instructor who can teach you and supervise your training sessions. Certifications aren’t available for MMA instructors, but there are professional groups such as the National Association of Professional Martial Artists (NAPMA) and the Martial Arts Teachers Association (MATA). Check to see whether your potential instructor is a member of either group and whether he has insurance.

Don’t worry if a potential instructor doesn’t have belts and trophies covering his walls. Whether an instructor has competed professionally is really a non-issue. In fact, some professional fighters aren’t the best instructors.

Most MMA schools welcome visitors and may even offer a free class. Dropping by or participating in a free training session is a great way to check out the facility, the MMA community within it and the instructor.

If you’re not sure where to begin your search, start with the phone book and look up MMA schools in your area, or get on the Internet. Web sites such as may have some useful user reviews on MMA schools in your area. You can also visit MMA forums and community Web sites where users connect with other MMA fans and practitioners to offer advice and resources.

Take your time to research and find the best training facility and instructor for you. Also, don’t forget to look at the community within that facility. You need one person who knows more than you, one who’s equal with you, and one who knows less than you so you can grow by interacting with each person.