Improve Your MMA Skills Faster: Essential Training to Work into Your Mix

One of the most commonly asked questions about martial arts and combat sports training is about how to master MMA skills as fast as possible.

While it’s great to have aggressive goals and go HAM on achieving them, trying to hit fast-forward on results could very likely end up in ruin.

The fact is, results take time. It’s the worst thing to hear when you’re amped up and ready to go, but once you accept the reality that even though you are anxious for results like yesterday, they probably won’t appear til the day after tomorrow.

In today’s post, we’re going to outline essential MMA training you can do pretty much anywhere - no matter how small, or large the space.

Best of all, most of it is equipment free (or equipment-optional).

Before we get into the good stuff, we need you to commit to one key thing: consistency.
Like everything in life, without consistency in your martial arts training, you are not likely to advance your progress.

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."
- Bruce Lee

Now that we’ve set the playing field, we can outline some of the actual work you need to put in to set the foundation for martial arts greatness.

Things you should ensure are in your training mix to amp up results:

  • Endurance – i.e. Running, cycling, swimming
  • Shadow Boxing
  • Balance training/footwork for agility
  • Defensive training – i.e. moving dodges, parry, blocking
  • Resistance training
  • Stretching

Pretty standard stuff? It's the stuff that works so if you're already incorporating these things, keep doing so.

Here's some stuff you may not be doing yet...

In addition to that consistent foundational training, consider monitoring your progress to sustain and increase it by:

  • Watching yourself on video
  • Reviewing notes from your classes/getting instantaneous feedback from others
  • Getting proper rest & recovery

Results take time and patience (we cannot stress that enough!) And one thing on the above list we highly recommend is taking videos of your technique to give yourself a chance to objectively see your progress and areas of opportunity.

We also cannot re-iterate stretching, rest and recovery enough. 

Stretching should be part of your everyday grind if you’re serious about improving your martial arts skills.

Make time for it (ideally after your training).
Why? Because proper stretching gives you better and more effective results. 
Remember: Kicking higher requires flexibility. Punching faster requires looser shoulders. Power requires properly tuned muscles…you get the picture.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is under-stretching which can lead to long-term injury, and that can halt your training completely. As a martial artist, you need your muscles to have a certain degree of looseness and flexibility (more on that in a future post).

The kind of stretching you do matters, too. It may take a bit more practice (and lots of balance-building), but many studies prove superior benefits of dynamic stretching over static stretching – think yoga, tai chi, certain karate katas.
This won’t take much longer to do than the stretches you learned in gym class.

Dynamic stretching has been proven to be a far safer and more effective type of stretching. We recommend searching YouTube to find a dynamic stretching routine you like.
Better yet, consult your coach to see if there are any they recommend specifically for you.

Areas to focus on stretching for maximum power and efficiency are:

  • Hips
  • Legs
  • Shoulders
  • Chest

So there you have it, a basic guide on what to focus on to improve your MMA skills faster.

Good luck, and keep fighting!

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