It’s finally happening! After months of hype and speculation, UFC superstar Connor McGregor is stepping into the ring with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather for the fight of the year, maybe even the decade. The UFC has been growing in popularity for years but for many this fight represents the acceptance of Mixed Martial Arts into the mainstream. To be clear, the fight is strictly a boxing match and not MMA but given the rise of the sport I thought it would be interesting to look at a few of the different martial arts that comprise MMA. I’m a big fan of fighting and have practiced different martial arts for a few years now. I’ve come to learn that while they are all a great way to blow off steam and keep fit; not all martial arts are for everyone. So if you are looking to try something new, here’s what you should consider before taking up boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Ju Jitsu or Judo.
Boxing is probably the premier combat sport. Fighters wear gloves and strike each other using only their fists. Boxing is a fantastic all-round sport that improves both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. If you are not a fan of getting hit in the face, many gyms offer “boxercise” classes which employ many of the fitness drills that boxers do, but without the contact portion.
Where Boxing only allows for striking with the fist, Muay Thai employs elbows, knees, kicks and clinching, which is a form of stand-up grappling. The added reliance on your legs makes Muay Thai great for leg strength, hip mobility, core strength and whole body conditioning. But beware if you are not a fan of bumps or bruises, Muay Thai may not be for you.
Brazilian Ju Jitsu
Predominantly grappling and ground-fighting, BJJ is often praised for teaching people how to defend themselves against much larger opponents. This is because BJJ focuses on chokes and joint manipulation rather than striking to win. Given the low-impact nature of the sport, BJJ is less prone to injury than other martial arts. Give it a go; you’ll work muscles you never know you had. It is extremely close contact so you will need to be comfortable with having your personal space invaded.
We’ve discussed boxing and Muay Thai which are fought standing up, and BJJ which is mainly fought on the ground, but how do you go from standing-up to fighting on the ground? Judo will get you there! Judokas try to take down their opponents using throws and sweeps. Because of its history, Judo is entrenched in philosophy and values. More than learning about how to defend yourself, if you take up Judo you can expect to learn valuable life lessons for outside the dojo.
MMA involves many other martial arts and I could go on for days about it… in case you couldn’t tell ;). Martial arts are a fun way to stay healthy, be social and learn life skills. Don’t be discouraged if you find them hard at first, the first few months are always the toughest but give it a red hot crack for three months and you’ll find you become an MMA junkie.
As always, please let me know if there are any particular topics or benefits that you would love us to look into, or if you have any queries or concerns.
You can call Chelsea King on 03 9963 4832 or email her directly.