As the name suggests, mixed martial arts (MMA) is a combat sport that incorporates a wide variety of techniques and styles, including both standing and on-the-floor grappling. Compared to other forms of martial arts, MMA is still relatively new since the term was first coined in 1993.
However, it’s quickly growing in terms of popularity due to the freedom it allows during matches. If you are interested in learning MMA, you should first familiarize yourself with the basic etiquette of training. Only then can you start your journey on becoming an MMA master.
Etiquette Rule #1 – Punctuality
When you are training for MMA, always show up to any classes or matches on time. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to show up 10-15 minutes early just to let everyone know how serious you are. Continuously arriving late to scheduled classes sends the impression that you really don’t care about learning the sport. You have to remember that MMA instructors value their time and only want to teach people who are willing and eager to learn. The bottom line is that you need to make it a point to show up on time for each and every session.
Etiquette Rule #2 – Maintain Good Hygiene
Some people might brush this rule off as a non-concerning issue, but good hygiene is critical during MMA training sessions. If you enter the gym without showering or putting on deodorant, not many people are going to want to train with you. Those who do spar and train with you probably won’t ask you to in the future. For this reason, it’s recommended that you always shower and maintain proper hygiene before your MMA training sessions.
Going back to the basics of good hygiene, you should remember to bring along a pair of slip-on sandals or shoes to wear into the bathroom. When you exit the bathroom, take them back off before entering the ring. This prevents you from tracking all of the bathroom germs into the ring where other individuals train. Bathrooms are dirty places filled with nasty bacteria that you don’t want to be rolling around on in the ring.
Etiquette Rule #3 – Tap Outs
When you have an opponent in submission and you see them trying to tap out, immediately let go. This is a common etiquette that shows respect and appreciation for your opponent. Keeping them in a submission move is not only unethical, but it’s also dangerous. Your opponent could be trying to tap out because they are getting light-headed or losing blood circulation. Always keep a close eye on your opponent’s hands to determine whether or not they are attempting to tap out. Once you see the hand waving downwards towards the mat, let go of them.
These are just a few of the basic etiquette rules for MMA training. Most importantly, though, show your trainers, masters, and opponents respect. One of the elements of MMA is learning how to respect other people. If you fail to learn this, you can’t expect to have success during your MMA endeavors.