Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat spot that incorporates striking, footwork, and grappling techniques from boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai. Many MMA fighters also blend techniques from judo, karate, kung fu, kickboxing, and other martial arts.
Mixed martial arts competitions take place in an octagon-shaped ring, sometimes called a "cage", with fighters competing against others in their weight class. Fighters are free to punch, kick, knee, elbow, slam, and grapple their opponents. However, for safety purposes, biting, eye gouging, head butting, and certain other moves are against the rules.
Mixed martial arts classes cost $100 to $180+ per month on average, depending on the class age range, number of classes per week, combination of martial arts taught, and the coach's expertise and reputation. MMA gyms are typically more expensive if they have well-known coaches who are UFC champions on staff, with some membership fees reaching $300 per month.
Many MMA gyms offer a 1-day drop-in option for $10 to $20 to give you the chance to attend a class and see if the gym is right for you.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is ideal for self-defense training because you'll learn a combination of skills and techniques to help you escape dangerous confrontations without injury. MMA's "no holds barred" style is often considered the closest to real-life fighting when compared to other martial arts.
However, MMA does not teach you techniques like knife defense or how to disarm an opponent with a weapon. MMA training is also geared toward dealing with only one attacker at a time.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) training incorporates strikes—including punches, knees, and elbows—short and long-range kicks, groundwork, and grappling. You'll also practice controlled and supervised sparring. This training provides a wide range of benefits:
Follow these tips to find the best mixed martial arts gym near you:
Before deciding on an MMA gym, be sure to ask these questions:
Search, get cost estimates, contact instructors, and book—all for free.
View profiles, read reviews, check qualifications, and see prices before hiring.
Ask questions, confirm their availability, and hire the right instructor when you're ready.