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Your Training: How to Build an MMA Program for Your Martial Arts School

Your Training: How to Build an MMA Program for Your Martial Arts School

I just, a minute ago on a phone call, heard it again: Tom, were going to put together an MMA training program.
What that means is a karate / taekwondo school, one that has traditionally taught a curriculum built around point (tag, youre it) sport-karate or Olympic competition-based taekwondo, believes that theyre missing out on a segment of the market (translate: missing out on making sales) by not offering or advertising that theyre teaching MMA (mixed martial arts).
After all, the gag-zillion dollars that the UFC and other cage-fighting organizations spend on promotion have brought up a new generation of potential students / customers that have seen how utterly useless and ineffective traditional martial arts programs are when two highly conditioned athletes step into a caged fighting area and try to beat each other senseless.
Watching todays opportunistic martial arts associations, billing companies, and business gurus churn out ready-to-sell MMA curriculum programs and weekend MMA certifications makes me think of the early 1970s, when Bruce Lee and the TV show Kung Fu were the rage and kung fu programs began popping up like so many weeds.
But dont get me wrong, I think you should embrace MMA, that is mixed martial arts. I dont think your curriculum should be built around what some billing company suggests is the optimum curriculum to make money. I dont think your schools curriculum should be built solely around acrobatic performances, unrealistic fighting based on rules that so limit what combatants are allowed to do it almost becomes a parody of actual fighting, or some method of practice (like General Chois ITF taekwondo for example) that is so obtuse it borders on the ridiculous.
So, to really start learning and teaching a kind of MMA thats more than just a superficial marketing strategy to try and capitalize on the free testosterone-marketing of the UFC, I offer you the following recommendations.
To Develop Your MMA Program, Engage in the Following Activities: Study and train in the Crossfit system (www.crossfit.com) for at least a year. Now that means that the owner and his or her staff all engage in Crossfit training. If your team isnt actually training, youre not fit to teach whatever it is you want to advertise. Get a pro-boxing coach and learn how to box (Muay Thai is great too). With some occasional exceptions, If you cant box, you cant fight.
NOTE: Training for the ring means getting very, very fit. More than 50% of what youll experience in a real MMA or boxing program is fitness training. So, before you claim to teach MMA, every member of your team has to be somewhere close to fighter-fit. If you cant do that, stick to whatever it is you teach today rip 60.
Begin judo or BJJ or Sambo and/or wrestling immediately. By the time youre a BJJ purple belt, youll know a thing or two about grappling and training to be a good grappler. Without this training your MMA program is a joke. Call Bill Kipp, Peyton Quinn, and Tony Blauer. If you dont have a good deal of time invested in these teachers training programs, youre missing out on something very important about the martial arts and authentic in-the-world MMA. Spend at least a month in a real fight-camp (training) where real high-level competitors are training for competition, as a profession.
Now, after youve gone through the training Ive outlined above, youll know enough about MMA to design a program thats at least half-way decent. Remember that all of your schools curriculum should be built around the real, life-experience and training of the teaching staff.
This time next year, youll be so far ahead of where you are today --and so much more knowledgeable --that you wont have to buy someones MMA program, what youve learned will pour out of you like sweat from a good workout.

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