The headline to this article is a now-famous quote from UFC president Dana White. He said it to the cast of the first ever season of the UFC's staple reality show, "The Ultimate Fighter" way back in 2005. This next series of articles is going to get into what it takes to become a fighter.
Needless to say it isn't easy. Fighting is one of the most taxing sports out there. The physical strain is one thing, the mental strain is another. There is nothing like the individual combat sports to sharpen a person's will and resolve. Sure the sport is dangerous, but that is part of why it is good for you. The benefits lie in the danger. To reap these benefits though, there are several things you must do, the first, which we'll go over here, is picking a gym.
Now that there is a lot of money in the sport, everyone is opening up gyms now, both good and bad. Nowadays, most kind of know what's up so there aren't too many gyms run by complete idiots, but they're still out there. It's your job to do your homework and check into it yourself.
Some things to take into consideration: do they have an active fight team? If they don't, then there's no way to really know if what they're selling is worth it because it isn't truly tested. At the very least, the owner/coach should have some background that'll come up in a Google search.
Do they teach MMA as a whole? Most gyms set up the styles individually, Jiu-Jitsu one day, Muay Thai the other, etc. MMA though is a style in itself, and to truly put it together in competition, you must in practice.
Do they have an accelerated path to competition? If you weren't elite in another combat sport, and they're promising you a quick path to the cage, then walk away, plain and simple. Fighting is hard work and it takes years to be ready.
Which'll lead us into our next one tomorrow....