I recently wrote an article promoting a SportFight X Mixed Martial Arts event. Given that I am constantly looking for 'out of the box' fitness experiences, I dug a little deeper to see what the MMA phenomenon is all about!
First I spoke to SportFightX promoter William "Soco" McAllister to get a crash course. On the surface, it may seem like a bunch of adreline pumped men slugging it out in a cages. However, beyond the hype you find dedicated athletes who are seeking a way to push themselves physically (and perhaps mentally) to the limits. Many are "Average Joes" who live typical lives.
Take George Allen for example. By day he is a Nuclear Medicine Tech, and owns an employment agency. By night he is a stone-cold cage fighter who can hang with the best. As a matter of fact, Allen has competed with some of the best in the world, including a three round war with UFC star Keith Jardine.
Soco explained to me that many people have the wrong impression of MMA. Although it is a extreme sport that attracts thrill seekers, it is more than a display of brut force. Many fighters train for an extended period of time before ever having a fight. The emphasis is training which takes a tremendous amount of focus and determination. He also explained that MMA is also appropriate for those who are seeking to cross train. Many athlete use this style of training to keep them in shape during their off season and/or to take their conditioning to a higher level.
So where does one go if he or she (yes, women fight too!) wants to train for MMA style? Check out Iron Clutch Fitness. Not only do you get a MMA experience, they pride themselves on being a full service fitness facility. Many high level fighters also train in smaller, privately run studios dedicated to grooming champions.
This is definitely a sport on the rise. I'm going to continue to poke around and learn more about the fitness benefits. Next stop? I just might step into the ring myself! Look for me at your local gym!